Members of the Riverdale community in Prince George's County, Maryland, came together on the grounds of Riverdale Elementary School at sunset Saturday for a candlelight vigil in memory of the two children struck and killed outside their school Monday morning.
Shalom Mbah, 10, and Sky Sosa, 5, were in a crosswalk on Riverdale Road at Taylor Road when they were hit by a driver making a left turn. The crosswalk had no crossing guard.
The 10-year-old girl’s father Armstrong Mbah thanked the community for its support and, moments later, the girl’s mother asked for prayers.
“Please pray for us,” Fontem Mbah said. “Shalom was a princess.”
The family of the 5-year-old chose not to speak publicly, but the parents of both children were warmly embraced by dozens, including the children’s classmates. Residents living near the school, teachers and members of the school staff attended the tearful vigil.
“Together, we share the weight of the grief and finding solace and unity as we mourn their losses, let us also find strength in supporting one another,” Riverdale Elementary School Principal Natiqua Riley.
State lawmakers were also among the mourners. They vowed to do all they could to make sure another deadly crash like this one doesn’t happen again.
“Our roads need to be much safer and how they’re designed is a policy choice and as policymakers, we’re going to start making better choices,” state Delegate Ashanti Martinez told the crowd.
Whether anchoring the news inside the Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center or reporting from the scene in Maryland, Virginia or the District, Dick Uliano is always looking for the stories that really impact people's lives.