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Boy Killed, Girl And Father Hurt When Car Hits Restaurant In The Bronx

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Two children and a man were struck -- and one of the children later died -- when a vehicle crashed into a restaurant late Thursday afternoon in the Pelham Bay section of the Bronx.

The Mercedes Benz sport-utility vehicle struck the front of a Kennedy's Chicken and Sandwiches at 3725 Westchester Ave. around 5:45 p.m., police said.

Two children, a 7-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl, were seated inside the restaurant with their 34-year-old father at the time, police said. All were struck by the vehicle when it jumped the curb in reverse, police said.

When the SUV came crashing toward them, the young boy and his sister had no time to react, witnesses told CBS2's Matt Kozar.

"I heard like a boom, and I turned around and saw everybody yelling and running," said witness Gianluca DeSieno.

Cellphone video showed first responders working on one of the children on the sidewalk.

"It was a horrible moment in my life, and I will remember it forever," said Shah Mohammad, the owner of the Kennedy's Chicken and Sandwiches.

Boy Killed, Girl And Father Hurt When Car Hits Restaurant In The Bronx

The children and the man were transported to Jacobi Medical Center. The boy, identified as Ethan Villavicencio, was later pronounced dead.

Mohammad said it took too long for the ambulance to arrive.

"It took ten minutes for them to get just over here, and we called – not one guy," Mohammad said. "A couple guys calling 911."

The average response time for an ambulance in New York City is 6 minutes and 50 seconds.

The 73-year-old man driving the vehicle then backed out and attempted to flee the location, police said. A witness told 1010 WINS' Carol D'Auria the a man tried to hold onto the car by grabbing its mirror and moving with it, but the car was going too fast, police said.

"When I turned the corner, some gentleman was trying to stop an SUV. He was in front of it first initially, and then he was trying to pull the guy out. And then the guy took off," the witness said.

Shawke Elgedwe said he chased the SUV for two blocks, and flagged down traffic cops.

"So he start to take off again, so I take his plate number in my hand, until the traffic guy come help us, and chase him," Elgedwe said.

Traffic Enforcement Agents were stopped at a red light on Westchester Avenue when a passerby alerted them to the fleeing vehicle, police said. They stopped the vehicle at Westchester and Continental avenues, police told 1010 WINS.

The driver was apprehended and was in custody late Thursday, police said.

Investigators said the driver was trying to park his car and hit the gas instead of the brake, causing him to back up into the packed restaurant.

Police sources told CBS2's Kozar they have surveillance video that is helping them in the investigation. They also said the driver was not intoxicated, and will likely be charged with leaving the scene of an accident.

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