Drunk driver crash in 2019 was fatal for three people; new mural in Long Beach’s Los Cerritos Park to serve as a memorial

LONG BEACH, California – A new mural in Long Beach, created with love and brimming with inspiration, is assisting a family in recovering from the loss of three loved ones over three years ago in a horrible car accident committed by an intoxicated driver.

The artwork in Los Cerritos Park serves as a memorial to the Awaida family.

Joseph Awaida, his wife Raihan Dakhil Awaida, and their 3-year-old son, Omar, were struck by a drunk motorist while trick-or-treating near the park on Halloween night in 2019.

For their deaths, the driver, Carlo Adrian Navarro, was recently sentenced to 25 years to life in jail.

In 2019, a drunk driver was convicted guilty of murder in a Long Beach crash that killed a 3-year-old child and his parents.

The artwork is intended not only to memorialize the family, but also to honor children like Omar.

“He would illuminate the room,” said Faisal Dakhil, the grandfather of Raihan. “He will be speaking with his teachers from the preschool he attended at Long Beach State University; he was the child that kept the entire class cheerful.”

Artist Lajon Miller drew the mural’s outline and invited neighborhood members to help him complete it.

On Saturday, many individuals painted pieces of the mural.

“It was a wonderful way to show support to the family and loved ones of the deceased, as well as the community as a whole,” added Miller.

Faisal Dakhil stated that he had to visit the mural to express his gratitude.

“I had to be here to visit and thank everyone, and I’ll take with me the sense of community that they have here,” he remarked.

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