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Driver who fatally crashed into girl then fled Bushwick scene will likely walk, cops say

The next day: Locals on Monday gathered outside the the Clean City Laundry Center at the intersection of Hart Street and Wyckoff Avenue in Bushwick, where a driver on Sunday fatally ran over a young girl while pulling out of a parking space, then fled the scene.
Brooklyn Paper
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A driver fatally hit a 4-year-old while pulling out of a Bushwick laundromat’s parking lot on Sunday then fled the scene, but cops, who caught up with the motorist about a block away from the deadly hit-and-run, likely will not arrest her, a spokesman said.

“There are no arrests, there likely will not be, because there’s no evidence or probable cause to arrest her,” Police Department spokesman Sergeant Jones said on Monday afternoon. “No one is in custody.”

Youngster Luz Gonzalez was aboard her scooter at 4:30 pm when she and her mother passed the Clean City Laundry Center at the corner of Hart Street and Wyckoff Avenue, whose parking lot allows motorists to park perpendicularly to Hart Street, and requires them to drive on the sidewalk to enter and leave its spots.

And as the mom stopped to bend down and tie Gonzalez’s shoe on the sidewalk along Hart Street, the woman behind the wheel of a 2018 Nissan Rogue sport-utility vehicle — a model likely equipped with rearview cameras, according to a Streetsblog report — reversed out of a parking space onto the sidewalk, then turned to drive onto Hart Street, accelerating into the mother and toddler, according to authorities and video footage of the incident this newspaper obtained from cameras at a Wyckoff Avenue grocery store opposite the laundromat.

The video shows the motorist’s car noticeably bounce up and down as she ran over the child before driving away from the scene on Hart Street, where an officer stopped her minutes later between Irving and Knickerbocker avenues, according to Jones, who could not say whether police interviewed the driver while she was behind the wheel, or after taking her to the local station house, before they let her go.

Paramedics rushed Gonzalez and her mom to Wyckoff Hospital, where doctors pronounced the girl dead, and treated the mother for cuts to her left leg, authorities said.

A separate Police Department spokeswoman explained the driver smashed into the mom and daughter because she could not see them.

“The female was tieing the 4-year-old’s shoes. At that same instance, the driver was pulling out of the parking area and didn’t see them — they were both bending down so it was like a blind spot,” said Cadet Diaz.

When asked if prosecutors would charge the driver for the fatal hit-and-run — a felony according to state law — of if they saw the footage of the collision, a spokesman for the district attorney declined to comment, except to say the crash is under investigation.

Earlier this year, prosecutors declined to charge an unlicensed garbage-truck driver for hitting and killing a cyclist in Greenpoint last July, claiming the trucker didn’t know he ran over someone — an excuse many safe-street advocates called a bogus claim drivers use to get off the hook.

And the motorist isn’t the only one being investigated following the deadly incident — the laundromat’s parking lot may not be legal, according to a Department of Buildings spokesman, who said the agency sent inspectors to look into the store’s potentially illicit spots on Monday after two locals filed complaints about them earlier that day.

— with Ben Verde

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
In memoriam: Mourners created a tribute to youngster Luz Gonzalez in the parking lot, steps from where the hit-and-run driver fatally struck her.
Updated 5:41 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Bkbirddog from Brooklyn Heights says:
The driver didn't back into these people, she fully drove over them going forward and carried on her way. She was facing them, so I don't see how blind spot comes into this at all. Horrifying and awful, my condolences to this family. That driver should be locked up.
June 25, 5:36 pm
Shelby from Bk says:
And yet she will never walk again
June 25, 6:45 pm
Jason from LES says:
The NYPD cops and DA's responsible for allowing deranged killers like this off scot free to get back behind the wheel and kill more kids deserve to be killed by traffic themselves. Next time a cop or DA is killed in such a manner, never lose sight of the fact that they're just getting exactly what they deserve.
June 25, 7:03 pm
Vision Zero from Zero Vision says:
WTF?!?!
Are you kidding me?
This person needs to be taken out of society.
June 25, 8:33 pm
M to the I from Park Slope says:
This woman was full on driving down the sidewalk. That is not legal! Why are cops always looking to proclaim innocence for drivers who kill people? How do they know she couldn't see them? Did they reenact the scene or are they just taking the drivers word for it? Why would they comment like that before the investigation is completed?
June 25, 9:04 pm
d from brooklyn says:
Absurd that the perpetrator isn't in custody. People freak out about the 'danger' of bikes and yet drivers regularly kill people with impunity. Shameful.
June 25, 10:41 pm
Jim from Cobble Hill says:
Driving ON the sidewalk killing a little girl and no charges? Driver must be related to a cop.
June 26, 6:30 am
Zaxby from Red Hook says:
the 2018 Nissan Rogue has a back up cam. There are no blind spots, just dumb ass people. LOCK HER UP.
June 26, 7:41 am
bkmanposeur from Nubrucklyn says:
And somehow the cyclist is to blame.
June 26, 7:54 am
Rob from NY says:
No charges for not exercising due care??? No removal of drivers license? Our laws and enforcement agencies are screwed up.
June 26, 9:36 am
Rob from NY says:
Have the cops subpeona'd the driver's cell phone?
June 26, 9:37 am
Joe Bloe from Bensonhurst says:
The laundromat should be charged with reckless endangerment for allowing an illegal parking lot on sidewalk resulting in death.
June 26, 11:08 am
Janet from Bushwick says:
I've had cars nearly hit me, there would be CCTV footage of that too! She went forward probably looking down at her phone! I'm a citizen and i will help fight for that poor girl who died too soon!
June 26, 6:34 pm
Josh from Manhattan says:
All of the news reports said she backed up into them. This video shows clearly that she drove straight over them. Both sets of tires went over that poor girl, front first. A backup camera is useless. The driver had a front windshield to look through. The Rogue is not even that big of an SUV. There is no reason she should have missed her. This is horrible. My heart goes out to that poor family.
June 26, 7:12 pm
Cathy from Queens says:
My thoughts and Prayers are with Luz's family and friends, especially her Mother. No parent should have to face the loss of a child. It is horrible. All articles I read claim the driver backed over the mother and little girl. This video shows She ran them over. There is absolutely NO way this driver didn't realize she hit someone / or something. And why hasn't the driver's name been released? Is she related to someone high up in the NYPD or City Government? At the very least the driver should be charged with Reckless Driving and Leaving the scene of an accident.
June 26, 8:54 pm
Joe Bloe from Bensonhurst says:
Absolutely the driver should be charged and let the courts decide if she in fact did not see the child. That is a defense that needs to be proven one way or another. The PD and or DA time and time again allows drivers to provide a defense of 'i did not know/see' without having to prove it ! If someone is legally hunting for deer, and shoots a human to death, one would have to PROVE that defense in court. Why is driving different ? I think every licensed driver knows that by driving on the sidewalk is reckless and dangerous, why the PD or DA ignores that fact is a mystery.
June 27, 10:41 am
David from Cobble Hill says:
sport-utility vehicle
June 27, 4:57 pm
El diablo from Wyckoff heights says:
Y ahora hay un contingente de mujeres en su mayoría, que aparentemente no tienen nada que hacer, que pasan el rato frente al monumento tratando de incitar. Hubo una mujer de relaciones públicas llamada María que es un verdadero premio. Ella dice saber hasta el último detalle de lo que sucedió. La otra, en su mayoría mujeres de CA, se paran y bromean y están de acuerdo. Cometí el error de preguntar exactamente qué pasó y me encontré con el racismo absoluto. Por lo tanto, ofc es estándar entre los nuevos inmigrantes de California. Es su arma para cerrar la discusión. Me gustaría saber, a pesar del mencionado contingente de racistas ociosos y subempleados, qué sucedió. He visto y dicho muchas cosas a muchos padres hispanos sobre la manera libre que les permite a sus hijos deambular desatendidos a la calle o a cualquier lugar que normalmente, una mano debe estar en manos del adulto del niño. Esta lógica se encuentra con el racriol racista que solo estas personas parecen poder ventilar a quien sea. Esto es repugnante y, en mi opinión, la policía necesita limpiar a estos alborotadores. ¡Con la ayuda de ICE, si es necesario!
June 27, 5:21 pm
El diablo from Wyckoff heights says:
It is reported that the driver IS and has been in custody (data checks, please!) And now there is a contingent of mostly women, who apparently have nothing to do, who hang out in front of the monument trying to incite . There was a public relations woman named Maria who is a real prize. She says she knows every last detail of what happened. The other, mostly CA women, stop and joke and agree. I made the mistake of asking exactly what happened and I found absolute racism. Therefore, ofc is standard among new immigrants from California. It is your weapon to close the discussion. I would like to know, despite the aforementioned contingent of idle and underemployed racists, what happened. I have seen and said many things to many Hispanic parents about the free way that allows their children to wander unattended to the street or to any place that normally, a hand should be in the hands of the child's adult. This logic meets the racist racriol that only these people seem to be able to vent to whoever. This is disgusting and, in my opinion, the police need to clean up these troublemakers. With the help of ICE, if necessary!
June 27, 5:23 pm
Anon says:
I read somewhere that the woman is related to an officer and they threatened the family with ICE.

There is another video from a different angle that clearly shows the woman back over them, ran the girl over, paused, then kept going. The car was clearly bouncing when her tires were running over the girl. No excuse. Betch should be tortured.
June 29, 11:11 am
Wilbur D. Horse from Our Town says:
Hey, that driver was going FORWARD, not in reverse! Other coverage claimed the female motorist was backing out. There is NO excuse for this. Why wasn't she arrested?
June 29, 6:11 pm
Tito from Bronx says:
Of course she won't face charges she's related to a police sergeant
June 29, 9:17 pm
Tito from Bronx says:
What's really ——ed up is the mom is getting threats of deportation unless she drops the charges
June 29, 9:18 pm
Brooklyn Paper from Kings County says:
The Paper is requesting anyone who can confirm the validity of comments about the driver's family relations to get in touch at newsroom@cnglocal.com.
June 30, 8:58 am
Hillary from Williamsburg says:
Drivers are REQUIRED to drive on the sidewalk to use the laundromat. That's a SIMPLE fact opening this article. Stated clearly and simply. The fact that 50% of the posters here are ready to condemn the driver, without due process, by pointing to the driver's driving on the sidewalk as reckless, shows that few of the people can be believed here. This is not justice. This is bloodthirsty. And it makes everyone else's posts, about this or that person being threatened, ICE agents being involved, and so on and so on, totally suspect and a little unbelievable. DUE PROCESS people. That means you retract your claws, no matter how good it makes YOU feel and does NOTHING for the little girl or her mother, until conclusions are reached. Not talk about "removing people from society," "throwing people in jail and throwing away the key," and other such nonsense. This entire display is a mockery of grief
July 11, 2:19 pm

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