NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — An accident early Tuesday morning in Brooklyn claimed the life of a child.
A 10-year-old girl was killed while simply trying to cross the street. CBS2’s Tara Jakeway has learned she was on her way to school and was hit by a school bus. It was towed away by police, but state and city investigators were still on the scene trying to determine just how something like this could happen.
Police have identified the 10-year-old as Patience Albert.
Investigators said the bus driver, identified as 61-year-old Pedro Colon, has been charged with two counts of failure to yield to a pedestrian and two counts of failure to exercise due care.
Chopper 2 was over the scene at Crescent Street and Wortman Avenue in East New York at around 7 a.m. Police said the child stepped into the crosswalk and was struck by the bus as the driver made a right turn. She was taken to Brookdale University Hospital Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.
Police sources told CBS2 Albert was walking with her brother to a nearby Achievement First charter school. The sibling suffered minor injuries.
Police said the bus did not have any children on board, and the driver stayed at the scene.
By mid-morning, a life-saving device could still be seen on the ground where the child took that last step. Shattered glass and rubber was seen by the bus wheel.
New York City Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza issued the following statement:
“This is devastating, and my heart goes out to the family and school community. We are providing all support necessary during this difficult time. The driver has been suspended pending the outcome of the investigation,” Carranza said.
Added Mayor Bill de Blasio on Twitter: “No family should have to suffer something like this.”
Earlier this morning, a student was struck and killed by a bus while she walked to school in Brooklyn.
She was just ten years old. No family should have to suffer something like this.
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) February 25, 2020
Family members of the victim huddled together as they left the scene with police.
“I don’t have no words. This is really sad. I feel like crying,” co-worker Gady Lysene said.
Lysene is a school bus driver at Quality Transportation. He drives kids at the same time just around the corner, a route he said that takes constant vigilance.
“You got to be really patient, you understand? Really patient, really pay attention,” Lysene said.
Emily Garcia, who lives on the corner, said cars fly through the intersection all day, especially during morning rush hour.
“It’s very bad. They were supposed to put a crossing guard over there or something,” Garcia said.
However, City Council member Inez Barron said she’s now going to make a guard a priority.
“The more we can do to protect children, particularly on their way to school, that’s what we should do,” Barron said.
Neighbor Rizzo Perez said he’s skeptical anything will change, adding that in the nearly 50 years he’s lived on the block traffic has multiplied, but safety measures have not.
“Instead of having a double stop sign they need a red and yellow and green light here because it’s very dangerous,” Perez said.
Meanwhile, Perez bought one white light at the bodega down the street.
“I would like to light a candle for the little girl that was killed,” Perez said.
A small memorial was growing at the corner the 10-year- old walked by every day. Community members stopping by to pay their respects for the girl with the bubbly personality gone to soon.
In a statement, nonprofit Transportation Alternatives said the accident resulted in “the fourth pedestrian killed in the last 48 hours,” and added, “Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for children in New York City and around the world. We know what it takes to prevent these deaths, but our leaders have slow-rolled the cure. Mayor de Blasio says he wants to save our city, but he will fail if he is unable to protect the most vulnerable among us. Mr. Mayor, please: save our children.”