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Rock Creek Parkway crash victim was supporting family back home in Honduras

The family of Olvin Torres Velasquez believes more could have been done to prevent a crash that killed him, a friend and a Lyft driver.

ARLINGTON, Va. — One of the victims killed in a violent wreck on Rock Creek Parkway was a longtime employee of a popular restaurant in Arlington. 

Olvin Torres Velasquez, 23, died in a crash early Wednesday morning after U.S. Park Police said a Lexus SUV crashed into the Honda sedan he was a passenger in. His aunt, the manager of Super Pollo, said he was so beloved, customers began showing up to send their condolences.

“Everybody loved Olvin,” Danny Cardona said. “A customer came crying because he couldn’t believe this.

Torres Velasquez and his friend Jonathan Cabrera Mendez, 22, were passengers of a Lyft. The impact killed them and Lyft driver Mohamed Kamara, 42.

“We’re going to do everything to get justice for him,” his cousin Lesly Torres told WUSA9. “We’re going through this to the end. For me, he was the best in person the world. I’m going to miss him so much.”

USPP said before the crash, the driver of the Lexus fled a traffic stop. A spokesperson for the department said the officer did not pursue because it did not meet the criteria.

“If a vehicle flees a traffic stop, we have policies and procedures that guide our actions," USPP Sgt. Thomas Twiname said in a press conference. "Our officers are required to abide by those policies and procedures. In this instance, the officer determined that the vehicle that fled did not meet the criteria for a pursuit, and so they did not pursue the vehicle.”

Lesly Torres and her family believe more could have been done to prevent the incident. The Lexus SUV has more than 40 outstanding tickets totaling $12,300, most of them for speeding. 

“That was a dangerous person on the street, and they didn't do nothing,” Lesly Torres added.

Torres Velasquez moved to Virginia when he was 17 years old to help loved ones back home in Honduras.

“This was a big dream for him to make a home for his family,” Cardona said. “His mom was so happy because he was the person that was going to help her.”

The family set up a GoFundMe page to raise money to send to his family in Honrduras. As of Friday evening, they raised nearly $4,000. 

They describe him as happy, a peacemaker, and family oriented.

“For me he was not my cousin, he was like my brother,” Lesly Torres said. “He was a sweet person.”

The police department is asking anyone who may have been in Rock Creek Parkway at the time of the crash to contact their tip line by emailing uspp_tipline@nps.gov.

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