MIDWOOD, Brooklyn — A family and community are in mourning after a 10-year-old boy was fatally struck at a Brooklyn bus stop Tuesday when an out-of-control SUV veered onto the sidewalk before crashing, officials said.
"He was trying to be more independent by going on the bus by himself," the boy's mother, Mary Majao, told PIX11 Wednesday.
Enzo Farachio had just started sixth grade at IS 240, the Andries Hudde Junior High School in Midwood. His father, Angel Farachio, proudly showed PIX11 his son's school photo.
His grieving parents remember Enzo as a "friendly" boy who loved to dance and play video games. He would have turned 11 at the end of September, and his family was planning a trip to Six Flags because he "loved roller coasters."
The unsuspecting Farachio was looking at his phone at a bus stop around 2:40 p.m. Tuesday, just six blocks from his Ocean Avenue home, when a Lexus SUV veered from the left lane to the right before jumping the curb at Avenue L, police and sources said.
The SUV struck the boy and threw him at least 5 feet, before crashing into scaffolding, officials said.
Farachio suffered severe trauma to the neck and back, an NYPD official said. He was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead.
"I'm pretty sure it could have been prevented," his mother said. "I don't know if this person had an illness that he didn't need to drive," she added.
Both parents are longing to know what happened to the driver to cause such a collision.
While authorities haven't confirmed what caused the 59-year-old man driving the SUV to jump the curb, sources said his daughter was in the vehicle with him and told police it appeared her father had a seizure.
"For [Enzo] to be killed on a road at 25 mph, I can't understand," the boy's mom said through tears.
At the boy's school Wednesday morning, parents of his classmates couldn't believe the news.
"It's heartbreaking...I'm so sorry to hear that," Danielle King-Mobley said. Speaking of how her own kids get to the school each day, the mother said "Sometimes they take the bus alone, sometimes I walk them."
Claudiane Nazaire, the mother of a girl in the same grade as Enzo, said her daughter also asks to walk to the junior high school alone. "I'm usually like, 'no,'" she said. "It could happen at any time...I'm so sorry. As a mom, I know this is very painful," Nazaire added.
She's not the only mom of students at the school asking to go alone at an age when kids want more independence.
"I have sixth graders, too, and they're asking when can they walk [to school]," said mom Natasha Maxwell. "I feel heartbroken. I lost a child as well. I feel so sorry for that family," she said.
New York City Council Member Chaim Deutsch spent the evening with Enzo's family, calling the situation "heartbreaking."
Deutsch recalled Enzo's parents sharing stories about their son, who "was a sweet boy who spread light and love to everyone he encountered."
Enzo's father told Deutsch he prays he can use the terrible tragedy he suffered to bring about change on the streets of New York City.
Police have not yet made any arrests in the deadly collision.