A 3-year-old child was killed by an ambulette driver in Coney Island Friday evening.
Kevin Rodriguez was walking with his father on Neptune Avenue toward West 15th Street when he broke away and ran for his mother, Feizy Marcos, who was at a laundry on the opposite corner, according to reports. Seeing the ambulette approaching, Marcos screamed to alert the driver, who drove over Kevin as she turned right from Neptune onto West 15th. From the Post:
“[She] hit him and he was under the car,” said Luis Peregine, 15, a family member. “And she saw he was still trying to get up. And she kept telling him to stop and then he moved and she said the wheel went over his head. The back wheel went over his neck.”
Kevin was taken to Coney Island Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
The crash occurred at approximately 7:47 p.m. Friday. By 12:10 a.m. Saturday, reports exonerating the driver were coming online. From the Daily News:
No criminality was suspected. The driver of the Great Ambulette Service vehicle was sober and driving responsibly, sources said.
If the driver had a green light when turning, she was required by law to look for pedestrians in the crosswalk, who would have had the right-of-way, based on descriptions of the crash. While it’s understandable that she would not see a small child until rounding the corner — there is perpendicular parking on the north side of this stretch of Neptune Avenue — it seems a person “driving responsibly” would have been prepared to stop before entering the crosswalk.
But this is little more than speculation. What we know is that NYPD exculpated the driver with astonishing speed. At 9:12 a.m., roughly 13 hours after the crash, NY1 reported that she had been cleared of wrongdoing.
This fatal crash occurred in the 60th Precinct. To voice your concerns about neighborhood traffic safety directly to Inspector Peter DeBlasio, the commanding officer, go to the next precinct community council meeting. The 60th Precinct council meetings happen at 7:30 p.m. on the third Tuesday of the month at the precinct station house, 2951 West 8th St. Call 718-946-3328 for information.
The City Council district where Kevin Rodriguez was killed is represented by Domenic Recchia. To encourage Recchia to take action to improve street safety in his district and citywide, contact him at 212-788-7045, firstname.lastname@example.org or @DomenicRecchia.