The driver of the car, Richard Rojas, 26, has been charged with murder, attempted murder, and aggravated vehicular homicide. He is in police custody.
William Aubry, the assistant police chief in charge of Manhattan South detective squad, said Friday afternoon that Alyssa’s 13-year-old sister was being treated at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center for a collapsed lung and broken pelvis.
“Our heart goes out to Alyssa, her family and all those that were injured yesterday,” Chief Aubry said.
On Thursday evening, the girls’ father, Thomas Elsman, posted on Facebook that Ava was out of surgery and doing “ok.” He added, “and yes my daughter is gone and I love her so much.”
Ava was one of the people that Alyssa was completely herself around. She is as exuberant as Alyssa was quiet, said their great-grandmother, Clara May Jablonski, 83. “That’s sisterhood,” she said. “They were always close knit.” At home in Michigan, far from where her great-grandchild was killed, Ms. Jablonski worried over how Ava would handle the loss of her sibling, with whom she shared the same long brown hair and striking aqua-colored eyes.
“It makes you want to stay home and hibernate,” Ms. Jablonski said. “Nothing is safe anymore, I’ve come to the conclusion. We’ve had a lot of loss in the family, and to have them go so young is unreal.”
On Friday morning, Ava sent her friend Grace Zak a message via Snapchat, saying she would be out of school for the rest of the year, said Grace’s mother, Kathy.
Alyssa worked as a carhop at the Sonic Drive-In in town, according to her Facebook profile. Her great-grandmother said that holding a job as well as getting an education was a deeply instilled…