Eight-Year-Old Student Dies in Queens Traffic Accident
Early on December 20, 2013, a tractor-trailer hit and killed an eight-year-old boy in Queens, New York.
The tragedy has prompted his community to call for increased crossing safety for students in the area. According to recent Streetsblog data, this victim was the eleventh New York City resident under 13 to be killed by a driver in 2013.
The young victim was walking to school with his older sister when the truck’s driver turned into a crosswalk. He was rushed to Elmhurst General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The siblings were within a half-block of their school at the time of the accident. No crossing guard was posted at the intersection.
The driver, Mauricio Osorio-Palominos of Newark, New Jersey, is employed by RoadTex Transportation Corporation. His truck’s back wheels struck the third-grader as he entered the intersection.
Osorio-Palominos, 51, waited at the scene of the incident. Police arrested and charged him with driving with a suspended license (aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the third degree) and with operating a vehicle in violation of safety rules.
More charges and lawsuits may be yet to come, but not all of them may be directed against Osorio-Palominos. After such a tragic accident, investigators must examine all possible factors and faults. Did the school have a duty to post a traffic guard? Why was the driver permitted to work for RoadTex with a suspended license? Was visibility at the intersection impaired, and was the roadway maintained properly?
While no lawsuit will bring this child back to his family, careful investigation and thorough legal proceedings may help bring some recompense and justice.