WEST NEW YORK - A family friend spoke to the media Wednesday following the tragic death of an infant out for a walk with her mother.

Officials say a jitney bus driver has been charged after he lost control and went up on a sidewalk on Boulevard East, killing 8-month-old Angelie Paredes in her stroller.

Julio Marenco spoke in place of the infant's family, who is requesting privacy at their home just across the street from the scene of the accident. He said Angelie was a beautiful, vibrant baby whose arrival brought immense joy to her parents after a difficult pregnancy.

The stroller was being pushed by the infant's mother Maylin Paredes, who Marenco says was still on maternity leave. He says she would often take her young daughter out for long walks.

Marenco says Angelie was just beginning to take her first steps.

Hudson County Sheriff Frank Schillari says Idowu Daromola, 48, faces charges of reckless driving and operating a vehicle while on a cellphone. He has also been charged with second-degree death by automobile.

Investigators believe Daromola was on a cellphone when he lost control of the bus, triggering the deadly chain reaction. Daramola's commercial driver's license is valid, but his driving record has been called into question.

Angelie's parents are making funeral arrangements for their only child.

Daromola is expected to make a first appearance in court Thursday morning.