7th grader killed was crossing street with twin sister, friend in Elmont

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Tuesday, February 2, 2016
12-year-old girl dies after being struck by car
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Kristin Thorne is live in Elmont with the details

ELMONT, Long Island (WABC) -- Police said a 12-year-old girl died after being struck by a car near a school on Long Island Monday morning.

It happened just after 7:30 a.m. in front of Martin De Porres School near the intersection of Elmont Road and Village Avenue in Elmont.

Police said the girl, her twin sister and a friend were jaywalking -- they didn't have a light -- as they were crossing the street to get to school.

The girl, a seventh grader at Elmont Junior High, was struck by the car, throwing her about 100 feet.

Sources told Eyewitness News the girl killed was Gabrielle Johnson.

"The girl got hit pretty fast on impact," said Philip Toussaint, a witness who was standing nearby when the girl was hit. "I saw her body flying over the hood of the car and luckily the body didn't get run over. I don't know how. He stopped a little before and the body was behind the vehicle. He was screeching on his breaks for a good 20 feet."

This was the view from NewsCopter 7:

According to police, the driver of the car, a 38-year-old man from Far Rockaway, stayed at the scene and tried to help the girl. They're working to determine his speed at the time of the crash.

The speed limit is 30 miles an hour in the area. Witnesses all insist the driver was not speeding, but based on the shocking damage to the car and what happened, that is still under investigation.

The girl was taken to Franklin General Hospital where she died about an hour later.

The girl's school is about a block away from the scene. The school's superintendent released a statement:

"The school has enacted its crisis plan and grief counselors will be made available to students and staff as needed. We extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the student during this difficult time."

Students told Eyewitness News they use this crossing as a shortcut to get to school. There's no crossing guard there.

Monday afternoon, though, Nassau police officers were there -- monitoring students crossing the street during dismissal.

Police had the road shut down for several hours during their investigation, but it has since reopened.