Candlelight vigil honors Pronoy Bhattacharya, local physicians speak out

Albuquerque News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It was an emotional evening at North Domingo Baca Park where parents, children, and many others gathered together to remember the life of seven-year-old Pronoy Bhattacharya.

“In his seven years of life, I think he has touched everyone’s heart. Everybody loved him, adored him, he was extremely intelligent, inquisitive but at the same time very kind and humble,” says Jawairia Memon, who knew the boy and his family. 


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The community remembers the smart, thoughtful Albuquerque boy whose life was taken too soon. Pronoy Bhattacharya was killed by an off-road vehicle. Tina Petersen is a local pediatrician and helped organize the vigil. “There’s a lot of crying, frustration, anger but then motivation to come together and do something,” said Petersen.

Police say Pronoy was walking with his family in the crosswalk on Central Ave. at Tingley Dr. last Sunday. That’s when police say an off-road vehicle ran a red light, hitting him and his father before fleeing the scene. The arrest warrant states police believe the driver was drinking before the crash. His father is expected to be okay, but people say they are tired of these senseless pedestrian crashes.“It was totally avoidable and that’s the issue. The crime has become out of control,” says Petersen.

Memon who is a UNM physician shares her concerns. “Albuquerque is a rare gem but unfortunately, our city is plagued by crime, drugs, and alcohol and we don’t feel safe anymore,” said Memon.

Physicians in the community are taking a stand. “All of us who are out here, we want to show support to Pronoy and his family but at the same time, we want to change the system. We understand as physicians we can’t bring Pronoy back but we want a better city,” said Memon.

Online records show police are still on the hunt for the suspected driver, Sergio Almanza. The Albuquerque Police Department is offering a Crime Stopper’s reward for anyone with information that leads to an arrest.

Meanwhile a local off-roading group called RZR-Ville held a benefit ride fundraiser Sunday morning to support the Bhattacharya family. More than 200 members showed up and they raised more than $13,000. 

There is also a GoFundMe set up for the family.

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