NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The New York City Department of Buildings on Friday ordered a Brooklyn laundromat to remove an illegal parking lot where a young girl was fatally struck by a vehicle last month.
A memorial continued to grow in Bushwick where four-year-old Luz Gonzalez was hit and killed by an SUV attempting to leave Clean City Laundry the afternoon of June 24.
Gruesome surveillance video shows the final moments of little Luz’s life. The child was on her scooter on the sidewalk between the laundromat’s private parking spaces and Hart Street when it appears the child’s shoe fell off.
Her mother is seen bending down to put it back on when they were both struck by a black SUV. Police say the woman driving the vehicle was backing out of a laundromat parking spot and didn’t see the child or her mother.
Luz was pronounced dead at the scene. Police say the woman drove off but officers caught up with her two blocks away. Officials didn’t charge her with a crime.
“I watched her grow up,” upstairs neighbor Andre Scholz told CBS2’s Dave Carlin. “So it is like losing family.”
Residents say they’ve complained about the parking lot before because cars have no driveway across to the street, forcing people to drive perilously onto the sidewalk to park.
“Why it takes the death of a child to do something?” said Scholz.
State Assemblywoman Maritza Davila says this must serve as a citywide wake-up call to property owners and city inspectors that illegal lots and spaces will not be tolerated.
“The city needs to do better,” she said. “We need to see the action.”
The DOB called for the immediate removal of the parking lot, which the NYPD has already blocked off. Fines will be imposed if the owner does not paint over the spaces and put up permanent barriers.