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Posted: 10:18 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013
OAKLAND, Calif. —
Relatives of a little boy killed in a tragic parking lot accident along the Embarcadero in Oakland Wednesday afternoon gathered to remember the child with a nighttime prayer vigil.
The Perez family's produce truck is a longtime fixture along the Embarcadero. Ana Brisena Fabela works long hours selling produce.
She always brought her son, two-year-old Rafael Perez Briseno, with her to work, telling relatives she doesn't trust his care to anyone else.
At around 4:15 p.m. Wednesday, the unthinkable happened while little Rafael was playing in the parking lot along the Embarcadero near 8th Avenue while his mother sold fruit at her roadside stand.
"While the child is playing, the child was struck by a vehicle," said Oakland Police spokesperson Johnna Watson. "The child is currently deceased. He succumbed to his injuries."
Relatives said the driver of the pick-up truck that struck the little boy appeared to be a customer who drove up to buy produce, but never saw the child.
"He is cooperating with the police," said Watson. "Our investigators are talking to him, trying to put together the details of what led up to this unfortunate accident."
Distraught family members told KTVU Rafael had just started talking and loved giving hugs and kisses.
They said he was a special addition to the family. His mother has another son, an 18-years-old, and had been trying to have another child for a long time. Then Rafael came along.
Now, relatives said that blessing has been taken away. They're looking for help in burying a little boy whose life has suddenly been cut short.
"This appears to be just a tragic accident where a young boy lost his life," said Watson.
Many of Rafael's relatives gathered where the tragedy happed for a prayer vigil that ended shortly before 10 p.m.
Relatives told KTVU the Perez family has been operating their produce truck along the Embarcadero for ten years.
The family said authorities won't be releasing Rafael's body to his parents until Friday. Funeral arrangements were still pending.
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