Crossing guard suspended after boy fatally struck

March 1, 2013 3:17:53 PM PST
An East Harlem crossing guard has been suspended after a tractor-trailer struck and killed a boy as he walked to school with his brother Thursday morning.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said on Friday that the crossing guard was not on her post and did not notify anyone. He said 55-year old Flavia Roman has a good history, but her whereabouts are under investigation.

Police say 6-year old Amar Diarrassouba was hit around 8 a.m. at East 117th Street and First Avenue, as he walked to P.S. 155. His 10-year old brother was not hurt.

Amar's brothers quietly walked into their East Harlem apartment and into the safety of their grieving mother's arms.

Their father understandably asked for privacy.

"I can't right now," he said.

The driver who hit and killed the boy by accident, laid his head on the dashboard just feet away from the boy's blood stained backpack.

Parents say the crossing guard is always there making sure students cross safely.

"She goes to church. When she goes she tells me she prays for me and my kids. She's personable, a nice person," said Tanya Kitrell, the crossing guard's neighbor.

"It's heartbreaking. It really is. Just to hear it. I pray for the family," said Rhonda Griffin, an East Harlem resident.

Crossing guards are allowed short breaks but must log in the times they leave and return.

The driver of the tractor trailer apparently did not realize he struck the boy. He was flagged down a block away by a passerby.

The truck driver has been summonsed for failing to use due care and yield to a pedestrian.

Officials said he was a first grader at P.S. 155, which is a half block away from the accident scene.

Grief counselors will be assisting students and staff at the school, officials said.


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