REVERE — A large crowd gathered in front of City Hall here Thursday night for a candlelight vigil remembering the two young sisters who were killed after being struck by an SUV on Sunday evening.
White candles flickered in the shadow of Christmas lights shining from trees around the building. Mourners huddled together, sharing hugs and offering words of support to each other.
The children’s father, Edgar Mejia, spoke briefly in Spanish, his voice shaking. Through an interpreter, he said the pain he was feeling was hard to explain, but that he wanted to ask officials to get justice for his little girls.
The driver of the SUV, Autumn L. Harris, 42, of Boston, was allegedly driving while impaired when her vehicle careened off Route 145 and onto a grassy median strip, striking the children and three others. She pleaded not guilty to charges of motor vehicle homicide and negligent operation of a motor vehicle during her arraignment Monday.
Mayor Brian Arrigo addressed the crowd, offering support and sympathy to the Mejia-Rivera family.
“Tonight there are tears, there is heartbreak, there are no words,” Arrigo said. “But there is love. There is prayer... May our prayers express our support for this family and our love for Revere’s angels, Adrianna and Natasha Nicole.”
A priest Arrigo introduced as Father Daniel from the Immaculate Church led the crowd in a prayer as mourners passed flames from candle to candle.
“We turn to god and pray the words he taught us,” the priest said, and the crowd began to recite the Lord’s Prayer together.
Evelyn Valdez-Muniz, a close family friend who started one of the GoFundMe campaigns for the Mejia-Rivera’s, spoke briefly, thanking the crowd for their generosity and asking them to pray for the girls.
As the vigilers began to pray in Spanish, Edgar Mejia closed his eyes.
“Pray for strength, pray for love,” said Valdez-Muniz. “Thank god we have a lot of good people in the world still.”
Luis Ramirez, 26, came to the vigil wearing a pin he had made himself with a picture of Adrianna smiling in Mickey Mouse ears.
He knew the little girl and her father from Stop and Compare Market in Chelsea, he said, where he hung out and where Edgar Mejia would bring his five-year-old.
They were always hand in hand, Ramirez said, and the little girl was always smiling.
He trailed off. He wanted his friend to know he was thinking of him, he said, hoping he could keep his head up. But Ramirez could barely find the words.