Young mother Carla Rodriguez, mourning her husband’s death in a horrific motorcycle wreck, fought back tears as she spoke of lost dreams and their beautiful 1-year-old girl.
“She doesn’t know, she’s innocent,” the 20-year-old widow told the Daily News Thursday as little Camila toddled around their Bronx home. “She can’t even imagine it. But I think she is missing him, because they were always together.”
Dad and husband Eric Mejia isn’t ever coming home. The 23-year-old, a passenger on a motorcycle driven by his younger brother, was thrown 200 feet through the air to his death last Sunday. Cops said the sibling blew through a red light on the Grand Concourse and slammed into the side of a white Acura, leaving Rodriguez and her child to face a dramatically different future.
“We were thinking of going to live in Orlando, to buy a house there,” said Rodriguez, who met her husband through one of her relatives. “We wanted to change our lifestyle. We wanted to live a calmer life than here in New York.”
Mejia instead climbed on the back of his brother’s bike around 8:15 p.m. for his final and fatal ride. Kid brother Euri Hernandez, 20, was at home recovering from an assortment of injuries suffered during the lethal crash: A head wound, cuts all over his body, not enough strength to even move his feet, according to Rodriguez.
Mejia was unconscious and unresponsive when police reached the scene, with doctors at St. Barnabas Hospital pronouncing him dead.
According to Rodriguez, her husband hated to ride motorcycles and always wore a helmet. On a recent Revel scooter ride she took with Mejia, video shows the speedometer never climbed above 22 mph. And she suspects the fatal ride was taken on the spur of the moment by the brothers.
“It was something instantaneous,” Rodriguez surmised. “We would take the motorcycle for fun, to go around the neighborhood.”
The suddenly-single mom looked through pictures of Mejia and Camila from the weekend past, when they celebrated the little girl’s first birthday on Saturday. The proud young father appeared with two huge bunches of red roses to mark the occasion.
Rodriguez’s grandmother Arelis Pena, 60, echoed Carla’s description of her late husband as a good man.
“He was happy, friendly, caring,” said Pena. “A good father, a good husband, a good son, a good friend. He never had anything bad to offer anyone … He was always smiling.
“Good things never last.”