Another Ambulette Driver Runs Over a Child; Second in Four Days

Another child has been struck by an ambulette driver, this time in Manhattan.

At approximately 3:04 p.m. Tuesday, a 12-year-old boy was hit by a westbound Ford van, driven by a 24-year-old, on W. 165th Street at Amsterdam Avenue in Washington Heights, according to NYPD. The victim was taken to Columbia Presbyterian in serious condition. Police did not have an update on his condition as of Wednesday afternoon.

DNAinfo reported on Tuesday that the child may be a student at the Manhattan Middle School for Scientific Inquiry on W. 164th Street, one block south of the crash site.

Tuesday’s crash was the second in less than a week involving children and ambulettes. Last Friday, 3-year-old Kevin Rodriguez was run over and killed by an ambulette driver in front of his parents in Coney Island. Police issued the standard “No criminality suspected” statement in each case.

  • Ben Kintisch

    It seems to me like ambulette drivers should be saving people’s lives by bringing them quickly to a hospital….not ending lives by driving dangerously.

  • Anonymous

    @Ben_Kintisch:disqus  : ambulettes and ambulances are two completely different things. An ambulette is “a specially equipped motor vehicle for transporting convalescing or handicapped people” (per It’s closer to a taxi than it is to an ambulance if you ask me.

  • Ben Kintisch

    Thank you for explaining the meaning. Let me rephrase my comment:
    It seems to me like ambulette drivers should be helping people by safely transporting convalescent and handicapped people…not killing people or causing them disabillities by driving dangerously.
    BTW I can’t even count the number of times both idling ambulences and ambulettes in the bike lane have blocked my path….and I think, “I hope you don’t have to come and get me when I get cremed by a car because of the dangerous situation you have just created!”

  • How about this:

    Upend the entire commercial license system in New York State.

    And if the government has any hesitation, let’s tally up the number of dead people from the last 5 years and dump as many fake rubber corpses on the steps of the Governor’s mansion in Albany. Sort of like ghost bikes, but more macabre. Maybe then they’ll get the point.

  • Motor Moloch

    These Ambulette and Access-a-Ride drivers are consistently awful. They tend to be aggressive, idiotic, horn-honking maniacs on our streets. Who is responsible for training and licensing them? This system needs to be torn up and rebuilt.  

  • Anonymous

    Ambulettes and Handicapped Vans are under the direction of Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC – Tender Loving Care really?) 
    Brought an Ambulette into TLC on charges of aggressive behavior.  Went before two hearing officers, neither of them understood cyclists rights to the road.  The TLC staff support person was good, but had no power to make the hearing officer conform to traffic law. 

    Driver was fined, not because of trying to drive over me, but because I had a photo of him giving the finger.  My impression was both the driver and his boss had a good a laugh after they got out of the TLC hearing.

    There is no “responsible” body providing oversight, only the irresponsible people at TLC and the utterly useless NYPD.


Another Person Killed by Turning Motorist in the 109th Precinct

An ambulette driver was charged under the Right of Way Law for striking and killing a pedestrian in Flushing. The crash happened Tuesday at around 8:57 a.m. The victim — a 57-year-old man whose name has not been released by police, pending family notification — was crossing 35th Avenue in the crosswalk when Ramon Ortiz, 55, struck him with an SUV […]

The Weekly Carnage

Editors’ note: We’re trying something new with The Weekly Carnage. Though we will continue to gather news from around the region and beyond, beginning this week the column will reflect a tighter focus on crashes and other incidents within the five boroughs. Let us know what you think of the new format. Fatal Crashes (7 […]