Update: Jeep Driver Kills 1-Year-Old on Staten Island and Is Later Charged

File photo: Dave Colon
File photo: Dave Colon

A 1-year-old baby is dead after the driver of a Jeep struck him and his mother as they crossed a Staten Island street in the crosswalk on Thursday morning, said cops, who later charged the driver with failure to yield, a minor charge.

The NYPD provided very limited initial information about the crash, but by evening said that 40-year-old Shannon Cocozza struck a 31-year-old woman and her 1-year-old daughter, Lian Mashni, as they were crossing Abbott Street at Scarboro Avenue at about 7 a.m.

The driver stayed on the scene, according to the NYPD, but was later charged with failure to yield and failure to exercise due care for the reckless driving, which was caught on a neighbor’s surveillance camera and obtained by the Post. It’s the latest death of a small child in the hours of the day when roadways are most dangerous, according to a recent Streetsblog investigation.

Both victims were taken to Staten Island University North Hospital, where the baby died. The mother is in stable condition, police said.

News of the crash spread quickly at a rally in City Hall Park on Thursday to urge the City Council to send a message to Albany in support of a state bill that would keep speed cameras on 24 hours a day, seven days a week instead of the current 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays only.

Transportation Alternatives Executive Director Danny Harris broke the news to the crowd, which included members of Families for Safe Streets, all of whom have suffered personal loss due to road violence.

“It’s impossible to believe that we go from celebrating the expansion of speed cameras immediately to mourning another death on our streets, Harris said.

After the rally, seven members of the Council voted against a resolution calling on Albany lawmakers to extend and reauthorize he city’s speed cameras.

Later, Transportation Alternatives put out a statement calling for New York State to mimic a new initiative in Washington, D.C. to charge significantly higher registration fees to the owners of large cars.

Number of 18 and Under Traffic Fatalities by May 26
Chart: Transportation Alternatives

“This crash could have been prevented by discouraging SUV and light-truck ownership in New York City, as these oversized vehicles have extremely limited visibility and are as much as three times more likely to kill a pedestrian, as compared to a sedan,” the group said in a statement. “To discourage SUV and light-truck ownership, Gov. Hochul and the legislature must convert New York City’s vehicle-use taxes for passengers to a weight-based system, consistent with the majority of counties in the state and as recently advanced by Washington, D.C., reflecting the greater impact of heavier cars on road surfaces, carbon emissions, as well as outsize crash fatality rates.”

The group also said that today’s victim is the 10th person under 18 to be killed in a crash this year.

— with Gersh Kuntzman

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