Sarah Parris, 13, and Shaun McGraw, 16, most likely didn't know each other, but the two teens became united in tragedy this week after they were both killed while crossing different Brooklyn streets. Perhaps the biggest similarity between the two accidents is that neither driver was charged with any crime, even though witnesses say the BMW driver who ran down Sarah blew past a school bus with its stop-sign out.
Parris died yesterday morning after getting hit on the way to school while crossing the four lane Rockaway Parkway in the middle of the block near Avenue J. "It hit her hard. She flew in the air and went down," said a sobbing Akili Charles, 14, who was one of the two friends with Sarah, a ninth-grader at the HS for Medical Professions with plans to become a nurse. "I just saw her laying on the street and blood," Akili tells the Post, and claims that a school bus driver saw the teens crossing the busy road and tried to help them by stopping and lowering the stop sign. The car's driver, Mohamed Diakite, 35, of Philadelphia, has not been charged.
Shaun McGraw, a 16-year-old Staten Island High School junior and varsity baseball player, was run over on Saturday night in Dyker Heights, where he resided until his parents moved to Staten Island a couple of years ago. Police sources tell the Advance that McGraw was crossing 13th Avenue at 78th Street around 11:10 p.m. when he was hit by a 2009 Chevy van traveling south on 13th with a green light. The driver stayed at the scene and wasn't charged, and police say speed was not a factor in the accident. McGraw suffered severe head trauma and died on Sunday.
"At least you can say Shaun was happy with all his friends before it happened," his brother, Ray Jr., tells the Advance. "That's all he lived for. He loved his friends. I considered him my best friend, and all his best friends considered him a brother."