NYPD: No Charges for Driver Who Killed 4-Year-Old Girl on Brooklyn Sidewalk and Left Scene
With seven deaths, motorists have killed more children age 14 or under in the first six months of 2018 than in any year since 2014, when NYC launched the Vision Zero program.
NYPD declined to file charges against a motorist who killed a 4-year-old girl on a Brooklyn sidewalk yesterday and left the scene.
Motorists have killed seven children age 14 or under in the first six months of this year, according to crash data tracked by Streetsblog. The last time city drivers killed seven or more children in a single year was 2014 — the first year of the Vision Zero program — when eight kids were fatally struck while walking or biking.
Luz Gonzalez and her mother, 39-year-old Reyna Candia, were walking by a laundromat at 82 Wyckoff Avenue in Bushwick at around 4:30 p.m. when a driver exiting a parking spot ran the child over with a 2018 Nissan Rogue SUV.
Video published by WNBC and News 12 shows Luz standing on the sidewalk before the collision, behind vehicles parked perpendicular to the building. The video shows the motorist backing up out of the spot, then pulling forward, remaining on the sidewalk.
“She told me, ‘Mommy I lost my shoe,’” Candia told the Daily News. “She went back and grabbed the shoe, and I sat down with her to put [it] on, on the sidewalk.”
The driver, identified only as a 38-year-old woman, left Luz and her injured mother on the pavement.
“I saw a car leaving, and I saw the mom moving toward the child,” a witness told the News. “When I saw the mom, the blood on the baby was coming nonstop.”
Luz sustained trauma to her chest and died at Wyckoff Heights Medical Center, where Candia was hospitalized in stable condition.
The News initially reported that the driver was pulled over “a few blocks away” and taken into custody. But by this morning NYPD was making excuses for her, telling the press she “was unaware she’d run over two people.”
According to Autotrader, all 2018 Nissan Rogues are at least equipped with a rearview camera, and more expensive models have cameras and other features that enable drivers to see and detect objects all around the vehicle.
A motorist proceeding with care does not hit two people on a sidewalk and drive away oblivious to the collision. It should be up to the courts to determine whether this driver was criminally culpable for killing Luz and injuring her mom, but true to form, NYPD has decided on its own that she should not be held accountable.
In keeping with his record of disinterest in pursuing justice for hit-and-run victims, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez is MIA.
“She had to know,” said Candia. “I want her to pay, the person who did this, she has to pay.”
Luz Gonzalez was killed in the 83rd Precinct, and in the City Council district represented by Rafael Espinal.