A 3-year-old boy has died and his mother,25, was seriously injured when they were hit by a car while crossing an East Harlem street Monday.
The crash happened on First Avenue and East 116th Street, just after 9:30 a.m., as the woman was pushing the boy in a stroller, according to ABC.
Both the mother and child were rushed to Metropolitan Hospital, where the 3-year-old identified as Bertin DeJesus was pronounced dead. The mother is reportedly in critical condition.
NBC reports that a blue Ford F-250 hit the victims and it appeared as if the driver, 59, was heading eastbound on 116th street, where he made a left onto first avenue going North when he struck the child’s stroller.
It has been reported that the driver initially fled the scene but returned. The driver was taken into NYPD custody for questioning. He has not been identified at this time; outlets say that someone flagged down the driver to stop.
ABC reports that a local business has some surveillance footage of the incident and said that the driver left at a regular speed, indicating that the driver might not have been aware of what happened.
ABC spoke to Marisol Medina, a Dunkin Donuts worker who said the mother was a regular at the shop. Medina told ABC that, “She was here, she drank coffee. She said to us, ‘See you later.’ She was speaking Spanish. She said, ‘Goodbye.’ And then I hear the guy; I was with a customer, he always hangs out with us here, said, ‘Oh my God, they hit the baby.’ I said, ‘What baby?’ And it was her and her child…The thing was, the baby was right under the truck.”
Another witness, Jose Reyes spoke to ABC and recalled the horrible event stating that, “I saw her sitting on the floor holding the baby,”
Reyes added, “The baby was bleeding a lot. So she was in shock…It was really heartbreaking to see her, you know, just laying there with the baby. She couldn’t do anything. He’s bleeding crazy.”
Witnesses reported that the driver seemed to be banging onto his car, banging on his head and crying as he realized what had happened.
Witnesses were distraught by the terrible scene.
There is an ongoing investigation; the cause of the crash is not known at this time.