MIDWOOD — A 10-year-old boy was killed yesterday when an SUV went out of control, striking him while he was waiting for a bus on a busy Midwood thoroughfare.
On Sept. 10 at around 2:43 p.m., the driver of the gray Lexus SUV was traveling northbound on Ocean Avenue when it veered right and mounting the sidewalk at Avenue L, hitting the boy, Flatbush resident Enzo Farachio, who was standing by the bus stop. The vehicle then hit a scaffolding on Ocean Avenue.
EMS rushed Farachio, who suffered severe trauma to the neck and back, to New York Community Hospital when he was pronounced dead.
Cops say that a medical episode may have caused the driver to lose control of his vehicle.
According to the New York Daily News, the driver, who is 59, was taken to Kings County Hospital and is expected to survive. An eight-year-old girl, a relative of the driver who was a passenger in the car, suffered minor injuries.
“I spent most of the evening with the Farachio family last night. it was heartbreaking to hear their pain as they grieved for their son,” Councilmember Chaim Deutsch, whose district covers Midwood, told this paper in a statement. “I was also extremely distressed to find that no entity had taken charge of the situation — they were left alone and unaware about what the next steps that they needed to take were. At a time of such emotional trauma, it seems mind boggling that the city just left them to figure things out for themselves.”
Deutsch told this paper that Enzo’s parents, Angel and Mary, shared stories of their son, amid their grief.
“His birthday was to be at the end of the month, and they were planning a trip to Six Flags, because Enzo loved roller coasters,” Deutsch said. “He wanted to be a chef when he grew up (like his dad) and he loved his family dog. He was a sweet boy who spread light and love to everyone he encountered. Angel, Enzo’s dad, spoke passionately about his son. He told me that he prays that he can use the terrible tragedy that he suffered to bring about change on the streets of New York City. I plan to help him do that.”
Among those who stepped in to help the boy’s family were OHEL Family Services, according to Deutsch, who said the organization “provided immediate trauma services to the Farachio family.”
In the wake of this latest traffic-related death, Borough President Eric Adams renewed his call for the city to rethink its street safety plan.
“This is a huge tragedy for our Midwood community,” said Borough President Eric Adams via Twitter. “Our hearts go out to the child’s loved ones. 2019 has already seen too many fatal crashes. We need to reverse this epidemic. We need a bold, comprehensive street safety plan from DOT, for Midwood and beyond.”
“Our city streets should be safe enough for parents not to worry about the whereabouts or well-being of their children,”added Councilmember Farah Louis in a statement to this paper. “With the first full week of school underway, more than 1.1 million students citywide are traveling to and from school – often by public transportation. No parent should ever have to hear that their child will not be coming home from school today. While the circumstances surrounding the motorist and yesterday’s crash remain under investigation, we must continue to look for ways to make our streets safer for all.”
Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives Danny Harris concurred.
“This tragedy is testament to the fact that there is virtually no place in the city where residents are safe from the onslaught of cars — not in the crosswalk, not in the bike lane, not even on the sidewalk,” he stated. “Crashes like these are not accidents, but the preventable and predictable result of a city where cars, not people, are the priority. As a result, children like this 10-year-old boy and hundreds of others pay the price with their lives each and every year. We will never see an end to traffic violence if we don’t make safe street designs the standard across all five boroughs.
“The City Council and Mayor de Blasio must act immediately to pass Council Speaker Corey Johnson’s Transportation Master Plan Bill, Councilmember Brad Lander’s Reckless Driver Accountability Act and expedite delivery of the mayor’s Green Wave Plan,” Harris added. “To do anything less would be an insult to the families of the thousands of New Yorkers killed by unsafe streets and deadly drivers, and put countless more residents at risk.”
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez happened to be near the scene of the crash, to speak at the East Midwood Jewish Center down the block.
According to the New York Daily News and New York Post, he told reporters at the scene of the accident, “We’re investigating. We’re being told that it was a potential medical situation. As you’re aware we’ve had two prior cases since I’ve been the D.A. where someone had a medical episode. And we’re going to be looking into whether or not in fact that was the case, and whether or not the person should be behind the wheel.”
Update: This story was updated to include a statement by Councilmember Farah Louis.