Three children were killed by New York city motorists last week, including a 3-year-old hit by an alleged drunk driver in Queens Friday night. Hours earlier, a 64-year-old man was killed by a hit-and-run driver in Brooklyn.
Olvin Jahir Figueroa and his mother were struck at Junction Boulevard and Northern Boulevard in Jackson Heights just before midnight Friday, according to reports. Figueroa was at least the fourth child to die in city traffic since September 26. At least nine kids aged 12 and under have been killed by NYC motorists in 2013, according to crash data compiled by Streetsblog.
Gilbert Echeverria, 35, struck Figueroa and his mother, Karina Osorio, with an Acura SUV as they were crossing the street. Echeverria removed the injured boy from the road and drove the victims to New York Hospital Queens, where Figueroa was pronounced dead. Osorio suffered a leg injury.
A family friend quoted by the Times Ledger said Figueroa was brought to the U.S. from Honduras earlier this year. “He liked to eat a lot,” said David Dobon. “He played with his friends all of the time.”
An anonymous source told the Post that Echeverria said he “had some shots and then ate some empanadas. I’m good.” According to court records, Echeverria was charged with driving while intoxicated, criminally negligent homicide, and a top charge of second degree vehicular manslaughter — a class D felony punishable by up to seven years in jail, and which also allows for no jail time, or probation.
Samuel Cohen-Eckstein, 12, was struck by the driver of a commercial van on Prospect Park West last Tuesday. A motorist making a left turn hit Allison Liao, 3, in Flushing on Sunday, October 6. No charges were filed for either crash.
At approximately 8:25 p.m. Friday, John Dozier was struck by the driver of a Chevrolet SUV as he was crossing Remsen Avenue near Avenue L in Canarsie, according to reports. The driver fled the scene.
Family members told the Daily News that Dozier, 64, worked in radiology at the Manhattan VA hospital. “He had a beautiful personality,” said Judy Dozier, the victim’s sister. “He got along with everybody. He was willing to help anybody.”
Reports said Dozier’s killer, identified only as a male, was driving a rented SUV. The NYPD public information office had no updates on the investigation as of this morning. Dozier was at least the fifth NYC pedestrian in the last month to be killed by a motorist who left the scene. In four of the five crashes, the driver was not immediately caught or identified.
In another hit-and-run crash last weekend, Hamlet Gonzalez was arrested for running over an unidentified man at 57th Avenue and 99th Street in Corona, then fleeing on foot. Gonzalez was charged with leaving the scene and DWI, reports said, and the 21-year-old victim was hospitalized in extremely critical condition.
John Dozier was killed in the 69th Precinct, in the City Council district represented by Lew Fidler. The crash that killed Olvin Jahir Figueroa occurred in the 115th Precinct, and on the border of council districts represented by Julissa Ferreras and Danny Dromm.