MONSEY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A mother and her three children were struck by a car across from a busy shopping center in Rockland County Monday afternoon.
Late Monday, the man behind the wheel was arrested and charged in connection to the violent collision.
The Ramapo Police Department’s Accident Investigation unit examined the scene along Route 59 between Robert Pitt Drive and Kennedy Drive in Monsey for several hours Monday, after authorities say a vehicle collided with the four pedestrians near the busy Town Square shopping center around 3 p.m.
Investigators say the 38-year-old mother and her kids — two girls ages 13 and 9 and a 3-month old boy in a stroller — were all walking along the westbound shoulder of the roadway when they were hit by a gold colored Toyota Corolla sedan driven by 62-year-old Albert Gomez, of Spring Valley. There are no sidewalks along the stretch of road where the violent collision occurred.
Police believe Gomez may have been using the shoulder of the road to try and pass another car.
“This is unsafe, we don’t have sidewalks, even where we’re standing right now there’s no sidewalks,” county legislator Aron Weider said, adding it’s a concern that’s been raised before in the heavily trafficked area.
“Why do we have government if not to respond to the people they serve,” he said. “We have written to the state and we have talked about sidewalks, crosswalks, and infrastructure for this location. This is what happened.”
All four victims remain at Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla in serious condition. Police say Gomez was alone a the time of the accident and was uninjured.
Richard Maloor was working nearby and described the chaotic scene.
“I heard the screeching, someone was lying down on the floor right before police arrived then it was a crazy scene,” he told CBS2’s Brian Conybeare. “Ambulances in all directions, a frightening scene.”
Maloor says the area is in desperate need of increased safety measures.
“I witnessed a car driving erratically, and had hit the pedestrians on the side of the road,” said Joel Rabinowitz, who was driving down Route 59 in Monsey at the time and witnessed the whole accident. “One of the girls was face down on the ground, with her head bleeding – her face was bleeding. The baby was – I couldn’t even recognize the baby. And the baby carriage was turned over.”
The stretch of Route 59 reopened just before 10 p.m. Monday, more than six hours after the violent crash occurred.
As CBS2’s Valerie Castro reported, Gomez is charged with assault, reckless endangerment, and reckless driving, and is being held in Rockland County Jail in lieu of $150,000 bail.
The accident remains under investigation.