Funeral to be held for traffic cop, baby

August 25, 2008 4:41:38 AM PDT
Funeral services will be held in the Bronx Monday for a New York City traffic cop and her newborn baby.Both died after a horrible traffic accident.

Doctors performed an emergency C-section on Donnette Sanz on August 14th to save life of her baby. Sanz was seven months pregnant when she was struck by a van in the Fordham section and pinned under a school bus.

She died an hour after the delivery.

Her baby boy, who weighed just 3 pounds, 6 ounces, died on Friday.

Sean Michael Justin Sanz had been in intensive care since he was delivered.

The van hit Sanz when she was crossing a Bronx street on her lunch break. The impact sent her flying into the path of a yellow school bus; she was pinned underneath. About 30 bystanders rushed to the scene and hoisted the 5-ton bus from her body in a rescue that made the front pages of the city's tabloid newspapers.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg offered his condolences to the child's father, Rafael Sanz.

"From the moment last Thursday when Donnette was struck down, scores of New Yorkers pulled together as one to try to save her and her still-unborn child," he said. "The bystanders who heroically rescued Donnette from under a school bus in the Bronx didn't just lift five tons of glass and steel; they also lifted the spirits of our entire city."

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said the NYPD was deeply saddened by the child's death.

Sanz had been a civilian member of the NYPD for two years. Traffic agents direct vehicles, write parking tickets and operate tow trucks. They do not carry weapons.

The 72-year-old van driver, Walter Walker, has pleaded not guilty to criminally negligent homicide and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle. A spokesman for the Bronx district attorney said Friday that prosecutors would wait for the medical examiner to determine the infant's cause of death before deciding whether Walker would face additional charges.

Walker has a long history of driving offenses and arrests dating to the 1980s; police have said he had his license suspended 20 times. In a court filing, police said the brakes on Walker's van had deteriorated so badly it was unsafe to drive.

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