The sad story about 6 year old Andry Perez being killed by a truck driver on Third Avenue at 46th Street in Sunset Park has been very upsetting. With witnesses saying that Andry had the light to walk (even if he may have walked ahead of his sitter) and reports that the driver told the police he was trying to beat a red light, it's galling to hear that the driver wasn't charged with anything. (The police may be still trying to investigate the incident.) Until there's final word, take a look at this 2004 exchange between Transportation Alternatives Executive Director John Kaehny and Brooklyn prosecutor Maureen McCormick, from the Vehicular Crimes Bureau that Streetsblog found:
T.A. Executive Director John Kaehny: Let’s say a mom is walking hand in hand with her young son across the street. They are coming back from a nice morning in the park, it’s broad daylight, they are in the crosswalk and have the walk signal. Suddenly, a motorist runs the red light and kills them both. The motorist pulls over and is found to be sober. Would that motorist be charged with a crime?
A.D.A McCormick: Limited to those facts, that motorist would be summonsed for running a red light. A criminal prosecution requires showing that the motorist ran the red light because of more than carelessness or inadvertence. The driver’s behavior at the time of running the light is usually the only way to prove the driver’s state of mind. The state of a person’s mind is a difficult thing to prove. They don’t generally yell out “I’m going through this light on purpose.”
It turns out Andy's 8 year old brother had been walking with him and the sitter; Arif told the Daily News, "I tried my bbest to save him, but I couldn't. It hit my brother too fast."
The mother of Andry Perez says "her life is over." She also blasted the police for not arresting driver Joseph Perotta, saying, "He killed my baby! I want him in jail. It's unbelievable that he's out. I just don't understand why. I don't know how I'm going to live without my baby."
Andry would have turned 7 today.
Photograph of indecisive traffic light (good one, Department of Transportation) by Satan's Laundromat