A driver fatally struck a 4-year-old boy and left another child in critical condition after dropping the children off outside a school in Bensonhurst Monday morning.
Police say the motorist drove the children to a yeshiva on 67th Street near 20th Avenue at around 9:18 am, and let them out of the blue van before hitting the two children and driving away, apparently without noticing the crash.
The driver drove to his home in Brooklyn, but returned to the scene after the yeshiva contacted him, according to area Councilman Mark Treyger.
“The driver claims he didn’t know a child was killed,” said Treyger. “This just doesn’t add up to me.”
First responders pronounced the younger child dead at the scene, while paramedics rushed the 5-year-old victim for treatment at Maimonides Medical Center, where he is expected to survive.
The children’s school, Yeshiva K’Tana of Bensonhurst, is located around the corner from PS 207 on 20th Avenue. Neither street has a reduced speed limit as part of a School Slow Zone, according to Department of Transportation records.
Treyger lamented the crash, and said that police are working to obtain video footage of the incident.
“This is just horrible, horrible news to start the new year in our community,” he said. “We need a lot more information than we have now, but the bottom line is that a young boy is dead right now, and that’s unacceptable.”
Transportation advocates blamed the boy’s death on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s failure to implement more safe streets infrastructure.
“These crashes are not just a failure in judgement on the part of drivers, but also a failure in leadership on the part of elected officials who have not taken the steps to prioritize human lives over cars,” said Transportation Alternatives Executive Director Danny Harris. “Unless Mayor de Blasio takes immediate action to save lives and save his Vision Zero legacy, more people, including children, will die.”
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.