Girl, 5, begged father to take her trick-or-treating before they were killed, mother says

Woman's 2-year-old daughter survived crash in Davie

DAVIE, Fla. – A 5-year-old from Davie begged her father to take her trick-or-treating for the first time Wednesday before they were both fatally struck by a car, the child's mother told Local 10 News.

Maria Orellana Cruz said her husband, Carlos Amaya, 46, her daughter, Heidy, 5, and her 2-year-old daughter were just a couple of blocks from home when they were struck by the car.

"He decided to take her out because she was crying that she hadn't been taken out in her costume," Orellana Cruz said in Spanish. 

According to Davie police Sgt. Mark Leone, the family was at the crosswalk in the 6600 block of Griffin Road when they "walked into the path" of the Cadillac.

Leone said the driver, Jocelin Butterfield, 30, of Fort Lauderdale, saw Amaya and the girls but couldn't stop in time, hitting them with her car.

Amaya and Heidy were pronounced dead at the scene. Leone said the 2-year-old girl had a cut to her head and was taken to Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood as a precaution. 

Orellana Cruz was notified about the crash a short time later and picked up her surviving daughter from the hospital. 

"I'm just sad. I have grandchildren. I bring them here everyday. I cross that crosswalk every day," Tina Mahar, who lives nearby, said.

Leone said excessive speed -- the Cadillac was traveling at least 45 mph at the time -- and alcohol did not appear to be factors in the crash. He said Amaya and the girls were at a designated crosswalk with a traffic light.

"I can't imagine how it happened. I can't even imagine," Mahar said.

Butterfield remained at the scene and gave a statement to investigators.

Detectives believe a number of factors attributed to the crash and believe it was a tragic accident.

"There's bushes and trees that probably would've been difficult for both the driver and the father to see each other. The area was really dark," Detective Vivian Gallinal said. 

Landscapers trimmed the bushes and trees in the area Thursday to open up the line of sight. 

Amaya and Orellana Cruz's teenage son, Erick, told Local 10 News his father was a good father who worked hard as a landscaper.

"I'm very sad because I never thought of life without my father, and now, we don't know what we're going to do," he said. 

It's unclear if the driver will face any charges. 

"I want justice for the woman who killed my husband and my child," Orellana Cruz said. 

A GoFundMe page has been created to help Orellana Cruz pay for her husband and daughter's funeral expenses. 

About the Authors:

Saira Anwer joined the Local 10 News team in July 2018. Saira is two-time Emmy-nominated reporter and comes to South Florida from Madison, Wisconsin, where she was working as a reporter and anchor.

Amanda Batchelor is the Digital Executive Producer for