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Driver Who Cops Say Killed Queens Boy is Still on the Road After Not Guilty Plea

A killer driver was not asked to surrender his license.

The man who cops say killed an 8-year-old boy is still a driver, even as he’s prosecuted by Queens DA Melinda Katz (inset).

The pickup truck owner with the long record of unlicensed driving who was arrested for fatally striking an 8-year-old boy last week after speeding recklessly through a Queens intersection was neither asked, nor required, to surrender his driver's license at his arraignment — and may be driving to get to his court-ordered weekly check-ins.

Jose Barcia pleaded not guilty last week to a charge of criminally negligent homicide that he faced after cops said he sped through the intersection of 31st Avenue and 100th Street and struck 8-year-old Bayron Palomino Arroyo, killing him and injuring his 10-year-old brother.

At the arraignment, Barcia was released and ordered to check in with a court-appointed supervisor once a week. According to the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice, "the exclusive purpose of supervised release remains helping to ensure a person’s return to court."

But Barcia lives in far eastern Queens, according to police, far from the closest check-in location, which is difficult to access by public transit. A spokesperson for the Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said that neither the judge nor prosecutors sought to have Barcia surrender his driver's license as a condition of his conditional release.

"His license is still valid at this time," the spokesperson said.

One lawyer who works with crash victims thought that Barcia should have had his driving privileges revoked.

"Under the circumstances ... it would be reasonable for the DA to insist that as a condition for his release that he not drive and/or turn over his driver’s license," said lawyer Adam White.

Taking away Barcia's license might not have the desired effect of getting him off the road; on four previous occasions, all in Queens, Barcia was arrested for driving without a license. In the two most-recent occurrences — both in 2010 — he pleaded guilty and paid a small fine.

The Department of Motor Vehicles did not respond to multiple requests for comment. Barcia's lawyer did not respond.

The killing of Bayron has galvinized Queens residents to action. On Friday, state Sen. Jessica Ramos and Families for Safe Streets will lead what is being billed as an "emergency" rally for safety, citing four road deaths last week in the borough.

"More than half of the children killed in the last two years were killed in Queens, the group said in a statement. "Flushing, one of Queens most bustling neighborhoods, has seen the most pedestrian fatalities in the last decade of anywhere in New York City."

A picture of Bayron Palomino Arroyo appears on a makeshift memorial in Queens.

At a rally last week in support of a state law to allow New York City to lower its speed limits, Ramos blamed the bloodshed on "reckless drivers who refuse to yield to pedestrians."

“It is not right," she added. "Every single person who has a driver’s license in the State of New York should acknowledge that driving is a privilege that can, and should be, taken away from you if you cannot be an exemplary driver."

She also argued that the Adams administrated had "desecrated" the mission of Vision Zero.

“We need to get serious about pedestrian safety in the city of New York," she added.

Total road fatalities are up 20 percent this year, with 48 people killed on the roads between Jan. 1 and March 10, according to the NYPD.

For more information on Friday's "emergency" march, click here.

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