A 10-year-old boy has died after a city garbage truck driver fatally struck him and his mother in Queens Tuesday morning, an NYPD spokesperson said.
A Department of Sanitation truck driver, 40, was turning right near 57th Avenue and 97th Street when he struck the two pedestrians about 7 a.m. Tuesday, according to the department spokesperson.
Officers found the 40-year-old mom and her 10-year-old son lying in the road with injuries, near the apartment complex LeFrak City. Both were transported to Elmhurst Hospital.
The boy was pronounced dead by the afternoon, according to the NYPD. His mother was in stable condition, though she reportedly suffered serious leg injuries.
The driver stayed at the intersection and has not been charged. The NYPD's investigation is ongoing, the spokesperson said.
"We take this tragedy extremely seriously and the collision is currently under investigation," DSNY spokesperson Dina Montes said in a statement.
Councilmember Francisco Moya said he's "praying for their recovery and following the investigation closely."
Witness Prakash Tuladhar told the Daily News, "When I came outside with my granddaughter, we saw the two people lying down in the road."
"They were going to school in the morning," Tuladhar said. "It was still dark. It's very scary."
Hours after the boy was killed, a 68-year-old woman was fatally hit by a cement truck driver in Brooklyn. In 2020, four pedestrians have died in traffic crashes.
SUV and truck drivers are involved in 46 percent of fatal crashes, DOT has said. Police and transportation officials told reporters last month enforcement on truck drivers would increase after a 48-hour period in which four of six pedestrians killed in a 48-hour period were hit by truck drivers.
Last year, the city saw a spike in pedestrian deaths compared to 2018, with a total of 123 deaths, up from 115 in 2018. Cyclist deaths nearly tripled between 2018 and 2019. There were 220 total traffic fatalities last year.
In the wake of the boy's death, Transportation Alternatives urged City Council and Mayor Bill de Blasio to pass Brooklyn Councilmember Brad Lander's Reckless Driver Accountability Act—which would impound reckless drivers' vehicles. The group also called on City Council and the mayor to develop a plan to make it easier for drivers to see pedestrians, known as "daylighting" intersections.
"In moments of crisis, we don’t need hopes and prayers from our elected leaders; we need immediate action," the group's executive director Danny Harris said. "We urge Mayor Bill de Blasio and members of the New York City Council to ensure that every New Yorker has the right to safe passage on our streets, and no New Yorker has to walk in fear."
Councilmember Francisco Moya, Assemblymember Jeffrion Aubry's office, and LeFrak City Tenants Association will hold a vigil for the 10-year-old boy at 6 p.m. at 57th Avenue and 97th Street. TransAlt and Families for Safe Streets will demand safer streets at noon on Saturday outside of 250 Broadway.
This article has been updated with additional information.