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.

Jadann Williams. Photo via WABC
Jadann Williams. Photo via WABC

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.

  • Adrian

    Ignoring the usual moral crime that they’ll do no more than a cursory examination before exonerating the driver, how callous can the cops be in arresting the girls brother? They surely could have tried to sympathize and pull the guy to one side to calm him down, rather than slapping him in cuffs when his sister’s just been killed?

  • Matthias

    He knew her, but wasn’t related, according to the story, but point taken.

  • specq

    He should have punched him with his car.

  • com63

    Do cul-de-sacs allow pedestrians to legally cross at any location, not just in marked crosswalks (similar to that truck hitting the jogger case in SI?)? If this is the case, wouldn’t the girl have the right of way if she was in the street.

  • Alexander Vucelic

    90% Chance driver exceeded 25 MPH

    negligent homicide

  • WoodyinNYC

    We can surmise that he was black, and so he presented another chance for the cops to lock up a black man for nothing, like selling loosies or having a joint in his pocket. Of course the cops just couldn’t refuse the opportunity. Arrest was automatic.

  • dporpentine

    It says something about how inured we are to traffic violence–and how ready we are to instantly absolve drivers of any crime–that this is the first instance I can remember of a bystander attacking a killer driver.

    I hope someone starts a Ryan Romans Legal Defense Fund. I’ll donate.

  • armyvet00

    It should be- and in a state that cared it would be. But we have no law on the books that seems able to applied in such a way.

  • chekpeds

    This death is on the DOT: residents had been asking for a speed bump for years! Seems to me the road was faulty and the DOT is responsible for not acting

  • bxcyclist21

    I know of a few instances of citizens asking for speed bumps on their streets for years and the DOT doing nothing about it to this day. They’ll claim to do a study and say there isnt enough evidence of a need for one but they dont define what constitutes the need though. They leave it very vague,

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