BPD recover SUV allegedly involved in hit-and-run of child in Dorchester

BOSTON — Boston Police have identified and recovered a white GMC SUV thought to be involved in a hit-and-run incident on Columbia Road Wednesday morning. A boy was struck as he attempted to cross near Intervale Street before 8:00 a.m., police said. His injuries were not life-threatening.

Sources tell Boston 25 News the boy was a student at Roxbury Prep in Dorchester. Police are now saying they believe he is about 11-years-old.

Police announced Wednesday night that they recovered the car and are continuing to investigate.

“This could’ve happened to anybody’s baby,” said a neighbor named Brandy.

The boy was propelled under Brandy’s parked car by the impact, neighbor Nicole Montaque said, with his head wedged near an axle. Montaque rushed over to help.

“I just got down, flat on my stomach, dropped everything and took him out,” Montaque said.

She said that for four years she’s been trying to get a light installed at the intersection or something else to slow traffic down but to no avail. And it frightens her to watch children crossing such a busy street.

“I property manage here and sometimes I have to put my broom down, my trash can down and do like this,” she said, waving her arms at the traffic, “just to get them across.”

“They should probably have a crossing guard,” added Jaudy Soto, a neighbor. “It’s difficult for adults, imagine a kid. Me, I’m trying to cross the street, I got to wait a couple minutes to cross the street.”

While there are crosswalks in the area, they are some distance away.

“It’s sort of unreasonable to ask a pedestrian to go a half-mile out of their way to use a crosswalk,” said pedestrian safety expert Angie Schmitt, author of Right Of Way: Race, Class and the Silent Epidemic of Pedestrian Deaths in America, a book that highlights the dramatic rise in pedestrian deaths in the U.S. in the last 10 years.

“They’re now about 50% higher than they were a decade ago,” Schmitt said. “Almost 6,500 people are being killed every year.”

Schmitt said one of the factors that have made America’s streets more dangerous of late is the shift from sedans to SUVs.

“So the bigger cars have a higher front end,” Schmitt said. “They hit pedestrians higher on the body and they can be especially dangerous to children, who can get struck in the head. And they’re also heavier and harder to stop.”

But some neighborhoods are more prone to bad pedestrian accidents than others, she said.

“There’s a very clear pattern, almost everywhere we look,” Schmitt said. “Low-income neighborhoods and neighborhoods of color we see really disproportionate rates of pedestrian fatalities.”

In addition, funding for traffic control and safety measures doesn’t flow as readily to these neighborhoods, Schmitt said, because of structural racism.

“The neighborhoods that need it most often aren’t getting it,” she said.

Anyone with information on this investigation is urged to call police at 617-343-4275.

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