NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — The grieving family of a teenager killed while crossing the street in front of her Long Island home, had a sobering message; slow down.
As CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported, pedestrian deaths on the Island are on the rise.
Four doors away from her Elmont home Amaya George, 19, was struck by a car and killed on Tuesday, while walking home from work after earning college money.
Her devastated aunt was inconsolable.
“I’m listening to the sirens outside, not realizing that’s my baby out there,” Tonjah George said.
George raised Amaya after her mother died. The fatal crash took place on her street, Dutch Broadway in Elmont.
“It’s a raceway. I’ve seen cars outside the elementary school line up and take off,” she said, “It is getting worse, it’s dramatically increased.”
The President of the Elmont Civic Association was also hit by a car while walking his dog. He blamed drivers frustrated with traffic and distractions everywhere.
“People are texting and driving, they’re on cell phones, there are very distracted drivers on our streets and they’re driving at a very high rate of speed,” Patrick Nicolosi said.
The problem is not unique to Elmont.
Pedestrian deaths on Long Island, among the highest in the state, are on the rise.
According to the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, Long Island pedestrian fatalities are up 40 percent in the last eight years.
“It’s the road design. Long Island was designed as a community for drivers. Today that road design is no longer adequate. We are seeing people walking around more,” Veronica Vanterpool, Executive Director, Tri-State Transportation Campaign, said.
Amaya’s heartbroken aunt has been left pleading for more police enforcement of the speed limit.
“Everybody is in a rush to get nowhere. Somebody’s child is dead because we are rushing, rushing,” she said.
The driver who hit Amaya has not been charged with a crime, she declined comment. Amaya’s aunt said she hopes her loss can at least serve as a lesson for others.
Nassau police said they have issued 407 moving violations so far this year on Dutch Broadway in Elmont, that’s more than all of last year.