NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A 10-year-old boy was struck and killed by a New York City Department of Sanitation truck while crossing the street with his mother this morning in Queens.
Witnesses told CBS2 the truck was pulling out of driveway around 7 a.m. near 57th Avenue and 97th Street in the Corona neighborhood when it hit them.READ MORE: New York Weather: CBS2’s 10/28 Thursday Morning Forecast
“They were crossing the street, trying to cross. Probably they didn’t see them, because the truck was too high,” said Chris Ali, who works nearby.
Another witness said he was in the crosswalk with the family and yelled at the truck to slow down.
“He says, you’re going to hit her, you’re going to hit her, and he hit her. And that’s when he stopped and saw everything and he called 911,” the witness said through a translator. “He says the driver was by himself. He says if he would’ve had another person in him with the truck, he probably would have saw them.”
The rear tire hit the 40-year-old mother and her son, severing the woman’s leg and leaving tracks on the boy’s chest, CBS2’s Christina Fan reported. She is in critical condition.
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“She was trying to reach out for the baby, but she couldn’t because the leg was broken,” said the second witness. “Everybody was shocked looking at the kid, because he was not responding.”
The child has been identified as Shree Panthee, of Queens.
The 40-year-old sanitation worker stayed on the scene, looking shaken and emotional. No charges have been filed, but Mayor Bill de Blasio said the driver was suspended, pending the results of the investigation.
City councilmembers visited the crash site to renew calls for pedestrian safety. They also say multiple drives leading into the intersection have too many blindspots.
“Which makes it very difficult for the drivers that are coming out and the pedestrians that are walking on the sidewalk to actually be able to move in a safe direction,” councilmember Francisco Moya said.
Heartbreaking news out of Queens.
We’ve lost a child after a crash involving a Sanitation vehicle. His mother is in stable condition. An investigation is underway. The driver has been suspended pending the results.
Please keep this family in your thoughts today. https://t.co/B1KYGV2uBt
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) January 7, 2020
Absolutely devastating and more evidence that our streets are not safe. My deepest condolences and prayers to this family. https://t.co/Pd8C31MXGi
— NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson (@NYCSpeakerCoJo) January 7, 2020
I cannot begin to comprehend the pain the boy's mother and family must be going through.
Last year we saw an overwhelming amount of pedestrian and cyclists deaths in NYC. A large amount of those crashes involved trucks. Enough is enough, we must act now.https://t.co/Q6ADcyDZsD
— Ydanis Rodriguez (@ydanis) January 7, 2020
A vigil for Shree was held Tuesday evening.
“This really is becoming an epidemic and when we have tragedies like this, we mourn not just as a community but as a city,” Moya said.MORE NEWS: FDNY Planning Big Anti-COVID Vaccine Mandate Demonstration For Thursday Morning Outside Gracie Mansion
A spokesperson with the department of sanitation told CBS2 they take the tragedy extremely seriously and the collision is currently under investigation.