A 12-year-old boy was struck and killed in Park Slope yesterday after he ran out into the street to retrieve his ball. Police say Samuel Cohen-Eckstein was playing right outside his apartment on Prospect Park West and 3rd Street at around 5:15 p.m. when he ran out into PPW to chase his soccer ball and was struck by a commercial van.

Cohen-Eckstein was pronounced dead at Methodist Hospital. The driver remained on the scene, and has not been charged or issued a summons.

Park Slope Stoop notes that Cohen-Eckstein was to celebrate his bar mitzvah next month, and that the boy's parents, Gary Eckstein and Amy Cohen, were quoted in a 2008 LA Times piece on cycling in New York City:

Eckstein was once "doored"—hit by an oblivious passenger exiting a taxi. Cab drivers still drive aggressively around bicyclists. But among other motorists, the couple have noticed a growing bicycle awareness. Partly, that's a function of mass: There are simply more bicycles on the street today than when they began pedaling to work 15 years ago.

"The city feels much safer than when we started," Cohen said. "It even feels safe in the dark."

Yesterday NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly was asked by a reporter for The Atlantic what the department could do to better prevent traffic violence.

"We do have 8.4 million people," he said. "We do have a daytime population that’s over 10 million people. You’re going to have a lot of traffic and you’re going to have accidents."

Kelly made it clear that he hasn’t reconsidered his department’s less-than-aggressive approach to investigating drivers who endanger others by speeding, running red lights, and the like - all of which are classified as violations and not crimes.

"Some people say that the police are not arresting enough people for reckless driving and that sort of thing. Well, you have to — and there are many court decisions that say this — you have to observe the violation," said Kelly. "It takes in-depth investigation and examination, it takes witnesses, it’s much more complex than you might think."

You can read our report on the most recent City Council oversight hearing on the NYPD's Collision Investigation Squad here.