"They were the best of friends and beautiful girls with hearts of gold"

By Harriet Sokmensuer
August 07, 2020 12:54 PM
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Two 16-year-old girls in Nevada were killed when an alleged drunk driver crashed into them while they were waiting for a bus after going to the mall.

Las Vegas police say 16-year-olds Nelly Amaya-Ramirez and Citlali Mora were killed Monday evening after being struck at the busy intersection of Maryland Parkway.

The girls had just left the mall and were waiting for a bus home when a driver, identified as Ebone Whitaker, 38, allegedly lost control of her Mercedes-Benz SUV and drove up onto the sidewalk, plowing into the girls, the Las Vegas Sun reports.

One eyewitness described Whitaker as "out of it," KSNV reports.

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department

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In a tweet Tuesday, the Las Vegas Police Traffic Bureau urged the community to "wake up" to the dangers of drunk driving.

"A horrific and 100% preventable fatal crash took the lives of two juvenile pedestrians at Maryland Parkway/Katie," stated the tweet, which added, the hashtag, "#WakeUpLasVegas."

According to Nelly's family, the girls were longtime best friends. Since the girls' deaths, a memorial has been erected near the crash site.

“We’re in shock,” Nelson Reyes, Nelly's stepfather, told KLAS. “We have to see how we can come forward due to the accident.”

“A very nice, kind girl. My baby was great,” Reyes said of Nelly. “My wife is devastated in the room; she can’t even stand up because she’s in shock. She’s bad."

According to an arrest report, Whitaker told police she only had a couple of drinks at her friend's house and didn't remember the crash. She allegedly admitted to taking methamphetamine, heroin and PCP hours before the crash and was remorseful when she learned of the girls' deaths.

A GoFundMe page set up to help pay for the two funerals has so far raised $15,000 of its $16,000 goal.

"They were bright teenagers with a whole future ahead of them. Although it is hard to process how unfair this is, we know they are in a better place together," the page organizer wrote. "They were the best of friends and beautiful girls with hearts of gold."

Whitaker, who was hospitalized after the crash, was booked on two counts each of felony DUI resulting in death and reckless driving. She is scheduled to next appear in court Aug. 6.

Attorney information for her was not available Friday.