West 97th Street between Amsterdam Avenue and Broadway was renamed “Ariel Russo Place” on Monday.
The girl died after an SUV jumped a curb on Amsterdam Avenue while the she was walking to school with her grandmother last June.
Authorities said the driver of the SUV, 17-year-old Franklin Reyes, had only a learner’s permit and was being chased by police just prior to the crash. He has been charged with manslaughter and is awaiting trial.
Monday would have been Ariel‘s fifth birthday.
“She would’ve had a ballerina-themed birthday party,” Ariel’s mother, Sofia Russo, said.
Sofia Russo said the street sign illuminates the corner where tragedy happened.
“It represents Ariel and the change that she made and the fact that every single child is here to make a difference,” Russo said.
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