A Jackson Heights corner has become a makeshift shrine to an 11-year-old boy, who police said was run down by a dump truck.
Stuffed animals, bouquets of roses, dozens of candles and snacks like Pop-tarts and Wise chips have been placed at the corner of Northern Boulevard and 80th Street in memory of Miguel Torres, who lived six blocks from where he was struck and killed Friday.
Police said the white truck was pulling a generator at the time of the accident. It was traveling southbound on 80th Street and turning west on Northern Boulevard at 8:45 a.m. when it hit Miguel of East Elmhurst, according to the NYPD. Authorities found Miguel dead at the scene, police said.
The truck kept going after the accident, police said, but NBC reported the driver was tracked down by the NYPD and no criminality was found.
A spokeswoman for the NYPD said Wednesday no criminal charges had been filed against the truck driver.
On Saturday, relatives outside Miguel’s home on 84th Street said they were too upset to speak about the child.
“It’s really hard for us,” one man said. Another said Miguel’s mother was devastated after losing her young son.
“It’s very sad,” said Ann Aoli, a Jackson Heights resident who was at the corner at around 11:30 a.m. “I’m very upset about it.”
Aoli heard about the incident from resident Olga Gonzalez, who said she just missed witnessing the accident herself. She had been visiting a nearby deli for a coffee when she came out and saw the boy.
“He was already on the floor — dead,” Gonzalez said.
Police officers had sections of the sidewalk and roadway blocked off Friday morning while investigating the scene. The medical examiner’s office arrived to take the body away at around 11 a.m.
Kenneth DiLorenzo, who lives two blocks away, said Friday morning that he was alerted to the accident when he heard helicopters.
He said he has lived in the neighborhood for 30 years and attended IS 145, which is located across from the site of the accident. DiLorenzo said he could not recall a death ever having occurred at the intersection, but remembered many collisions.
“Between here and 78th and Northern, I’ve seen a lot of accidents,” he said.
DiLorenzo said that a yellow sign alerting motorists about the crosswalk at the intersection is sideways and may not be easily seen when motorists are speeding.
The boy’s death was the third hit-and-run accident to occur in Queens last week. Sheena Mathew, 38, was hit by a car crossing Hillside Avenue and Little Neck Parkway in Floral Park. Meria Beria, 30, was hit an hour later at 111th Avenue near 147th Street in South Jamaica. Both accidents occurred on Dec. 26.
“It’s not the way to bring in the new year, you know,” DiLorenzo said.
Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4564.
©2013 Community News Group
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