The driver of the Mercedes that allegedly struck a Staten Island family Friday night, killing 4-year-old Kyrillos Gendy, has turned himself in. John Sanjurjo, 33, is charged with two counts of leaving the scene of an accident resulting in serious injury and one count of leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death. The Staten Island Advance reports that Sanjurjo was in the news in 2005 for helping save eight developmentally disabled children flee a burning bus.
Police say Sanjurjo pulled out of a deli onto Richmond Road around 8:30 p.m. Friday and struck Gendy, his 7-year-old sister, and their mother, Arini Thomas, as they were walking to their car from a family prayer meeting. Thomas sustained an eye injury in the crash, while her daughter suffered a broken ankle. Magdy Gendy, Kyrillos' uncle, was one of the family members to witness the incident.
"He just ran into all three of them,” he told the Post. "He stopped, got out of the car and saw them all lying on the ground. Then he went back to his car and drove. Everyone was screaming and saying, ‘Help us!’ ”
“The mother is in a phase of denial right now,” Adam Gendy, Kyrillos' cousin, told the Daily News. “She just has no words to describe any of her emotions or any of the feelings that are going through her mind at this time.” Gendy said that Kyrillos' father is "an absolute mess."
“Even if justice is brought, the damage is done," Gendy added.
Sanjurjo, who was apparently given a perp walk for the Post, told the Staten Island Advance in 2005 that he had no choice but to save the children from the bus. "The flames were shooting in fast. If we didn't get the first four to six (kids) out, forget about it."