NYPD tow truck driver charged after 7-year-old boy walking with mother struck, killed

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Friday, October 27, 2023
Mother heartbroken after child fatally struck by NYPD tow truck driver
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Anthony Carlo has more on the community reaction.

FORT GREENE, Brooklyn (WABC) -- An NYPD tow truck driver has been charged following the death of a 7-year-old Thursday morning as his devastated mother is speaking out.

The 54-year-old driver, who is a civilian NYPD employee, was charged after the child was struck and killed while crossing the street with his mother in Brooklyn on Thursday.''

Police announced Friday that Stephanie Sharp is facing charges of failure to exercise due care and motor vehicle failure to yield to a pedestrian.

Kamari Hughes was struck just before 8 a.m. at Myrtle and North Portland avenues while he was on his way to school.

NYPD officials said Hughes was walking with his mother and attempting to cross the street as the tow truck was making a right turn onto North Portland Avenue from Myrtle Avenue.

"Yesterday morning he told me I was - that he loved me -- and I'm going to hold onto that," his mother Taqunda Hughes said Friday. "I lost my child. He was killed. You know, it wasn't something that should have or supposed to happen. So I'm just trying to un-live that moment because all it does is play over and over."

Witnesses on the scene said the boy was on his scooter, and within his mother's reach, doing everything that a pedestrian should.

"The little boy went where he was supposed to so she taught her son well," witness Antwoan Hayes said.

Sharp remained at the scene, but witnesses say she appeared to be distracted when the collision happened and made it halfway down the block before she stopped.

Sharp was issued a desk appearance and was released pending a future court date.

At least 73 pedestrians have been killed this year in New York City -- nine of them were children under 18, according to Transportation Alternatives.

Although the numbers are slightly down from last year, the group accuses the Adams Administration of not prioritizing safe streets.

Mayor Eric Adams called Hughes personally.

"It is painful, we are going to be there, our team has reached out to the family, I want to thank the NYPD and my CAU unit, just to be there during this difficult time, we are going to continue to do that," Adams said.

A spokesperson for Prospect Schools released a statement on Friday.

"We are shocked and heartbroken by the loss of one of our elementary students and our hearts are with their family. Kamari was a bright light in the school who had many friends and was adored by staff -- he will be dearly missed. Our greatest priority at this time is supporting Kamari's family and our entire community as we process this tragic event," the statement said.

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