Friends and family spoke highly of an inspirational young Bronxite who died tragically last week after celebrating his job promotion.
According to a NYPD spokesman, police responded to a 911 call on Friday, September 18 at 2:36 a.m. of a 23-year old male pedestrian struck at the intersection of West 231st Street and Kingsbridge Avenue, within the confines of the 50th Precinct.
Upon arrival, officers observed Luis Inoa, 23, lying on the roadway with severe trauma to his body. EMS pronounced him dead at the scene, police said.
Further investigation by the NYPD’s Highway District’s Collision Investigation Squad determined Inoa was a passenger in a black livery cab which was traveling westbound on West 231st Street when he asked the driver to stop because he felt sick, the NYPD spokesman said.
Police said, Inoa exited the cab and attempted to cross West 231st Street as an MTA bus traveling westbound was making a turn.
The bus driver attempted to avoid Inoa, who was walking in an erratic manner, but the bus’ right rear wheel struck Inoa, killing him instantly.
Police said both drivers remained at the scene until law enforcement arrived. No arrests were made and the investigation is still ongoing.
According to friends, family and published reports, Inoa was celebrating a job promotion he received at Nickelodeon where he had been employed as a Creative Promotions production assistant since May 2015 by partying at the 809 Lounge in Inwood and later caught a cab to take him home to Kingsbridge.
Inoa reportedly asked the driver to stop at the intersection which was only two blocks away from his home after he started feeling sick.
The cab pulled over near the bus stop to let Inoa out as a BX1 bus approached.
Inoa, a Cardinal Spellman High School graduate, attended Iona College where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communication in 2014 and was described by friends and family as someone who “inspired people to pursue their dreams and never behaved in a reckless or dangerous manner.”
“In his 23 years of life, Luis accomplished so much and he was such a ‘beam of light’,” said Mariah Soto, Inoa’s friend. “I’m so sadden by his loss, but I know his light will always burn bright despite this tragedy. I am honored to have had him as a friend.”
“He was very passionate and accomplished many big dreams,” said Lourisel Inoa, Luis’ sister. “He dreamed of one day making his own TV show which he would direct, write and produce. He wasn’t afraid to reach for his dreams even if it was at the risk of failure.”
She added Inoa’s passions included photography, writing, singing and interpreting hidden symbolism behind tv shows and movies they watched together.
Melinda Santa-Gladden said her friend loved media and communications and dreamed of becoming a TV producer, writing his own scripts, being a radio personality and singing R & B.
Santa-Gladden added Inoa had interned at MTV, Z100, NBC and Nickelodeon and hosted a show on WICR Iona College Radio during his college career.
“Not only was Luis outgoing, but he was also very responsible and mature and not in any means an irresponsible drinker,” said Ivan Ortiz, Inoa’s friend.
“He devoted his time to his education and gaining experience in film and TV production until his hard work earned him a position at Nickelodeon which he was very excited about.”
A Spellman spokeswoman said Inoa will be remembered with other late alumni at their annual Memorial Mass on Sunday, November 8 at 10 a.m. at the school.
An Iona spokeswoman said Inoa will be honored at their annual Homecoming Memorial Mass for deceased alumni on Sunday, October 18 at 10:30 a.m. at Arrigoni Center.
Soto created a Go Fund Me page to help Inoa’s family pay for funeral expenses. If you would like to donate, visit www.gofun