MORRIS PARK, The Bronx — Investigators are looking into whether a medical condition may have caused a motorist to smash into a group of trick-or-treaters in the Bronx, killing three people including a 10-year-old girl.
The crash happened on Morris Park Avenue near Radcliff Avenue in the Morris Park section of the borough just after 5 p.m.
The car jumped a curb in the Bronx leaving behind mangled bodies and bloodied costumes. Police are examining whether a medical problem such as a seizure may have been involved.
“We heard that he had a seizure, that it started up the street and I guess as he was, as his body was spasming he continued to hit a car, a black Uber car," said Lady Vaughn, a neighbor.
Witnesses say that once the Uber driver moved, the out-of-control driver struck a curb, squeezed between a light pole and a fence, and struck at least seven people on the sidewalk. The aftermath on Morris Park Avenue near Bogart Avenue was gruesome.
A 65-year-old grandfather was killed, along with his 10-year-old granddaughter who was dressed up as a cat. He was identified Louis Perez of Morris Park Avenue. Witnesses say he was trying to save his three grandchildren. The child was identified as Nyanna Aquil of Morris Park Avenue.
“I mean he had to act, like within seconds,” said Lou Milone, a Morris Park resident. Witnesses said Perez was pushing his 3-year-old granddaughter in a stroller, while his two other granddaughters walked beside him. One of them, 10-year-old Nyanna Aquil, was killed.
“When I heard the boom, I just turned around and I just saw the car and I pushed my kid inside the deli and I ran here,” said Marianny Clemente, "Cause I just saw the little baby in the street and I have a daughter that age.”
Two adults were pinned beneath the car, a woman and 24-year-old Kristian Leka, who died.
“This is awful and the little children too, on a day out to have a good time,” sobbed Anna Brusco, a Morris Park resident.
Officials say a 3-year-old girl was critically injured. A 21-year-old woman and 9-year-old girl were hospitalized.
The 52-year-old driver was taken to a hospital in stable condition.
No charges have been filed at this time.
A vigil will be held 7 p.m. Sunday at the site of the crash at 936 Morris Park Avenue.
Mayor Bill de Blasio released the following statement on Sunday:
“Last night’s crash tore apart two families. These three innocent people were lost on a day normally filled with childhood laughter and joy. Our prayers are with them, their families, and those pedestrians still struggling with their injuries. The NYPD’s Collision Investigation Squad will leave no stone unturned in its investigation.
“We do not accept tragedies like this as inevitable. This could be any of our families. Each of us must contribute to making this a city where everyone, especially children, can walk our streets safely.”