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Memorial grows for boys killed by South L.A. hit-and-run driver

Memorial grows for boys killed by South L.A. hit-and-run driver
Memorial grows for boys killed by South L.A. hit-and-run driver 01:59

Debbie Amaya and Mario Pineda huddled together at a heartbreaking sidewalk memorial as they, along with their loved ones, mourned the deaths of two of their sons, one of whom was a toddler. 

"They took like half of my life away, man," said Amaya. "That guy that did this took half of my life away."

Photos of 3-year-old Damian Amaya-Pineda (left) and his brother Chris Amaya-Pineda (right). KCAL News

The brothers died after a hit-and-run crash a week ago. Chris, 13 died an hour after the crash. His little brother, Damian, remained hospitalized until his death Monday morning. He was 2.

Debbie Amaya just got out of the hospital Sunday night.  

"A mother should never bury her children," said Amaya. "A mom should never bury her children and it hurts me so bad that I didn't just lose just one. I lost two of my sons."

According to police, Amaya was driving her two sons and daughter on January 9 to their grandmother's house when she was hit by a speeding Mercedes. Police added that the driver blew through a red light at the corner of 111th PLace and Main Street in South Los Angeles. 

Witnesses said the driver stopped and got out, but ran away. Police are still looking for him. 

"I don't know why this happened," Pineda said in Spanish. 

The grieving father added that this tragedy has destroyed their family and friends, claiming his son's classmates required therapy to cope with his death. 

Meanwhile, he and his wife are trying to comfort each other and their daughter who was also in the crash but was not hurt. 

"She even told me she felt bad because she made it alive," said Amaya. "I told her not to feel like that ... She misses her brothers."

As for Amaya, she felt a bit of survivor's guilt and blamed herself for the crash. 

"I didn't see it coming," she said as she sobbed. "I didn't see it coming."

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