YAPHANK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Police are looking for a hit-and-run driver who struck and killed a 7-year-old boy on Sunday night on the Sunrise Highway in Suffolk County.
Orange markings showed the location of impact, where the boy was thrown to his death at around 10:15 p.m. on an unlit stretch of the road, CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported Monday.READ MORE: New Yorkers Reflect & Look Forward On World AIDS Day
The driver kept on going. Others had called 911 when they saw the child walking on the highway.
Steps away in the Mastic neighborhood where young Sadq Aljomi wandered from his home, there was, sadly, little surprise.
“This is not the first time,” neighbor Reba Davis said.
“It has happened again and, unfortunately, this time is uncorrectable,” William Wallace added.
Neighbors said the boy, who had autism, wandered repeatedly. Just last month he also made his way several blocks for his home to a cut-through in the woods and onto the highway.
“A neighborhood child is hit and could have been prevented and now he’s gone,” xxxxx said.
“How does a child walk out of a house at 10 o’clock at night and nobody notices?” wondered Angel Castillo.READ MORE: Crowds Flock To Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting: 'Always Been Magical'
Neighbors said the boy was non-verbal, and along with his older siblings were often inappropriately dressed.
“They ride bikes shoeless. They walk shoeless. The youngest one is sometimes naked,” xxxxx said.
There was no immediate response from the child’s family. Nobody answered the door on Monday.
The cut-through has long been a local concern, giving children dangerous access to a four-lane highway.
And now, the search is on for the hit-and-run driver.
“You don’t have enough guts to stop and find out what you did? You murdered a little kid,” neighbor Thomas Zege said.
Suffolk County police are investigating how the child got out of the house. They said the family is distraught and cooperating.
“At this time, we are investigating all aspects. That includes a history and includes a timeline. I do know there were previous 911 calls,” Det. Lt. Scott Welshimer said.MORE NEWS: Jacqueline Avant, Wife Of Music Executive Clarence Avant, Found Shot To Death In Beverly Hills Home Invasion
The fleeing vehicle was headed east and struck the child a mile east of William Floyd Parkway. Police are asking witnesses to reach out.