A 7-year-old boy was killed in Brooklyn on Thursday morning when a tow truck belonging to the New York Police Department hit him while he was crossing the street, the police said.
The collision occurred on the northern border of Fort Greene Park at about 7:45 a.m., when the boy and his mother were in the crosswalk on Myrtle Avenue, the police said. The tow truck’s driver tried to make a right turn onto North Portland Avenue and struck the boy, who was on his way to school. Emergency medical workers arrived and pronounced the boy dead. .
The driver of the tow truck, a 54-year-old woman, remained at the scene, the police said, and the investigation was continuing.
Jeffrey Maddrey, the N.Y.P.D.’s chief of department, said during a briefing at police headquarters that he had visited the site of the collision, as did several teachers from the victim’s school.
“It was a very tough scene to be at this morning,” he said.
Mary Lynne Werlwas, who has lived in the neighborhood for 24 years, said she had gone to move her car on Thursday morning when she heard a commotion at the crosswalk. A large crowd surrounded a woman sitting in the middle of the street next to a figure covered in a white sheet. The woman was distraught, Ms. Werlwas said, saying, “my baby is dead.”
“The community, everybody is very upset,” Ms. Werlwas said.
Tyrana Carter, who witnessed the collision, said the boy had been riding a bright green scooter next to his mother, who was pushing another child in a stroller, as they crossed the street. The driver of the tow truck, Ms. Carter said, appeared to be trying to beat a yellow light when she hit the boy.
Ms. Carter said her granddaughter went to day care with the boy who was killed.
“He was a baby who was full of energy, full of life,” said Ms. Carter. “I saw a future for him.”
Antwoan Hayes was dropping off his children at school and was in a nearby store buying breakfast for his daughter when he saw the tow truck heading toward the family in the crosswalk.
Mr. Hayes said that after the collision, the child’s mother chased the tow truck down the street, screaming that the driver had killed her baby.
“The mother just started screaming at the highest pitch,” Mr. Hayes said. “That was heart-wrenching.”
The boy was the 73rd pedestrian killed in a traffic accident this year, according to Transportation Alternatives, a safe-streets group. That is slightly fewer deaths than had occurred last year by this time, when 78 pedestrians had been killed, the group said.
It is also 14 percent lower than the average year-to-date since 2014, when the city began its Vision Zero program to reduce traffic fatalities, Transportation Alternatives said.
Since Vision Zero began, at least 26 children have been killed in traffic while walking to or from school, according to the group.
Myrtle Avenue is a busy thoroughfare in Fort Greene, running through an area with a number of shops, schools and restaurants.
Debra Williamson, who has lived in the area for eight years and has six children, said drivers in the area where the child was killed were known for speeding and running lights.
“This is terrifying to me,” Ms. Williamson said. “I knew this was coming, but I don’t know what to do.”
As Thursday morning stretched on, police officers continued to monitor the scene, where a white sheet still lay in the cordoned-off crosswalk, next to the green scooter and a small orange backpack.
Dana Rubinstein and Andy Newman contributed reporting.