Police say the investigation into the hit-and-run death of a four-year-old girl in Bushwick on Sunday is still ongoing, but a spokesman told the Brooklyn Paper on Monday, "There are no arrests, there likely will not be, because there’s no evidence or probable cause to arrest her. No one is in custody."
On Sunday afternoon, a driver fatally struck Luz Gonzalez was on the sidewalk of Hart Street near Wyckoff Avenue, outside of the Clean City Laundromat. The laundromat has a number of parking spaces outside, but drivers must drive on the sidewalk to get in and out of the lot. Luz had been scootering in that area when her shoe fell off, and her mother Reyna Candia was helping her put it back on when the driver of a 2018 Nissan Rogue SUV plowed into them.
The motorist drove over Luz with both passenger side tires and then left the lot. Police caught up with her blocks away.
The Brooklyn Paper posted security camera footage from across the street (Warning: This video is graphic.)
Luz was pronounced dead at Wyckoff Hospital while her mother was treated for injuries to her leg.
Paul Steeley White, executive director of Transportation Alternatives, said in a statement:
The NYPD routinely allows drivers who have killed children to drive their own car home after the killing. It is no surprise, especially given the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association's dangerous opposition to New York City's proven speed safety camera program, that police officers who spend their day in cars find it easier to empathize with a driver than the child they killed.
Luz Gonzalez and her family deserve justice. The driver who killed her could and should have been charged under Hayley and Diego's Law. Cases like these prove the need for unbiased, impartial automated enforcement like speed cameras. If Senator Marty Golden, Senator John Flanagan and Governor Cuomo fail to reconvene the Senate to extend and expand New York City's school-based speed camera program, drivers will be emboldened to drive without consequences, and children will die.
Hayley and Diego's Law was passed in 2010, and named after two pre-schoolers who were killed when an unoccupied van that was idling jumped a curb and crushed them. The law "imposes the following penalties on drivers whose failure to exercise due care results in injury to pedestrians or bicyclists: For the first offense, a fine of $750 or 15 days of jail time, participation in a driving training course, suspension or revocation of the driver’s license or registration, or any combination of these penalties; and For the second offense, any of the above penalties, plus a misdemeanor charge."
Luz's mother told the Daily News, "I'm completely destroyed," and said of the driver, "She had to know" that she drove over Luz. "The person who did this, she has to pay."