7-year-old boy named Kamari Hughes lost his life when he was struck by an NYPD tow truck driven by 54-year-old Stephanie Sharp as reported by WCBS. The tragic accident occurred early Thursday morning, October 26, while Kamari was on his way to school with his mother near the intersection of Myrtle and N Portland avenues. Authorities have charged Stephanie Sharp with failure to yield to a pedestrian and failure to exercise due caution in connection with this heart-wrenching event.
Eyewitnesses, including Antwoan Hayes, alleged that Sharp was speeding and using her cell phone when the tow truck hit Kamari, riding his scooter in the crosswalk. Hayes remarked, "That wasn’t an accident. That was carelessness." Despite this, Chief of Department Jeffrey Maddrey reported that the tow truck operator stopped immediately after the collision.
EMS crews swiftly responded to the scene, but tragically, Kamari was pronounced dead at the scene. Witnesses, like Tyrana Carter, vividly described the mother's anguish, as she screamed, "He hit my baby. My baby is dead." In response to this heart-wrenching incident, community members, led by Julie Sharpton, the tenant’s association president at NYCHA’s Whitman Houses, are calling for the NYPD to cover the funeral expenses entirely.
Crystal Hudson, a New York City Council Member, emphasized the need for accountability when law enforcement is at fault and stressed the importance of increasing safety measures, such as deploying more crossing guards throughout the city. The NYPD has initiated an investigation into the circumstances surrounding this tragic accident, and the community has organized a vigil to honor Kamari Hughes's memory.
This incident has ignited discussions not only about the heartbreaking loss of Kamari's life but also about the broader issues of police accountability and the crucial role of safety measures in preventing such devastating accidents.