Many people wanted to share stories of Bhattacharya and pay their respects, and they built a memorial with flowers, balloons and candles on Monday night.
Tina Patel knows him well and is the founder and director at the Montessori ONE Academy he attended until last year.
“Always a smile. Absolutely lovely, amazing. He’s so smart, and we’ve lost a really, really good person today – for no reason. So creative, curious. You want to be with him. Always be available with a smile and Patel said, “A beautiful, brilliant boy with so much to offer our society.”
Those who knew him had gathered near the intersection – hugging, crying and creating memorials for him.
“You know, here we’ve been trying to keep kids safe from COVID. Never would have thought we’d have to keep them safe from this.”
Patel said she hopes authorities will find the suspected driver.
“I hope he goes to jail because he deserves it,” she said.
Patel said Bhattacharya’s mother told her – she was walking right in front of him, and rushed over when she realized what had happened. When she got to him, she couldn’t find his pulse.
A larger security presence on the boardwalk Monday night in Center and Tingley.
Two security officers ensured that both the driver and the family walking by were safe. A city spokesman said the area was closed Sunday nights.
The New Mexico Bioparks Association provided this statement to KOB 4:
“We are heartbroken over last night’s tragic incident and our thoughts are with the family of the child. The River of Lights is a community event and family tradition, and we mourn those affected. The New Mexico BioPark Association works closely with many of the City of Albuquerque agencies, including the Albuquerque Police Department and Albuquerque Fire Rescue, on traffic and safety plans. for the River of Lights at the ABQ BioPark Botanical Garden.”
https://www.kob.com/albuquerque-news/community-pays-tribute-to-boy-killed-in-hit-in-run/6331665/?cat=500 The community remembers the boy who died in the escape