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Update: Driver Charged After Killing 10-Year-Old Girl Near South Williamsburg Playground

The 62-year-old driver struck and killed the youngster at the intersection of Wallabout Street and Wythe Avenue.

Photo: WPIX11|

PIX11 ran this photo of the crash scene, but it is unclear if this car was involved or merely responding.

A driver struck and killed a 10-year-old girl in Williamsburg this afternoon — the second child to die since the start of the 2023-24 school year — and was later charged with running a red light, cops said.

According to police, 62-year-old Issac Karczag struck and killed the youngster, Yitty Wertzberger, at around 2:45 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon on dangerous Wallabout Street. Karczag had been driving his 2022 Buick Enclave SUV westbound on Wallabout when he "did cross the solid double yellow lines into the eastbound traffic making the left turn onto southbound Franklin Avenue and struck [the girl] in the marked crosswalk."

That roadway is often choked with cars, and drivers often make the move that Karczag allegedly made:

Cops say the driver went into the oncoming lanes to make his illegal left turn.Photo: Google

Karczag remained on the scene, but was later charged with the minor violations of failure to yield, failure to obey a traffic device (the red light) and failure to exercise due care.

A number of schools converge around the area where the crash occurred, including a girls school to the south at Franklin and Flushing avenues and a boys school to the north on Rutledge Street and Wythe Avenue. Classon Playground sits two blocks to the west of the intersection.

Nearby entrances and exits to and from the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway to the north and west of the intersection make the area a traffic mess. The three small portions of roadway where Wythe, Wallabout and Haywood converge has been the site of 42 reported crashes that injured four cyclists, nien pedestrians and three drivers between 2019 and 2023, according to city stats.

Yitty's death comes months after NYPD tow truck driver Stephanie Sharp struck and killed 7-year-old Kamari Hughes as the boy walked to school with his mother in Fort Greene. In the aftermath of the crash, parents and other New Yorkers demanded Mayor Adams take children's street safety more seriously by reinstating school crossing guard positions eliminated during budget cuts, banning parking around intersections — a process known as daylighting — and other interventions.

Adams subseqently since committed to daylighting 1,000 intersections in 2024, a pace that amounts to 50 years to daylight every intersection in the city.

Council Member Lincoln Restler, who represents the area of Williamsburg where Tuesday's crash occurred, tweeted his condolences.

"My heart breaks for her family and loved ones," Restler posted.

The city can and should do better than leaving the area alone, said one neighborhood street safety activist.

"Community members have been calling for a safer street on Wythe for decades. Our neighbor Sarah Pitts was killed blocks away on Wythe in 2020," said Brent Bovenzi, the co-chair of the North Brooklyn Transportation Alternatives Volunteer Committee.

"South Williamsburg has a higher number of children and senior citizens than the city and North Brooklyn as a whole. We must have greater safety for our most vulnerable New Yorkers. The city already has the tools to make our intersections safer, we just need the political will to do it."

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