NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Road conditions may have contributed to a crash that left a 3-year-old girl dead and three adult family members hurt Saturday morning in the Bronx, police say.
Police said the silver 2010 Chevrolet Malibu the family was traveling in swerved to avoid a raised metal sewer cap on a stretch of Bruckner Boulevard shortly after 10 a.m. The freshly milled road is uneven and bumpy, CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported.
A privately owned sanitation truck slammed into the car, police said.
The four people inside the car, including 3-year-old Sophia Aguirre, were rushed to Lincoln Medical Center where the little girl was pronounced dead a short while later.
“He couldn’t stop. He couldn’t stop,” witness Ana Trinidad told Carlin. “That’s where the truck landed on top of her. We couldn’t even see that she was there. When we got the mom out, she screamed that the daughter was in there.”
“We helped and we got the woman out, but the little girl was squeezed. There was no way,” Trinidad continued.
Witnesses said they heard the mother say the family was on the way to a dance class for the girl, and her grandparents were also in the car.
Another witness told WCBS 880’s Mike Smeltz he was part of the large group that tried to get into the car to save the girl’s life.
“It was like 20 people trying to get everyone out,” he said. “But unfortunately on the right side, the girl… it was not possible to get them out.”
The adult victims were hospitalized in stable condition with minor injuries, according to police.
The little girl was properly seated in a child car seat at the time of the collision, police said.
According to the city Department of Transportation, there is a lag between the milling and final paving of roads to give other city agencies time to complete their work.
AAA Northeast told CBS2 drivers should take it slowly when traversing a milled road. If hitting a pothole or raised section is unavoidable, the best way to do it is slowly and with properly inflated tires.
Some people in the area of the crash demand the investigation focus on whether recent road construction there contributed to the tragedy, Carlin reported.
“Very terrible out here on the Bruckner Boulevard. Man, these potholes are so deep, you literately have to swerve them around,” Soundview resident Joel Ruiz said. ‘If I were to hit a pothole on this bike, same consequences.”
The driver of the garbage truck remained at the scene and no criminality is suspected, according to police.