NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The mother of a boy killed while riding his bike in Brooklyn made a plea for safer streets Sunday.
As CBS2’s Dave Carlin reported, she was at a vigil where politicians called on the city and state to enact tougher laws and steeper fines.
Police say an oil truck slammed into 13-year-old Kevin Flores near the corner of Lewis and Jefferson avenues in Bedford-Stuyvesant Friday night.
At the vigil, Kevin’s relatives said he loved the freedom he gained by bike riding.
“The bike was part of him and so was art,” said Kevin’s sister, Aileen Angel Flores.
Aileen was at a Sunday sidewalk vigil as emotional support for her heartbroken, pregnant mother Margarita — losing a child while she has another one on the way.
Margarita did not have any tears left, she said, about the fatal crash that took her son.
As police continued to investigate, the driver has been charged officially as an aggravated unlicensed operator.
“This driver was an unlicensed driver,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.
Adams said Philip Monfoletto, 28, has a history of license suspensions. Adams said Monfoletto must have known he did not belong behind the wheel.
“This was a senseless act that should not have happened and could have been prevented,” Adams said.
Some in the community are calling for tougher penalties – not just for unlicensed drivers, but for the business owners who hire them.
“We’re calling for criminal charges to be charged to any owner of a company,” Adams said.
Adams wants a new city law to punish the owners, and from the state, he wants much steeper fines for the drivers than the current $450 for a first offense.
“I just want drivers to be cautious of people crossing the street,” Aileen said.
Kevin’s sister and other family members made their private pain public out of a desire to make the streets safer.
Monfoletto, of Deer Park, Long Island, was arraigned and released Saturday n $25,000 bail.