Wrong-way driver sentenced to nine years for crash that killed 3-month-old Baby Apolline

The scene of the crash on September 11, 2021 that killed 3-month-old Apolline Mong-Guillemin

A Prospect Heights man will spend nine years behind bars for driving recklessly and causing the collision that killed a three-month-old girl and injured her parents in Clinton Hill two years ago.

Tyrik Mott, 27, was sentenced Wednesday by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chu, having previously pled guilty to assault, second-degree manslaughter, second-degree attempted robbery, reckless driving, aggravated driving without a license, and leaving the scene of an incident without reporting on March 22.

“This defendant’s reckless driving took the life of a precious young child, seriously injured her mother and devastated both parents. We are committed to improving the safety of Brooklyn’s streets, and I hope the family finds a measure of solace with today’s sentencing, knowing this defendant will be off the streets for a long time,” said Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez.

On the evening of Sept. 11, 2021, Mott sped the wrong way down Gates Avenue near Vanderbilt Avenue in Clinton Hill, breaking a red light and hitting another car, causing both vehicles to crash into the family pushing their baby in a stroller in the crosswalk.

Three-month-old Apolline Mong Guillemin died from her injuries and her 33-year-old mom was seriously wounded, while her 36-year-old father suffered only minor injuries, according to officials. The driver in the second vehicle was also hurt in the collision.

After the incident, Mott discarded the dark-colored jersey he was wearing, abandoned his car and fled to Atlantic Avenue two blocks away, where he tried to carjack another vehicle, but cops caught up with him and arrested him.

‘Negligent, careless, and reckless’

In a separate lawsuit filed by the family holding both Mott and the city responsible for the infant’s death, lawyers for the city and Mott said that the family were to blame for their misfortunes.

The suit filed by Apolline’s bereaved father in July 2022 names Mott, the city and several municipal agencies as defendants, alleging that a perfect storm of individual and institutional failure led to the baby’s death.

In the response, Mott had argued that he and his driving could not be responsible for the incident as the family were aware of the inherent hazards in walking down the Clinton Hill sidewalk on a late-summer evening.

As previously reported by Brooklyn Paper, Mott’s Honda had racked up an 160 traffic violations, including 91 for speeding in school zones in the four years prior to the fatal collision.

In the lawsuit, the family claimed the city was “negligent, careless, and reckless” in failing to enforce its Dangerous Vehicle Abatement Program by not taking the serially-reckless motorist off the road.

They also named in their suit the NYPD, alleging undisclosed officers engaged Mott in a needless high-speed car chase just before the crash; an NYPD spokesperson confirmed to Brooklyn Paper’s sister publication amNewYork that such a chase had occurred.

The DOT previously greenlit a plan to turn the one-block section of Gates Avenue between Fulton Street and Vanderbilt Avenue  into a permanent car-free plaza called Apolline’s Garden, dedicated to the infant’s memory.

Additional reporting by Ben Brachfeld