A 61-year-old man was arrested after striking and killing a 3-year-old boy in a crosswalk in Bath Beach, police said.
Driver Johnny Gonzalez — whose vehicle was emblazoned with advertisements for Skittles and Starburst candies — struck the boy at around 12:45 p.m. while turning right onto Benson Avenue off of Bay 25th Street.
News reports said the boy, Emur Shavkator of Bath Beach, was riding a Razor scooter and accompanied by his mother, who also sustained injuries, at the moment of impact.
The mother, whose name was not released, attempted to pull her son out from under the vehicle, and started screaming when she realized he was unconscious, witnesses told ABC New York.
“The poor woman was in more agony I think than anyone I have ever experienced suffering in my life ever before,” said David Mignano.
Just received word from the NYPD that the child, three years old, was pronounced dead at the hospital. The investigation is ongoing.
Please pray for the family who is now suffering unspeakable tragedy from this horrific incident. https://t.co/sTdE6joR7C
— Andrew Gounardes (@agounardes) May 2, 2019
Shavkator and another person, believed to be the mom, were rushed to Coney Island Hospital, where the boy died.
Police charged Gonzalez with failure to yield to a pedestrian and failure to exercise due care.
The truck is registered in New Jersey, but has still racked up plenty of violations in New York, according to the Howsmydrivingny.nyc database. In all, there are 15 tickets on the truck, dating back to 2013, including two speeding tickets and one red-light ticket.
Since 2013, there have been 452 crashes, causing 139 injures and now five pedestrian or cyclist deaths on just the one-mile stretch of Benson Avenue from 20th to Stillwell avenues.
Parking and camera violation tickets for #NJ_XT966U, cont'd:
1 | Failure To Stop At Red Light
1 | Expired Meter
1 | No Parking – Day/Time Limits
— How's My Driving NY (@HowsMyDrivingNY) May 2, 2019
Mayor de Blasio shared his condolences on Twitter, ending with a pledge that he “won’t rest until our streets are safe for every child.”
It will be a long period of sleeplessness for the mayor. Overall, road fatalities are up 30 percent so far this year compared to the same period last year, police statistics show.
Tragic news out of Bath Beach. I can't imagine the grief of this young child's family today. @NYCFirstLady and I offer our deepest condolences.
The driver has been arrested and is in police custody. We won’t rest until our streets are safe for every child. https://t.co/y7OqX3Y5jI
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) May 2, 2019
The mayor, of course, was later trolled on Twitter.
Yet you refuse to #FixQueensBoulevard over a homeless shelter. Your NYPD persecutes immigrant ebike deliverymen without any factual basis. And the bike lane network is still garbage. This could've been my child. You have no empathy for us, only drivers.
— JarekFA (@JarekFA) May 2, 2019
Candy Truck Driver Kills Three-Year-Old Emur Shavkator in Bath Beach