A local Denny’s is raising funds to help the Lautaire family after a 9-year-old boy was killed and his 10-year-old brother was injured in a hit-and-run.
Edouard Lautaire was killed Sept. 30 when the driver of an SUV hit both boys while they crossed East Broadway with their mother, Valentina Lautaire, just east of North Pantano Road.
Max Lautaire was taken to the hospital, but Edouard died at the crash scene.
On Wednesday, Oct. 14, meals at the Denny’s at 6484 E. Broadway will be free with a donation to the Lautaire family, the diner announced in a press release.
The funds will help the family cover Edouard’s funeral expenses and Maximilien’s medical bills.
On a recent Sunday, the Lautaire family sat at the front of the church, Max in a hip-to-toes cast on his right leg.
Valentina Lautaire, a Ukranian immigrant who moved to the U.S. about 12 years ago, was raising her two boys on her own, said Father Andriy Chirovsky, the priest at St. Michael’s Ukranian Catholic Church where the Lautaires have attended for about six years.
The family had recently moved into an apartment near the site of the crash.
Valentina spent eight months trying to find an apartment complex that would accept her housing assistance voucher in a safer neighborhood for her boys, Chirovsky said.
The family held a small funeral for Edouard on Friday and Saturday, live-streaming the Saturday service on Facebook for those who couldn’t attend in person.
The driver fled the scene, but two days later, Tucson Police detectives located Ernesto Carrizoza, 39, and took him into custody. He faces a second-degree murder charge “among other felonies,” the department said.