A one-year-old girl was fatally struck by an out-of-control driver who jumped a curb and pinned her to a building wall in the Bronx Tuesday afternoon. A witness told the Post, "I heard a screeching sound, then a boom. Then I heard a lady screaming."
The incident occurred in the Williamsbridge section, near East 215th Street near White Plains Road, just before 4 p.m. According to the NYPD, officers who responded to the 911 call were told that Djeneba Magassa, 1, was hit by the driver of a 2002 BMW SUV: "The NYPD Highway District's Collision Investigation Squad determined that the vehicle was traveling north bound on White Plains Road at East 215 Street, and as the 22-year-old male operator attempted to make a right turn onto east bound 215 Street, the operator failed to maintain control of the vehicle, and struck a parked and unoccupied vehicle along the south curb line. The vehicle then mounted the sidewalk and struck the child, who was seated in a stroller, subsequently pinning the child and stroller against a wall."
Atta Bofa told the Daily News he helped free the stroller, " There was the crash. The lady was screaming, 'Help! Help! My baby! My baby!' ... I said to her, ‘Where is the baby?’ She said, ‘The baby’s under the car!’ The car was against the wall. I helped pushed the car back. The baby was still in the stroller on the ground. I picked the baby up but its whole body was broken.”
Other witnesses told WABC 7 that the BMW's driver, Kier Boneparte, tried to help the baby. The mother took Djeneba to Montefiore Hospital in a private vehicle; hospital staff pronounced the baby dead.
Boneparte, a 22-year-old Staten Island resident, was taken into custody and charged with reckless driving, failing to yield to a pedestrian and causing injury, operating a motor vehicle without insurance, and driving without a license.
“Traffic violence has become the norm in New York City, and it has to stop," Transportation Alternatives executive director Danny Harris said in a statement. “When there is a known danger in our midst, it is the responsibility of the government to take action and restore safety. To counter the swelling tide of death and injury on our streets and sidewalks, we need swift, serious solutions from our elected leaders, including measures to limit the power and prevalence of cars across all five boroughs. All New Yorkers should be outraged. We deserve to feel safe on crosswalks, sidewalks, and streets."
The incident marks the second time this month that a child has been fatally struck by a driver on a sidewalk in New York City; last week, a 10-year-old boy was killed while waiting for the bus, after a driver jumped the curb in Midwood, Brooklyn.
According to data maintained by the NYPD, total traffic fatalities are up more than 20 percent compared to this time last year.