Watch CBS News

NYPD tow truck driver Stephanie Sharp facing charges after 7-year-old Kamari Hughes killed crossing street in Brooklyn

Fort Greene community mourns 7-year-old boy killed crossing street to school
Fort Greene community mourns 7-year-old boy killed crossing street to school 01:55

NEW YORK -- NYPD tow truck driver Stephanie Sharp is facing charges following the death of 7-year-old Kamari Hughes, who police say was struck and killed while crossing the street with his mother on the way to school Thursday morning in Brooklyn

The 54-year-old driver has been charged with failure to yield to a pedestrian and failure to exercise due caution.

CBS New York's Zinnia Maldonado was back on the scene Friday morning, where crossing guards stood at North Portland and Myrtle Avenue in Fort Greene

Parents she spoke with were devastated and angered by the news, saying the intersection is known to be dangerous. 

"This is a nightmare for every parent," Paul Mondesire said. "As a parent, I will state that what happened is a tragedy but was not unexpected, because Myrtle Avenue is always chaotic."

With a number of schools in the area, the busy intersection was packed with families and multiple crossing guards. Some told Maldonado they were placed there a day too late.

"Suddenly, there are four crossing guards on the corner, including somebody in a white shirt, which means it's somebody in Community Affairs, and people are paying attention," said Mondesire. "The problem is that we're not paying attention to what's going on in the streets every day until there's a tragedy." 

NYPD updates: Cooper Union protest; Child struck by tow truck 08:23

Surveillance video shows the 7-year-old was on a scooter crossing the street before he was struck. His mother witnessed everything unfold. 

The tow truck is seen on video driving off before the driver eventually pulled over down the street. 

"She hit that little boy and kept going. I had to tell the housing workers to stop her, from her to keep going. The mother's screaming hysterically, 'They killed my baby!'" witness Antwon Hayes said Thursday.

Witnesses told CBS New York the driver was on her cellphone, speeding and ran a red light. 

"I think I was crying more than her, because to see devastation like that, she just kept screaming 'They killed my baby.' And it's unimaginable. I can't imagine my grandbaby that played with him every day in the park being here, laying down like that," said Tyrana Carter. 

According to Transportation Alternatives, nine children under the age of 18 were killed in traffic violence this year in New York City, and this was the 103rd time a child died in a traffic crash since 2014.   

Residents and local officials stress more safety precautions are needed at busy intersections near city schools.

Mayor Eric Adams said on social media Thursday night, "We will do whatever it takes to keep our streets safe."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.