NEW YORK — A 4-year-old died in a crash in the Bronx and two people – the boy’s father and another driver – are facing charges.
According to police, the father was driving his son on a stolen scooter when it collided with a car, CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge reported Monday.
Witnesses and neighbors were visibly shaken. One man said he ran to help, and even used his shirt to try and stop the child’s bleeding.
“I heard the father’s screams. It was gut-wrenching,” said Gebre Mitchell, a neighbor who ran out of his apartment when he heard the crash and saw the child on the ground.
It happened at around 9:20 p.m. Sunday at the corner of 193rd Street and Bailey Avenue in the Kingsbridge Heights section. Community members started leaving candles at the crash scene.
“I dropped down to my knees, I grabbed the child, I put my head to his chest,” Mitchell said. “He wasn’t moving. His heart was beating, but it was fading.”
According to police, Mario Rosario, the child’s father, was driving a stolen motorized scooter with his son, also named Mario Rosario.
Investigators said Rosario, 24, was driving south on Bailey Avenue when he struck a car that was turning onto 193rd Street.
“He sped up and tried to pass the car going up the hill, and the car didn’t see him because he came so fast,” a witness said.
Investigators said Rosario and his son were knocked off the bike. They were not wearing helmets and the boy suffered severe head trauma.
“I think we lost him right here, while he was on the ground,” Mitchell said.
The boy was rushed to St. Barnabas Hospital, but did not survive.
Rosario was arrested and charged with endangering the welfare of a child and criminal possession of stolen property.
“If you have a kid, I don’t think it’s appropriate for you to be on a bike with your kids, especially without a helmet,” another person said. “You’re the parent. The child’s safety comes first.”
“First and foremost, you shouldn’t have a 4-year-old child on the back of a motorbike or electric bike, whatever that is, unprotected,” said Mitchell.
William Baez, the driver of the car, stayed at the scene. The 52-year-old was arrested and charged with driving a suspended license.