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Levi Echenique
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Aylin Alderette

LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- The last time FOX5 saw the Echenique family was at court, about a month ago. Briejet was using a walker and her husband Jose was using a cane to walk.

They were injured in a crash on Aug. 31 near Eastern and Harmon. Their 8-year-old son Levi was killed. 

"I haven't touched his toys because I still feel like he's here," Briejet said. "I know it's silly," she added as her voice cracked.

The day of the crash, Jose and Briejet were taking Levi to school. They were crossing the intersection when police said Aylin Alderette smashed into the side of their car.

Police said she was high on marijuana and driving more than 100 miles an hour. Briejet and Jose were severely injured, but their son, Levi didn't make it.

The crash has taken a toll on the entire family, especially Levi's older brother, Joey. 

"I have just been confused," he said. "When the whole thing happened I didn't know what to do. All I know is [Levi's] gone."

For the first time, FOX5 spoke with the detective who handled the case, Detective David Figueroa. Figueroa said as a father, this scene hit him particularly hard. 

"For me, the thing that sticks out is when I got on scene the first thing I saw was Levi's backpack. It had cartoon characters on it," he said.

The Echenique family said everyday is hard, but this month and the next will likely be more tough.

"It's Levi's birthday this month. It's his birthday on the 24th," Joey said. 

His dad, Jose, also chimed in.

"And this holiday season just please be careful," he said. 

"Remember what happened to Levi," Briejet responded. 

It's the holidays that's also worrying Metro police. They said this time of year is the deadliest for them.

"Most of the community doesn't realize that more people are dying from vehicles than other violence like guns or domestic violence," said Captain Nick Farese from Metro's Traffic Bureau. 

So far in 2018, there have been more than 18,000 crashes, and 10,000 of those had injuries resulting in 120 deaths.

"A person dies just about every other day, or 3 to 4 people a week," Farese said. 

Farese said as head of the Traffic Bureau, he is frustrated. He said his pleas to the community to not drive impaired and to slow down are falling on deaf ears. 

"Just putting it blunt, people don't care about fatal crashes until it happens to them. It's like our community's dirty little secret, we have a driving problem and we have a traffic fatality problem," he said.

Metro points to the Echenique family, who has already fallen victim to our traffic problems and their tragedy hit before the holidays.

The Echenique family said what they're going through is hard, but think maybe this happened to them for a reason, and said maybe Levi lost his life so his story could be told to save others. 

Eric Bauman prosecuted the case against Aylin Alderette, the woman driving the car that killed Levi. Bauman is the Chief Deputy District Attorney, and he charged her with second degree murder.

That's the first time that charge was used in the state of Nevada for a vehicle death. Bauman said if you chose to drive impaired, there will be no mercy. 

"It is just so prevalent in our community. The time for education is over," he said. "The time is now, where if you engage in this behavior you're going to be held accountable. There's no more teaching you a lesson. You're going away."

Metro said they were teaming up with the Nevada Highway Patrol for a new DUI Force. It was created three weeks ago and the two agencies already made 60 arrests. 

Copyright 2018 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved

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