News

Funeral Held For Upper West Side Crash Victim Ariel Russo, 4

An Unlicensed Teen Driver Has Been Charged In Fatal Crash
Ariel Russo (Handout)

Ariel Russo (Handout)

TRI-STATE NEWS HEADLINES

From our newsroom to your inbox weekday mornings at 9AM.
Sign Up

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – A funeral was held for the 4-year-old girl killed by a vehicle with an unlicensed teenage driver.

Ariel Russo and her grandmother were walking on the Upper West Side when they were struck by the SUV that jumped a curb last Tuesday.

Services for the child were held Sunday evening at the Leo F. Kearns funeral home in Queens. A wake was held earlier in the day.

A vigil was held for the little girl Saturday night in front of her apartment building.

The grandmother was treated for her injuries and was in stable condition.

Franklin Reyes, 17, is charged with vehicular manslaughter. He was driving with a learner’s permit.

Reyes’ lawyer told CBS 2 that his client admitted to everything in the accident and places the blame on himself.

Authorities say the teen had taken his parent’s car and was driving erratically when officers tried to stop him. Police were chasing him when he swerved off the road on West 97th Street and Amsterdam Avenue.

Reyes has been charged with manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter, fleeing police and unlicensed driving.

Meantime, FDNY Commissioner Salvatore Cassano said human error is behind the delayed response to the crash scene.

Officials said the call came in to 911 at 8:15:38, it reached fire EMS at 8:15:40, but an ambulance wasn’t dispatched until four minutes later at 8:19:42. It took a total of eight minutes for an ambulance to reach the scene.

An Emergency Medical Services dispatcher may face disciplinary action for the delay.

Officials said there’s no way to know if the four-minute delay would have saved the life of Russo, who was alive when the calls came in.

You May Also Be Interested In These Stories

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)