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Brooklyn Child Dies of Wounds Caused by Driver

Every dot in this photo represents a crash in 2019 in Midwood, a tiny neighborhood with roughly five crashes per day. Photo: Crashmapper

A 5-year-old boy has died from injuries sustained earlier this month as he was reportedly walking home from school — the latest horrifying death of a student in a city where roads near schools are far more dangerous during the morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up.

Jesse Coburn's investigation on school streets.
Jesse Coburn's investigation on school streets revealed the shame of the city. Click on the image to read it.
Jesse Coburn's investigation on school streets. Click to read.

Police said on Tuesday that Yaakov Farhi had died from the severe body trauma he suffered on Feb. 9 at around 2:55 p.m. when a neighbor ran over him with her BMW as she drove into her driveway, either unable to see the boy or driving without exercising the legally required due care.

The NYPD said that there had been no charges against the driver, who was not identified except as a 49-year-old woman who lived a few doors down from Yaakov's house on E. 12th Street in the dangerous Midwood section of Brooklyn.

Yaakov was not a student at PS 199 which is a block away from the fatal crash site. But a recent Streetsblog investigation found there had been 21 crashes, injuring four people, within just a 250-foot radius of the school. That same story reported that on school days, streets near schools are far more dangerous on average than other city streets. During the 8 a.m. hour, for example, there are 57 percent more crashes and 25 percent more injuries per mile on streets near schools than on the city’s other streets. There is also a sizable disparity in the afternoon pick-up hours.

This disparity largely disappears on days when schools are closed, as the charts below show:

schools_sd_crashes_new1
Chart: Streetsblog using city data
schools_nsd_crashes_new1

The story also reported that drivers have killed at least 24 children heading to or from school on foot or bike in New York City in the past decade, according to news reports. Before Yaakov, the most recent was on May 4 in the Bronx. Yaakov would be the 25th.

Police gave no details about the crash that killed Yaakov, except to say that the driver had been entering her driveway when she hit the boy. The Daily News, quoting an anonymous neighbor, reported that Yaakov had ran ahead from his mom and fallen in the driveway. A photograph from that day in February shows the car with a Florida plate — which came up clean in city records.

Despite having no highways running through it, Midwood's crash and injury numbers are high. In just the two-square-mile low-rise neighborhood, there were 800 reported crashes last year (more than two per day), injuring 44 cyclists, 80 pedestrians and 264 motorists, killing one walker. There are likely hundreds more unreported crashes since the NYPD decided in 2020 to stop responding to non-injury crashes.

In 2019, there were 1,776 reported crashes (nearly five per day), according to city stats, injuring 47 cyclists, 138 pedestrians and 381 motorists, killing a cyclist and a pedestrian.

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