BUSHWICK – A five-year-old girl was killed after a heavy stone fence fell on top of her.
On Thursday, August 29 at around 8:55 p.m., Alysson Pinto-Chaumana was walking with her mother, when she pulled on a decorative stone fence in front of a residential three-family house on Harman Street near St. Nicholas Avenue, just a few blocks from her home. Portions of the three-foot-tall by six-foot-long heavy granite fence in the front yard came lose and fell on top of her.
Little Alysson sustained head trauma. Her mother flagged down an ambulance, which took them to Wyckoff Medical Center, a couple of blocks away, where sadly Alysson was pronounced dead.
The Department of Buildings (DOB) has issued a violation to the property owner for failure to maintain their property. The violation comes with potential civil penalties of $6,250. The owner could face a maximum penalty of $25,000 if they fail to appear at the scheduled Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH) hearing on December 30, 2019.
The DOB declared that the remaining part of the broken fence was also loose and presented a potential hazard when they inspected it post-accident, and they have issued a Partial Vacate Order in the front yard and the sidewalk in front of the property has been closed off until the fence is dismantled.
As of today, the NYPD says the investigation is ongoing. The DOB did note that it was not a construction-related incident.
Council Member Rafael Espinal told Bklyner, “It’s a terrible tragedy and I was immediately saddened it’s something avoidable and it just happened to a little girl. My condolences and thoughts go out to her family.”
Espinal said he is introducing new legislation that will require a permit for any potentially hazardous fence or infrastructure to be built.
“There’s currently no permit for anyone who builds a fence that is under six feet,” he said. “This creates a lot of problems because not every fence is the same. The fence that killed the girl was made of heavy breaks. This legislation will hopefully prevent something like this from happening again in the future.”