Boy, 9, killed in Fort Greene car crash

fort greene car crash killed 9-year-old boy
The site of the car crash in Fort Greene, Brooklyn that killed a 9-year-old boy and injured his 5-year-old brother. Credit: Nate Jones

An idyllic, sunny afternoon was shattered Saturday when a 9-year-old boy was run over by an SUV in Fort Greene.

Police said the collision happened around 12:49 p.m. at the corner of DeKalb and Clermont Avenues.

Police identified the driver as 59-year-old Anthony Byrd, a Clermont Avenue resident.

According to police reports, Byrd was driving his Ford Expedition west on DeKalb Avenue and attempted to turn onto Clermont Avenue. He hit a parked Ford Taurus while attempted to avoid two pedestrians in the crosswalk, police said.

Witnesses said the driver was driving unusually fast, and seemed to have made a last-minute decision to turn after he was already half-way through the intersection.

Police said after hitting the parked Taurus, Byrd drove up onto the sidewalk at the southwest corner of the intersection, crashing into a building and a parked Escalade. He then drove the wrong way up DeKalb, side-swiping a Chrysler Pacifica.

That was when he careened into the northeast corner of the intersection, police said, hitting a 28-year-old woman who was crossing the street, and slamming into a mother and her two sons.

The mother was uninjured, police said, but her 9-year-old son was pronounced dead at the scene. Her 5-year-old son was taken to the hospital in stable condition, police said.

The 28-year-old pedestrian was also taken to the hospital with a leg injury.

One of the 911 callers was a local shop employee at a store on DeKalb Avenue. She described hearing the incident from inside the store.

“It sounded like a crash but kind of multiple sounds and then a brief pause and then another [crash],” she said.

A man and his small son were in the store at the time, and she and the man ran outside to see what happened.

“We came out here to see what was happening and people were running towards the corner,” she said. “So he asked me to watch the kid so he could see if he could help and I called 911.”

A nearby restaurant employee who ran to the scene to see if he could help said the young boy was pinned between the wheel of the SUV and a building. The other boy, who survived, was under the car, he said. 

He said people crowded around the 28-year-old woman, who was dazed and visibly injured but conscious and assuring people she was fine.

Astoria resident Morgan Pederson was on her way to the Brooklyn Flea with her husband. When they heard the crash, she turned and ran to the scene, she said. She saw the little boy pinned between the car and the wall, she said.

“It was probably the worst sight of my life,” Pederson said. “My husband told me, ‘I hope you never have to see anything like that again.’”

“I feel really bad for whoever was driving that car to have to live with that,” she added.

Byrd remained at the scene, police said. He was arrested and charged with criminally negligent homicide, reckless endangerment, assault, criminal mischief, reckless driving, driving in the wrong direction on a one-way street, failure to yield right of way, and two counts of driving a car on a sidewalk.

Follow Danielle Tcholakian on Twitter @danielleiat


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