10-year-old girl struck and killed by school bus in Brooklyn, driver arrested

EAST NEW YORK, Brooklyn (WABC) -- A 10-year-old girl was fatally struck by a school bus in Brooklyn Tuesday morning.

The victim was struck as she and her teenage brother crossed the street at Wortman Avenue and Crescent Street in East New York at 6:30 a.m., on their way to an Achievement First charter school.

"We were walking this way, and I turned right and she was there on the floor," family friend Stephanie Lappost said.

Lappost was one of many parents walking their children to school when she came upon the scene.

"All I saw was them working on her, they were performing CPR and stuff and I knew it was bad," Lappost said. "You know, that bus is huge and she's tiny."

Authorities said the school bus was making a right turn onto Wortman when it struck the little girl and her brother.

The girl, fourth grader Patience Heaven Albert, was taken to Brookdale University Hospital, where she was pronounced dead. Her brother was taken from the scene by EMTs alert and conscious.

At the scene, the girl's family was inconsolable.

"I saw her mom, too, on the floor crying," Lappost said.

The family is asking for privacy, but they did want the world to know that Patience was special.

"Patience was a beautiful, happy 10-year-old girl," Godmother Najia Li said. "Patience was funny and extremely smart. She loved school and wanted to be a veterinarian. Patience comes from a loving family, with both parents nurturing and providing for her. She was loved by her classmates and the community."

There were no passengers on board the bus at the time of the crash.

"We are devastated and heartbroken to learn that an Achievement First student has passed away," spokesperson Amanda Pinto said. "Our students and staff are receiving counseling support from our schools across the network as well as the New York City Department of Education as we deal with this awful news. She will be deeply missed by all of us, and our hearts are with her family."

The driver, 61-year-old Pedro Colon, was not injured and stayed at the scene, telling police he had the right of way. He was arrested and charged with failure to yield to pedestrian and failure to exercise due care. He was issued a desk appearance ticket for both charges.

Parents say there needs to be more done at the intersection to keep pedestrians safe.

"So why don't we have speed bumps?" witness Lucy Diaz-Williams said. "You go to other neighborhoods and they have speed bumps, they have traffic lights. Over here, we just have stop signs that nobody is going to respect."

New York City Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza released a statement saying, "This is devastating, and my heart goes out to the family and school community. We are providing all support necessary during this difficult time. The driver has been suspended pending the outcome of the investigation."

New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson also commented, saying, "Absolutely devastating. To the little girl's family and friends, I am so sorry. No one - especially not a child - should be in danger just trying to cross the street. We need to step up safe streets infrastructure, especially around schools."

Transportation Alternatives Executive Director Danny Harris released a statement, saying in part:

"On Tuesday morning, a school bus driver struck and killed a 10-year-old child near the intersection of Crescent Street and Wortman Avenue in East New York, Brooklyn. The child is at least the 20th pedestrian killed by a driver on New York City streets to date in 2020, and the fourth pedestrian killed in the last 48 hours. On behalf of Transportation Alternatives and Families for Safe Streets, we send our sincerest condolences to the child's family. No one should have to fear death when walking in New York City."

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