Armored car fatally strikes 7-year-old girl in Bath Beach

The scene where seven-year-old Ali Sama was killed Monday.
Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

The NYPD is investigating the death of a young girl after an armored truck fatally struck her in Bath Beach on Monday afternoon. 

Authorities responded to a 911 call at 4:25 pm regarding a pedestrian struck at Bay 23rd Street and Bath Avenue, where they found 7-year-old Ali Sama lying in the intersection. 

“When I came out, I heard screaming, the child was covered in blood. She was under the wheel,” said a witness who declined to give their name.

An investigation found that Sama was crossing Bay 23rd Street while riding her scooter when she the driver of a 2015 PeterBuilt Armored Truck hit her while traveling southbound on the same roadway. First responders rushed Sama to NYU Langone Hospital-Brooklyn, where she ultimately died of her injuries.

The driver remained at the scene following the collision. No arrests have et been made, and the investigation remains ongoing.

Following the incident, safe street advocates argued that city transit leaders have failed to provide adequate space for pedestrians, which has lead to incidents like the tragic scene on Monday. 

Sama is at least the 182nd person killed in traffic violence — and the ninth child to die on a New York City street this year, said Families for Safe Streets in a statement.

In addition, the street safety advocacy group said, the armored truck involved in Ali’s death is owned by GardaWorld, whose trucks have been involved in at least 20 fatal crashes across the country since 2008, most due to mechanical failure or driver error.

“Sama Ali, a 7-year-old, did not have to die while crossing the street with her scooter. This crash, like countless others across New York City, could have been prevented,” said Families for Safe Streets Co-Founder Amy Cohen. “My heart aches for Sama’s family. Like them, I buried a child because of a preventable crash, and demand accountability from the City for allowing traffic violence to continue unchecked and unabated.

“This part of Bath Beach has seen too many tragedies in recent years,” Cohen continued, referencing the death of 56-year-old Alfiya Djuraeva who was killed just a block away from Monday’s fatal crash in 2016, and of three-year-old Emur Shavkator who was killed in May, 2019 just three blocks away from where Sama was killed. Shavkator was also riding a scooter.

“I stood beside Emur’s heartbroken family with other Families for Safe Streets members who had also lost loved ones in traffic crashes, and we were promised changes would be made in this community to prioritize safe streets,” Cohen said. “How many more must die before our city fulfills that promise?”

Additional reporting by Lloyd Mitchell.

This story first appeared on AMNY.com.