No Charges for Driver Who Killed Jadann Williams, 8, on Flatbush Cul-de-Sac
Eight year-old Jadann Williams, who neighbors say loved sports and wanted to become a basketball star, was playing on a dead-end street just steps from her Flatbush home yesterday afternoon when a driver struck and killed her.
Police say Williams was playing near the back end of a double-parked box truck on the east side of E. 22nd Street just north of Ditmas Avenue at 5:10 p.m. yesterday afternoon. The driver of a southbound Toyota SUV struck her when she stepped further out into the narrow two-way street. Williams suffered severe head trauma and died at Kings County Hospital.
“He tried to press the brake, but went 15 to 20 feet before he stopped,” volunteer NYPD clergy liaison Mohammad Nasir, 53, told the Daily News. The News identified the driver as 35-year-old Reginald Auguste and reported that he “lived on the block and was known for having a lead foot.”
“The guy was a known speeder,” a witness told the Daily News. “You know the children are present. You have to drive at a decent speed.”
The driver does not face any charges. The investigation by the Collision Investigation Squad is ongoing.
Neighbors say speeding is a regular problem on the street, despite the regular presence of children playing. “We’ve been asking for a speed bump on this block, and this is what it has come to?” neighbor and family friend Tanisha Brown told WNBC.
While the driver wasn’t arrested, someone else was: Ryan Romans, 25, of Staten Island — who knew Williams, according to the Daily News — punched the driver after the collision. He was tackled to the ground by police and charged with assault.
“I am deeply saddened by the tragic death of Jadann Williams. No one can provide her family with the comfort that they need now following their tremendous loss. However, God will give them the strength that they need to overcome this difficult moment,” Council Member Mathieu Eugene, who represents the area, said in a statement. “I have been in contact with Jadann’s family and my office will be providing them with any assistance possible. I would like to express my condolences to the family, especially the mother and father of Jadann Williams.”
The collision occurred in the 70th Precinct, which has issued 288 citations for speeding and 118 tickets for failure to yield to a pedestrian through the end of July this year [PDF].
To voice your concerns about traffic safety to Deputy Inspector Richard G. DiBlasio, commanding officer of the 70th Precinct, attend its next community council meeting, scheduled for September 30 at 7:30 p.m. at 175 Lawrence Avenue.