Another child killed in traffic accident, this time cops charge allegedly-drunk driver with manslaughter
A drunk driver was charged with manslaughter after slamming into the fourth young child to be killed during a traffic accident in the last three weeks, police said.
Jaied Figueroa, 2, was crossing Junction Boulevard with his 23-year-old mother in Queens around 9:50 p.m. Friday when police said a white SUV hit him.
Figueroa was hit just three days after the death of 12-year-old Sammy Cohen-Eckstein, who was struck and killed while playing near his home in Park Slope, renewed calls for increased traffic safety, particularly for children.
Three-year-old Allison Liao was struck and killed crossing the street with her grandmother Oct. 6 in Flushing, Queens. Five-year-old Kiko Shao was killed by an Escalade in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, on Sept. 26.
While the last six years have seen the fewest traffic fatalities in the city, the largest category of injury-related deaths for children 1 to 12 years old was transportation-related from 2001 to 2010, according to a recent analysis from the health department.
Last week, officials announced an expansion of slow zones to decrease speeding and increase traffic safety in 15 neighborhoods, including Jackson Heights where Figueroa was struck.
Police said the vehicle’s 35-year-old driver, Gilbert Echeverria, rushed the boy and his mother to Booth Memorial Hospital in his SUV after the accident.
Figueroa, who would have turned 3 next month, was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Police arrested Echeverria when they arrived at Booth Memorial.
He was charged with vehicular manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and driving while intoxicated.
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