[UPDATE BELOW] A woman who backed her car into a slew of pedestrians standing on a sidewalk outside a Bronx elementary school in October has not been criminally charged, despite injuring five pedestrians and fatally striking an 8-year-old girl.
Streetsblog reports that the Bronx District Attorney has not charged Sonia Rodriguez, 55, in connection with the death of Rylee Ramos, 8, on October 24th. Authorities say that at around 2:46 p.m. that day, Rodriguez backed up onto a curb outside P.S. 307 in Kingsbridge, striking six female pedestrians and killing Rylee.
Though police officers said Rodriguez stayed at the scene that day, witnesses told the Daily News that she tried to flee but was restrained by bystanders. "She was like sunshine," Rylee's aunt, Sandra Leon, told the tabloid about her niece. "She had a beautiful smile. What do you do when you lose someone like her? I wouldn’t wish this on any child... adult...anyone."
— Curb Jumping NYC (@CurbJumpingNYC) October 26, 2014
The NYPD made no arrests at the time of the collision, and Streetsblog says no charges have been filed as of today. A spokesperson for Bronx DA Robert Johnson's office told us that since there was no arrest and no investigation, there was not enough evidence to prove criminality. The NYPD did not respond to our request for comment.
Rylee's family, meanwhile, has been pushing the city to improve safety measures near where the little girl was struck. They've requested speed bumps, crossing guards and police cameras to be installed outside the school, but for now, they're relying on volunteers to direct traffic. "An accident can always be prevented, but normally nobody does anything about it until it happens, that’s the sad thing about it,” District 10 Community Education Council Vice President Terry Moss told the Riverdale Press. “It’s just too bad that it’s only being addressed now that there’s a tragedy.”
At least eight children under the age of 14 have been fatally struck by drivers this year, according to data provided by Streetsblog.
Update 12/22/14: A spokesperson from the Bronx District Attorney's office tells us the DA may still charge Rodriguez. "It's not that we're not filing charges, we're still investigating," she said. "That case is not concluded."