EAST HARLEM, Manhattan — A Yonkers man has been charged with manslaughter for striking two pedestrians in a crosswalk with his pick-up truck in East Harlem in December of 2019, killing a 3-year-old boy.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance charged Jaime Sabogal, 61, with manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, assault in the third degree, aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, failing to observe the right of way for pedestrians and bicyclists and failure to exercise due care.
The boy, 3-year-old Bertin DeJesus, and his mother were struck near 1st Avenue and East 116th Street at around 9:30 a.m. on Dec. 19, 2019, according to a police spokesperson.
The boy was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead, according to police.
Police said their preliminary investigation showed the child was in a stroller as he and his mother, then 25, crossed 1st Avenue in the crosswalk.
A blue Ford F-250 driven by a Sabogal struck the mother and DeJesus as he made a left turn onto 1st Avenue, police said.
Witnesses say DeJesus went under the truck and the driver kept going, possibly not realizing what happened at first.
Police said Sabogal initially left the scene, but then returned.
Hours after he was taken into custody for questioning, Sabogal was arrested on charges of aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, failure to yield to a pedestrian and failure to exercise due care
“As alleged, this defendant made a fast left turn into a crosswalk where three-year-old Bertin DeJesus was walking with his mother, killing the child nearly instantly with his pick-up truck,” said District Attorney Vance. “Not only was the defendant driving recklessly with no regard for pedestrians, but he did so knowing his driver’s license had been suspended. This type of abhorrent conduct is why my Office is pushing for legislation that enhances criminal accountability for vehicular violence and keeps reckless drivers off the road.”