NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The heartbroken parents of a little girl mowed down by a driver in New York City are speaking out after learning the driver’s tickets have been dismissed.
Last year, the driver of an SUV hit and killed 3-year-old Allison Liao while she crossed the street with her grandmother in Flushing, Queens. The moment of impact was caught on dashcam surveillance video.
“And then to find out those two measly tickets, those two tiny little consequences were dropped,”Allison’s mother Amy Liao told CBS2’s Steve Langford. “Reckless driving needs to be a crime.”
The driver stayed at the scene and received two traffic tickets, but a judge at the DMV dismissed them in July — something Allison’s grieving parents only just learned about in recent days.
“We’re one of the involved parties, you would think that we should be invited to the hearing,” Amy Liao said.
The family considered the tickets — citations for failing to use due care and failing to yield to a pedestrian — a slap on the wrist.
“You initially would think that if someone kills your child or a family member, the driver should have some kind of additional consequences — at least maybe suspension,” Allison’s father Hsi-Pei Liao said.
Allison’s parents believe the video and others show there is no doubt the driver of the SUV was reckless and negligent.
“Our daughter died. Our world is upside down and spinning,” Amy Liao said.
Even if the driver had been found guilty on the citations, the maximum penalty would have been a $150 fine for each ticket, Langford reported.
Langford went to an address for the driver, Ahmad Abu-Zayedeha, but the doorman said he was not taking visitors.
“This slap on the wrist couldn’t even hold,” Rep. Grace Meng said.
Now, Meng wants answers from the DMV on why the tickets were dismissed.
“We want to know if the judge saw the video. We want to know why the charges were dismissed,” she said.
“We’re beyond infuriated. We’re outraged,” Amy Liao said.
The Liaos have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Abu-Zayedeha.
In a statement to CBS2 on Friday, the DMV said a special safety hearing is set for Jan. 6, 2015, which will decide if action can be taken against the driver’s licence.
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