School Bus Kills Four-Year-Old Boy in Borough Park

Picture_1.pngA school bus on Amrom Altman’s block. Image: Google Street View.

A yeshiva bus hit and killed a four-year-old boy in Borough Park this morning, the Times reports.

According to witnesses, the child, Amrom Altman, was running after his school bus when he slipped on ice. The driver didn’t see Altman and continued to drive as the child fell between the front and rear wheels of the bus. The bus driver was circling the block, rather than waiting in front of Altman’s house, to avoid blocking traffic on the one-way street, the Times reports.

Altman was killed in front of his house, mid-block on 49th Street between 13th and 14th Avenues. After being flagged down by residents who saw the crash, including Altman’s older brother, the driver stopped near the end of the block. The driver passed a Breathalyzer test, and no charges have been filed, according to the Times.

The Times also spoke to neighbors who are blaming the city for Altman’s death:

Neighbors faulted the city for not removing ice and snow. Gill Hoffman, who lives up the block, said a friend had seen the accident. “The child was slipping on the snow under the bus. It’s a shame. We are very embarrassed that we live in such a city,” he said.

  • Well, as long as the rest of the kids getting on and off of these buses are no longer imperiled by the deadly torrent of bicycles on the Bedford Ave bike lane…

  • This is just a terrible tragedy. Parents think it’s OK to send a young son down to the curb to catch a school bus with his 13 year old brother but a teenager can’t protect a younger child from everything. Now the brother will have to live with this terrible memory. I don’t think there’s anything more you can say about it.

  • And Stacy, how would the parents have protected the kid? Do parents have their kids on leashes while the brother did not?

  • The bus could not block traffic as it waited for them to emerge from the house, so it went around the block. When the bus arrived a second time, the driver still did not see the boy so he took off, not realizing that the boy was running toward the bus.

    God forbid the bus hold up traffic for 30 seconds while waiting to pick up a kid on his way to school. This same thinking is why six idiots lay on their horns when the garbage truck comes down my street or someone gets a heating oil delivery.

    Condolences to the Altmans.

  • IsaacB

    This is sad. Having spent many a recent morning in this neighborhood, I can tell you that there are some serious opportunities for Improvement. Borough Park is a compact, walkable neighborhood, with thousands of families with very young kids. There are dozens of private schools serving the neighborhood. Each morning and afternoon, a parade of buses run down each street, picking up kids from house after house. Buses honk the cars, cars honk the buses. Buses honk each other. Kids are often not outside on time, leading to more honking, lines of buses waiting and much honking from behind. It’s a slow-moving quality of life violation. Hence the driver’s decision to move on and circle back. We can’t forsee every mishap or prevent every tragedy, but a few improvements could be instituted:
    – establish alternatives to bus transportation, such as walking buddies. 
    – penalize parents who are not on at the stop with their kids on time.
    – reduce the stress level by penalizing unnecessary horn use. 
    – reduce number of bus trips by coordinating transportation between schools. 
    Transportation Alternatives has been reaching out to the Hassidic Jewish community and should be commended for their efforts. There’s a lot of good that can be done. 

  • pTr

    Where was the parent of this child? Most of those yeshiva buses dont even have the stop sign nor flashing lights on them. And these people blame the city for not clearing ice??? That figures, its sad that a child was killed, but dont blame the city for bad parenting… I see unattended little kids walking around in boro park all the time. If I ever allowed my daughter to do that i’d be brought up on charges and ACS would look to take my daughter away from me. But the residents of BP seem to get away with it.

    To Jass,

    The parent being outside would have alerted the bus driver that the child was outside. And I seriously doubt this would have happened.

  • JST Books

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