The nearly 50 people gathered in the cold outside Finley Middle School in Huntington came together Monday night to pray for one of their own, a mother of four killed in a car crash in Huntington Station more than a week ago, and to embrace her family.
They recalled Ena Flores, 47, an immigrant from El Salvador, as a devoted mother, a woman of faith and a hard worker, taken too soon in an accident involving an unlicensed driver who shouldn’t have been behind the wheel.
Ana Flores, a PTA member who has no relation to Ena Flores, led the crowd in a moment of silent prayer “to pay homage to a wonderful mother” and “to show support and our love for the family.”
Félix Flores, a resident of Houston, Texas, who is Ena Flores’ brother, thanked the Huntington residents on the family’s behalf and called for measures to stop unlicensed driving.
“She was always a person who gave encouragement to her family,” he said in Spanish. “We can’t permit that a person without a license could go around in a car, because they can hurt many people, maybe a child or an adult, and we don’t want anyone to go through the pain we’re feeling.”
Suffolk police said Ena Flores was crossing New York Avenue at Nassau Road in Huntington Station about 5:05 p.m. when she was struck by a 2005 Nissan Sentra driven by Jorge Granados, 25, of Huntington Station. Granados was charged with illegal operation of a motor vehicle but information on the case was unavailable Monday and his attorney could not be reached for comment.
Parents, students and some school officials joined relatives of Flores at the event.
The school community had come together to raise almost $5,000 to help with funeral costs and is now continuing a drive to help her children, one of whom requires special care and education services because he has Down syndrome. Flores’ children are a girl, 13, and three boys, ages 11, 15 and 19.
“Everybody just came together” to start the fundraiser, said John Amato, Finley’s principal. “Kids were bringing envelopes and handing them to me with money. It was an incredible amount of support . . . to say we are here through this tragic time.”
Relatives described Flores as a woman of deep faith who was dedicated to her children and who just wanted to give them a good home. She baby-sat, worked at a factory at night and cooked and sold tamales to support her kids.
“She was a very hard worker,” said a teary-eyed Eileen Flores, 17, her niece. “She always tried no matter what . . . to make her kids happy, to pay the rent.”
“This has been a horrible tragedy,” José Ernesto Linares, a family friend said, “especially because of the kind of person she was, dedicated to her family, to her work, and she’s taken from us. Who is going to take care of her children now?”