Updated Nov. 4, 5:50 p.m.
The driver of an out-of-control SUV that jumped a DeKalb Avenue curb on Saturday and pinned a 9-year-old boy under the truck – killing him – has been arrested, police reported.
Anthony Byrd, 59, was driving his Ford Expedition west on DeKalb Avenue at Clermont Avenue, and made a turn onto Clermont Avenue, when he swerved to avoid two pedestrians standing in the crosswalk and struck a parked 2004 Ford Taurus, cops said. He then mounted the curb and drove on the sidewalk, slamming into a restaurant and a parked 2007 Cadillac Escalade, according to police. Byrd began driving against traffic – eastbound on DeKalb Avenue – and sideswiped a 2007 Chrysler Pacifica. He continued driving toward the northeast corner of the intersection, where he struck a 28-year-old woman standing in the crosswalk, according to authorities. He jumped the curb a second time and hit the boy, his 48-year-old mother and 5-year-old brother at nearly 12:50 p.m., cops said.
Passersby struggled to pull 9-year-old Lucian Merryweather out from under the Ford Expedition, but to no avail, a local resident told The Nabe. Emergency Medical Services officials arrived at 1 p.m. and pronounced Lucian, who had suffered cardiac and respiratory arrest, dead at the scene, according to authorities. His mother was uninjured, and his brother was listed in stable condition at the Kings County Hospital Center. The 28-year-old woman, treated at the same hospital for a leg injury, was also in stable condition, police reported.
Lucian was a student at the Brooklyn Montessori School, his grandmother, Marilyn Merryweather, told The Nabe.
“I am so, so overwhelmed with grief,” Merryweather said. “I don’t want to talk about the boy because he is so close to me.”
Byrd was charged with criminally negligent homicide, three counts of assault in the second degree, reckless endangerment in the first degree, operation in the opposite direction of a one-way roadway or rotary traffic island, failure to yield when turning left, two counts of driving on sidewalks, reckless endangerment in the second degree, criminal mischief in the fourth degree and reckless driving, according to the Kings County District Attorney’s office. He does not have a previous criminal record in Brooklyn, according to a DA’s office spokesman.
Both Byrd and the driver of the Chrysler Pacifica remained on the scene, cops said. The NYPD’s Highway Patrol Collision Involvement Squad is investigating the accident, according to authorities.
“My heart goes out to the victims and loved ones affected by the tragic vehicular incident that took place in Fort Greene today,” Council Member Letitia James said in a statement hours after the accident. “I will be working with the Department of Transportation to review the details of the incident, and specifically determine what measures can be taken to increase driver and pedestrian safety along DeKalb Avenue.”