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Genielle Laboriel, 21, Killed by Bus Driver in the Bronx; No Charges Filed

A school bus driver struck and killed a woman who was riding a skateboard in the Melrose section of the Bronx yesterday.

Genielle Laboriel. Photo via DNAinfo

The crash occurred at around 7:15 Wednesday morning. Genielle Laboriel, 21, was crossing E. 160th Street from the Melrose Avenue sidewalk when she was hit by the bus driver, who was making a right turn, according to reports. From DNAinfo:

Witness Nelson McKinsey was nearby when he heard the crash, he said.

"I heard a shriek and when I turned around, the front tires were on top of her," said McKinsey, who lives nearby.

Laboriel flailed her arms as a passerby waved at the bus, urging it to reverse off of her, McKinsey said.

The bus driver remained on the scene and was not immediately arrested, cops said.

"He had a look of panic on his face," McKinsey said.

The three children on board the bus were unharmed, police said.

The intersection of Melrose and E. 160th -- a two-lane street with bike lanes and a one-way, single-lane street, respectively -- has traffic and pedestrian signals. If the bus driver had a green light, and the signals were functioning properly, Laboriel would have presumably had a walk signal. If the bus driver and Laboriel were traveling in the same direction, as reports indicate, Laboriel would have had the right of way.

Denis Slattery and Tina Moore of the Daily News cited a witness, Juanita Hernandez, who said Laboriel was wearing headphones and was not wearing a helmet. The Daily News and DNAinfo noted that the same witness, who saw security footage of the crash, said Laboriel was "going too fast" and "lost control" of her skateboard. "It was neither of their faults," Hernandez said. "It was a tragic accident."

Neither story mentions how fast the driver was going or who had the right of way. DNAinfo reporters Patrick Wall and Aidan Gardiner wrote that Laboriel "died after careening into the path of a school bus," and that the victim "collided" with the bus, suggesting that reckless behavior by Laboriel led to her death.

On Twitter yesterday, Moore said she believes "everybody knows" pedestrians have the right of way. The quote from Hernandez indicates otherwise, as does the fact that the driver in this crash was reportedly not charged or summonsed for killing Laboriel, which should have at least resulted in a careless driving summons from NYPD.

DNAinfo spoke with acquaintances of Laboriel, who said motorists, and bus drivers in particular, "need to be more conscious of boarders."

This fatal crash occurred in the 42nd Precinct. To voice your concerns about neighborhood traffic safety directly to Captain Steven Ortiz, the commanding officer, go to the next precinct community council meeting. The 42nd Precinct council meetings happen at 7 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of the month in the 42nd Precinct Sitting Room, 830 Washington Avenue. Call 718-402-5527 for information.

The City Council district where Genielle Laboriel was killed is represented by Maria del Carmen Arroyo. To encourage Arroyo to take action to improve street safety in her district and citywide, contact her at 718-402-6130.

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