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9-year-old killed in car accident remembered as special child who made everyone smile

The family of Raul Gamboa, a 9-year old boy who died in a crash Monday morning in the southeast Las Vegas valley, remember him as special child who made everyone smile. (Photos provided)

The family of a 9-year old boy who died in a crash Monday morning in the southeast Las Vegas valley remember him as special child who made everyone smile.

Raul Gamboa was killed when the van he was in made an unsafe U-turn and struck by a man operating a 2005 Ford F-150 at the intersection of Broadbent Boulevard and Cherry Street, near Clark County Wetlands Park.

Police say Raul and his 6-year-old brother, who also suffered injuries, were not restrained in the vehicle operated by his mother, Ashlea Hawk, 30. She also was injured.

"It's just very important once they go into the vehicle, they make sure they have a seat belt on," said neighbor Socorro Acevedo, who was troubled by the circumstances surrounding the death.

RELATED | 9-year-old boy dies after crash in southeast Las Vegas valley

Investigators with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department have mentioned that they are looking into whether Hawk could face child endangerment or vehicular manslaughter charges.

Acevedo says this is the time to pray for the family.

"It just brings tears to my eyes,” she said. “Very sad, very sad. My prayers and thoughts go out to the family."

Family members say "little Raul” was a vibrant boy who was looked up to by his three siblings. Relatives say Raul's 6-year old brother is still in critical condition from his injuries. Friends of the family say everyone close to the children and their mother are devastated.

"It's just tough,” Acevedo said. “No words to express how much or what they are going through or feeling at this time. Thoughts and prayers to them, and God bless them."

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