Driver Charged After Striking and Killing 6-Year-Old Girl on 12th Avenue

Driver Charged After Striking and Killing 6-Year-Old Girl on 12th Avenue

     by Yehudit Garmaise

     The NYPD have arrested Qiuhua Zhu, 30, who struck and killed a 6-year-old girl, last night when he was traveling southbound on 12th Avenue at 67th Street, just after 8 pm last night.

     Zhu, the driver of a blue Lexus SUV, was reportedly driving recklessly when he struck the young girl.

     Last night's tragic crash, sadly, is not unusual in Dyker Heights, where city records reveal an average of three crashes a day, pointed out a reporter this morning to Mayor Bill de Blasio.

     The city’s data shows that among all five boroughs 68,198 crashes have been reported, causing 29,965 injuries, pointed out by a reporter from Streetsblog, a website that reports on traffic, parking, congestion, and issues of mass transit.

     “That is about 292 reported car crashes on average, every day,” said the reporter, who then asked the mayor that considering that he often calls NYPD police commissioner Dermot Shea after violent crimes, did the mayor contact the city’s Department of Transportation Commissioner Hank Gutman about the tragic death of the 6-year-old little girl.

     The mayor responded that while he does not call each of the city’s commissioners about every painful incident in the city, the city’s commissioners do have “standing orders: to make adjustments, investments, and productive move when faced with the violence that derives from either crime or traffic in the city.

     “What I have said to both Commissioner Shea and Commissioner Gutman is: When they see ANYTHING we can act on, whether it is moving officers via Precision Policing for crime problems or increased investments in Vision Zero for increased car crashes.

     “I expect both commissioners to make the adjustments, make the investments, and make the moves, but I don’t call them about each one.”

    Whether or not Vision Zero is the answer, the mayor put the responsibility of reducing car crashes on New York drivers themselves.

      “People have to use cars less,” the mayor said simply. “People need to drive more carefully. People need to respect that we are talking about kids, seniors, who are in danger when people drive recklessly and they drive under the influence.”

     Although many New Yorkers drove much less during the lockdowns of the COVID pandemic, now many people are getting back on the roads: causing congestion, accidents, traffic, and pollution.

    “We have to go back to getting people out of their cars: more and more mass transit investment,” 

     “I feel horrible that another family is suffering,” responded the mayor, as he evoked sympathy for the parents of the girl, for whom Chevra Kadisha was not needed. “So much of this comes down to changing the whole mindset about cars."

Photos by: Hillel Lichtenstein

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