Police & Fire

Residents Of E. 22nd Street In Shock Following Jadann Willams’ Death

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Neighbors standing around memorial for Jadann Williams, who was killed after being hit by an SUV on E. 22nd Street. (Photo by Shannon Geis/Ditmas Park Corner)
A neighbor visits a memorial for Jadann Williams, who was killed after being hit by an SUV on E. 22nd Street. (Photo by Shannon Geis/Ditmas Park Corner)

The residents of East 22nd Street are reeling from the death of Jadann Williams, the 8-year-old girl who was killed after being struck by a Toyota SUV on Wednesday August 26.

Neighbors along the dead-end block have set up two memorials for the girl, who they describe as a happy child who was always smiling. One memorial, which marks the spot where the girl was hit, displays a large photo of Jadann — who was nicknamed Sheena — grinning widely during a neighborhood gathering earlier this summer.

The other sits at the end of the block, where a blue basketball — in honor of the sport Jadann adored — is surrounded by candles, and has been serving as a gathering place for neighbors looking for comfort the day after the tragic incident.

Memorial for Jadann WIlliams at the end of E. 22nd Street. (Photo by Shannon Geis/Ditmas Park Corner)
Memorial for Jadann WIlliams at the end of E. 22nd Street. (Photo by Shannon Geis/Ditmas Park Corner)

“She loved fruit, so I would always keep fruit out for her,” said Miss White, who knows the family well. “She had such good manners.”

Neighbors also talked about how much Jadann loved playing basketball, and what a cheerful and fun young girl she was.

“This is a family-oriented block,” said Carla Thomas. “We are a community; we all watch each other’s kids.”

Because E. 22nd Street is a dead end north of Ditmas Avenue, children who live on the block and kids from surrounding blocks often play in the street. There had even been a basketball hoop set up at the end of the street; however, it was removed after Jadann’s death.

“We don’t have a park nearby so there’s no other place for the kids to play,” said Thomas.

Many neighbors voiced concerns about making the street safer, several suggesting a speed bump or a sign to warn drivers of the kids playing in the street.

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Memorial for Jadann Williams on E. 22nd Street. (Photo by Shannon Geis/Ditmas Park Corner)

“We need to do something to keep this from happening again,” said neighbor Denise.

Neighbors are hoping to set up a fundraiser to help Jadann William’s family with expenses. We will update with more information about how the neighborhood can help — and if you hear of anything, please do let us know at [email protected].

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21 COMMENTS

  1. This is beyond terrible, and it’s time we start making some noise about the selfish and thoughtless ways that people drive in this neighborhood. I know I sound like an angry old man (actually, I am an angry old man), but I often find myself standing in front of my house and screaming at drivers who speed down our streets like they’re on the BQE. Last week, i practically chased down a woman who was flying down a DP street in her SUV at what seemed like 45 MPH while TEXTING SOMEONE ON HER PHONE! I know this is NY, but we live in a place where kids actually have an opportunity to play in the streets instead of living the overly cautious and curated lives so many other kids in this city do. They shouldn’t have to worry about being mowed down by someone with no regard for their safety. We need more speed bumps and more patrols so we can avoid losing another Jadann. We also need to take some personal responsibility. Stop gunning it to make that yellow light. Stop treating our streets like a Flatbush Freeway. Caution, People: Children at Play!

  2. This was a terrible tragedy. Shame on people who speed on our residential streets. These immigrants think this is some third world country and drive like maniacs.

  3. Of course, unless you know more than what has been published, you have no idea that speeding caused this tragedy. You have no idea that the driver was an “immigrant.”

  4. My personal experience, 99% of New York residents of all descriptions – asian, hasidic, caucasian, black, latino, all of them – drive that same style if not worse.
    Tailgate 5 inches from your tailpipe. Drive over the opposing line when doing 90 degree turns. Cut inside at the end of the line, when you turn left on Ocean Parkway for example, or getting on the BQE lanes from the battery tunnel lane at the end of ocean parkway. Swerve in and out of lanes. Double park on one-lane roads. Barrel through from all lanes not giving a fook that you have the indicator on and you’re trying to shift lane.
    And of top of that, many text on the phone. Texting when the car’s in motion should carry statutory 90 day license suspension. Two strikes, statutory 90 days in Rikers. That would teach people.

  5. Yep. Although if you really want to see tailgating, go to California. But race and nationality have nothing to do with how people drive here – we all have to get a US driver’s license (except tourists, but there aren’t too many of those here). If you want to rail against dangerous unlicensed drivers, be my guest, but it’s not an “immigrant” thing.

  6. a dear friend is from Ausria and she drives like a loon = my wife is formerly orthodox from boro park = born and raised in Brooklyn and she drives like a nun = you learn to drive in nyc streets and not some mountain road

  7. I am really disheartened by the fact that, after I posted something about how tragic this little girl’s death is—how every single one of us (myself included) needs to slow down and be more cautious of the children playing in our streets—that the discussion immediately devolved into an inane argument about race. I moved to this neighborhood because of its diversity, but, given the blatant racism I often see on this site every week, I’m beginning to wonder if I made a big mistake. Stop pointing fingers. Stop using this site to vent your crazy racist assertions and start using it to come up with some real solutions.

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