Angela Hurtado
68 years old

Angela Hurtado was working a housekeeper on floor 21 of the Marriott World Trade Center on September 11th, 2001, when the first plane hit the Twin Towers. At first, she stayed in the building with co-workers, before a second tremble prompted her escape through a back staircase. A short while later the towers collapsed, destroying the hotel.

As for many New Yorkers that day, the attack felt personal. New York was the city that adopted her when she left her native Ecuador at age 21. It was where she made a living as a seamstress and a housekeeper. It was the place in which she survived cancer at 33.

Most importantly, it was the city where she raised her daughter, Zoraya Torres, and her grandson, Abel. “She loved her church, loved her community, loved to go to bingo, loved her TV shows,” said Zoraya. “My mom was the anchor of our family. She kept us all together.”

In recent years Hurtado had been enjoying retirement and her family had taken to calling her ‘the travelling lady’ because of her trips to the Vatican, Spain, and home to Ecuador. Zoraya says that the thing she misses most is her mother’s hugs. “When she hugged you it was like all of your worries melted away. I don't think I’ll ever feel anything like that again.”

This collision happened on January 18, 2014 near Grand Avenue near 69th Place in Queens. See details in the Mean Streets Tracker.

Mean Streets 2014: Who We Lost, How They Lived

Throughout 2014, WNYC tracked the 265 men, women and children killed in traffic crashes in New York City. In addition to reporting the circumstances of their deaths, we looked at who they were in life: mothers, fathers, grandparents, students, recent immigrants and native New Yorkers. To read some of their stories, click on a photograph.