Cops charge Greenwood Heights driver who fatally struck 3-year-old Bath Beach boy

Cops charge Greenwood Heights driver who fatally struck 3-year-old Bath Beach boy
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A Greenwood Heights driver struck and killed a 3-year-old boy in Bath Beach Thursday.

The collision occurred at Bay 25th Street and Benson Avenue at around 12:45 p.m., when 61-year-old Johnny Gonzalez made a right turn from Bay 25th Street onto Benson Avenue in his 2011 Chevy van and struck Bath Beach youngster Emur Shavkator, who police said was crossing the street in a marked crosswalk on a scooter with his mother, from the direction of 20th Avenue toward Bay 26thStreet.

Police found Shavkator unconscious, unresponsive, and with trauma to his head and torso at the scene, officers said. Emergency medical personnel transported the boy to Coney Island Hospital, where doctors pronounced him dead, according to police.

Police arrested and charged Gonzalez at the scene with failure to yield to a pedestrian and failure to exercise due care, officers said.

Councilman Mark Treyger (D-Coney Island) called the incident “an unspeakable tragedy” and blasted Department of Transportation officials for allegedly denying his five years’ worth of requests for traffic signals at the intersection, alleging that agency honchos are more interested in conducting traffic studies than actually protecting pedestrians.

“There is a moral urgency to street safety improvements that, regrettably, does not seem to be captured in the data points collected during traffic studies,” Treyger said.

Assemblyman Bill Colton (D–Bensonhurst) also blamed the transportation agency for the boy’s death, and demanded honchos install a traffic light at the intersection.

“It is outrageous that a child 3 years young had to pay with his life today because the Department of Transportation blatantly disregards numerous warnings,” Colton said.

The agency’s deputy press secretary said its honchos would consider how to make the intersection safer — including by studying whether or not to add a long-awaited traffic signal — following the deadly collision.

“DOT is looking into potential safety enhancements here, and we will also be opening a new signal study,” said Alana Morales.

Reach reporter Julianne McShane at (718) 260–2523 or by e-mail at jmcshane@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @juliannemcshane.