Police arrested a Staten Island woman and charged her with failure to yield and failure to exercise due care after she drove into a mother and her baby who were crossing the street, officials said.
One-year-old Lian Mashini died from her injuries at a nearby hospital, police said.
The fatal collision occurred Thursday morning at around 7 a.m., just two blocks from the mother and baby's home. According to police, 40-year-old Shannon Cocozza, who was driving a white Jeep Cherokee, was turning left onto Abbott Street from Scarboro Avenue in the Rosebank neighborhood when she hit baby Lian and her mother who were crossing the street.
Cocozza remained on the scene, and surveillance footage shows her getting out of her vehicle and approaching the mother and child. First responders rushed Lian and her mother to Staten Island University North Hospital, where Lian passed away. The baby’s mother was in stable condition, police officials said.
The car had no apparent recent speed camera violations, according to the site How’s My Driving.
Lian is the tenth child killed in traffic collisions so far this year, according to the group Transportation Alternatives, the highest number of children in nearly a decade. Through May 22nd, 3,177 pedestrians were injured on city streets across the five boroughs, a 33 percent increase from last year, according to NYPD data. Eighty-seven people had been killed in collisions so far this year, a 4% increase from last year, the NYPD said.
“We are seeing a crisis of pedestrian death,” said Danny Harris, Transportation Alternatives’s executive director, who called for the rapid implementation of streetscape improvements like curb extensions, protected intersections and car-free corridors. “A baby can be killed even in the crosswalk with the right of way because city and state leaders have failed to protect New Yorkers from reckless drivers and unsafe streets.”
Mayor Eric Adams, a longtime advocate for safer streets, has agreed to put $900 million towards a citywide “Streets Master Plan,” in this year’s budget, but it falls short of the $3 billion the city council said is needed to complete it.
Last year 255 people were killed in crashes, the deadliest year since 2014 when former Mayor Bill de Blasio took office and launched his signature Vision Zero program, an effort to curb pedestrian fatalities across the five boroughs.