One of the middle schoolers who was struck by an SUV driver on a Queens sidewalk last week has died. Michael Gomez, 13, was one of five teens from IS 73 hit by driver Francis-Aung Lu last Thursday as he was trying to park near Grand Avenue and 71st Street. According to DNAInfo, the medical examiner is still trying to determine if Gomez's death was related to the crash.
According to the Times-Ledger, some outlets reported that Gomez may have died of an asthma attack, but the medical examiner could not confirm that. The Post's sources claim Gomez only suffered minor injuries in the crash, but was admitted to Elmhurst Hospital because of an asthma attack and later died. We called the medical examiner for more information, and will update when we hear back.
Police initially determined that there was no criminality suspected in the incident, and no charges have been filed against Lu, but the case is still officially being investigated by the NYPD's Collision Investigation Squad [CIS]. One of the victims, 13-year-old Angie Pena, suffered several broken bones and was rushed to Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan in critical condition. Ashley Khan, 13, suffered a compound fracture to her left leg and a broken pelvis when she was pinned under the SUV. Another girl's back was broken.
According to Streetsblog, Council Member Mark Weprin has teamed up with StreetsPAC and pledged to “champion legislation in the city council to ensure serious consequences for drivers who, through their own negligence, hop curbs and strike pedestrians on sidewalks."