Two children were killed and a third child was seriously injured yesterday after a gruesome pedestrian accident involving a restaurant delivery van jumping a curb in Chinatown and slamming into a line of preschoolers as well as their escorts on a sidewalk, police said.
Authorities identified the dead children as Hayley Ng, 4, who lived in Chinatown and Diego Martinez, 3, who lived in Chelsea. A third child, Emma Oscow, 4, was in critical condition at Bellevue Hospital Center last night, where doctors also treated seven more children and four adults for minor personal injuries sustained in the car accident.
The driver of the delivery van, Chao Fu, 52, of Brooklyn, was escorted from the car accident scene on East Broadway between Catherine and Market streets by police after many in a crowd that formed began yelling at him shortly after the 11:30 a.m. accident.
Fu, employed by China Chalet, a Chinese food restaurant chain, told police he double-parked his 2000 Ford van and got out to make a delivery, a claim backed up by surveillance video, which shows an unoccupied van heading in reverse, crossing the double yellow line and hitting the children.
All of the injured persons required medical treatment by professionals to hopefully allivate some of their pain and suffering. Unfortunately, for two children, that treatment came too late.
One sequence described by police shows Hayley being struck after the van veers off to the left, crosses the double yellow line and heads right toward the children. Police also said tests on the car’s linkage showed it to be tight, suggesting the driver may have mistaken reverse for park.
Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer said the pedestrian accident is a wake-up call that more must be done to protect pedestrians in our city.
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