Park Slope

12-Year-Old Boy Hit By Car On Prospect Park West

POSTED 5:56pm: At about 5:15pm on Tuesday, a young boy was hit by a car on Prospect Park West at 3rd Street. According to the FDNY, they received a call about a 12-year-old boy being struck by a car, but they say the child was transported by Hatzolah, so they could not provide info on the boy’s condition, though there are reports on Twitter about serious injuries. There are also reports that the NYPD crash investigators have been requested to the scene.

Neighbor Keith Williams of The Weekly Nabe was nearby when it happened, and notes the vehicle involved may have been a van, and that the driver is being questioned by police.

We will update this post as we learn more. Our hearts go out to the boy and his family, and we’re hoping for the best.

UPDATE 11:45pm: We are sorry to report that the NYPD has confirmed what a neighbor shared in the comments. The young boy passed away due to injuries sustained in the incident.

Police have released the identity of the boy, Samuel Cohen-Eckstein, who lived in a building on Prospect Park West at the scene of the incident. When police arrived, they say officers found the boy with trauma to his torso, and EMS transported him to Methodist Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Police say an investigation revealed that Samuel ran into Prospect Park West, from the east side toward the west, when he was struck by a white 2006 Chevrolet van that was traveling southbound on Prospect Park West. As previously mentioned, the operator remained on scene. The NYPD says they did not make an arrest or issue a summons, but the investigation is ongoing.

A website announcing Samuel’s — called Sammy — bar mitzvah notes that he was preparing to celebrate the big occasion in just over a month from now at Kolot Chayeinu here in Park Slope. A page about gifts says that he was planning to donate a portion of his to Heifer International.

His parents, Amy Cohen and Gary Eckstein, were interviewed in a Los Angeles Times story about cycling in NYC in 2008, in which they said that they walked their two children to school in the morning before riding to work in Manhattan. After mentioning some dangerous instances, they said they felt there was a growing bicycling awareness.

“The city feels much safer than when we started,” Cohen told the LA Times. “It even feels safe in the dark.”

Our deepest condolences to the boy’s family and friends. If anyone knows of ways that neighbors can help them during this difficult time, please leave a comment below, or contact us at

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  1. Please update this post with any new information. I was waiting with this boy for the ambulance and am sincerely concerned.

  2. I was driving home and there were firemen running down PPW becuase traffic was so backed up. I haven’t seen cops or firemen look that serious in a long time.

  3. from my conversation with the Cop posted at Carroll & 8th Ave at 8:30-ish, it sounded like this story has a pretty bad ending 🙁 Crime scene usually means it was as bad as it gets. I feel so sorry for the family and friends of this child. Please neighbors of Brooklyn: drive slower and remind your kids to stay safe around cars/roads. Say a prayer for the child and his family.

  4. My heart goes out to Sammy’s parents and family. I am so very sorry, I was there when it happened. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  5. My condolences. I would love to help the family in any way I can. I can provide meals, for starters. If anyone knows if this would be possible, let me know.

  6. Prayers to the family — every parent’s biggest nightmare. I was hit by a car turning off of PPW and onto Mulberry last year. The car didn’t pause at all, and it threw me several feet. I had no injuries and feel very lucky, but after that happened my fear that a car could hit my child in this neighborhood grew. Cars drive way too fast and don’t pause to turn onto side streets. This doesn’t sound like the driver was at fault, but if he/she had slowed down before turning, he/she might have seen the boy. Our neighborhood needs to do something about the reckless driving that I see every day. Park Slope has little kids going through these crosswalks constantly, and drivers aren’t paying attention.

  7. This is a loss for every parent in New York City. If you hit someone while going 40 mph, they have an 85% chance of dying. Slow down, slow down, for the love of god, slow down. And insist that the NYPD enforce the speed limit.

  8. I am sick over this. My son went to school with Sammy and was friendly with him, even attending birthday parties at his home. I started crying when I read it was him. I can’t imagine what his parents and sister are going through right now. Our deepest sympathies to his entire family. If there is an open memorial service, please let us know,

  9. My family is deeply saddened by this tragedy. I watched a phone video i made last year at a celebratory end-of-the-year soccer party for our boys team. Sammy was awarded co-MVP on this traveling soccer team, which my son, Miles, played on with Sammy for years. I’m heartbroken. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.
    Beth and Jake Keaveny

  10. So sad about this accident, I was there when this happened, I saw the
    Boy chasing his ball a second before the acciden

  11. He was my friend I went to school with him and i was in band with him he played the trumpet and i played the trombone this loss was tragic and i’m still crying over the loss of a friend.

  12. My heart is broken. I didn’t know him personally. I just learned of this tragedy through my daughter’s school. Sammy was a 8th grader there. The kids are devastated. The 0 period at the school was canceled this morning and the kids were meeting with teachers, staff and counselors to help them grieve. I am waiting on the school’s principal to find out how we can help the family. Please keep praying for Sammy’s family.

  13. The principal just sent out an email explaining what they are doing to help the kids cope. Check your inbox, I just received mine a little while ago.

  14. My nephew went to school with Sammy at 51. This is so sad. Sammy was going to be having his Bat Mitzvah in a month. He was planning on donating a portion of his presents to Heifer International. I’m going to donate in his name. If you call them they will write out a memorial card. 1-888-548-6437. Hug your kids and love them. Things can change in an instance.

  15. This is utterly heartbreaking. Is there a reason you need to link to his Bar Mitvah website? That just seems intrusive and unnecessary. I would urge you to remove the link and give his family some privacy.

  16. RIP Sammy I’ll always remember him from afterschool. I had P.E with him yesterday and to think he’s gone… the whole school and everyone was mourning. The shock is unbearable. Our hearts go out to his family.

  17. R.I.P. Sammy. Everyone cried for you at school today, including me. I’m still crying now. Me and a lot of other people who cried didn’t know you very well, and now we never will get to know you well, and so it’s sad to see you go. Hopefully you’re in a better place now Sammy. Just R.I.P.

  18. i graduated ms51 last year, and even though i didn’t know him personally, this breaks my heart. 51 is a close knit school and Sammy’s accident has hit everyone in their hearts. R.I.P. Sammy.

  19. He went to my school. He was in my class for two years.
    I will never forget him. And I will never stop missing him.

  20. My deepest condolences…. I’ll say a Prayer for all our children.

    The driving laws need to be more strongly enforced in the Park Slope area there are many children combined with speeding cars. time to make a change.

  21. Agree. My daughter knew Sammy and even I feel like a voyeur clicking on that link. It seems disrespectful.

  22. I’m a neighborhood resident, mom, teacher… My heart breaks for this family’s loss. I teach kids who go to his school, and it’s very hard to see kids so young having to deal with something this tragic. May we all love each other and keep in mind how fragile life is.

  23. so sad. family looking forward to his bar mitzvah and now its been replaced by a funeral. we all cry today for their pain and inside fear it would ever hit close to home. the pain we feel now the family will feel for the rest of their lives asking why did this have to happen? a beautiful life cut too short. so very sad. may they be showered with support and love and arms to embrace them always.

  24. Just so you all know, all reports seem to show that this had nothing to do with a speeding driver or a kid wh who did the wrong thing by willy nilly running into the street. This was a totally freak accident. he tripped and fell in the street , no cars were coming,

  25. I was a friend of Sammy. I can’t believe this happened. He was a very loved kid. A lot of people showed up at his funeral.
    We will never forget you Sammy!!!!!

  26. Hi Parkslope, He was our very good friend too. I’m Az’s mom. I was asking that when I first learned about this. I hope you are doing ok. Karen

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