Actress in Union Square Hit-Run Killed by City Driver, Family Says

By Smriti Rao and Andrea Swalec  on June 12, 2012 10:34am  | Updated on June 12, 2012 4:09pm

MANHATTAN — The mother of the 21-year-old aspiring actress killed by a hit-and-run driver near Union Square last month says police told her a city employee is under investigation for the accident but has not yet been arrested. 

Roxana Sorina Buta was mowed down by a dump truck at 14th Street and Broadway May 24 as she headed from her Village waitressing job to her East Harlem apartment but police have not announced any updates in the investigation into her death. 

Buta's mother, Cristina Oprea, said Tuesday that police know who struck her only child. 

"They know the driver, that’s what [police] told me," she said. "They have the truck, they have driver, but no one has been arrested." 

"If you have the truck and the driver, why is the guy not a suspect? Why is he not arrested?" Oprea asked. "He killed my daughter." 

Oprea's lawyer, Joseph Tacopina, said police confirmed to him that the dump truck that hit Buta belonged to the city Department of Transportation. 

He also said police backtracked on the initial explanation for the crash, first telling Oprea that they were looking at a city DOT driver as a suspect, and later telling her they had "made a mistake," he said.  

"We want to understand why there is conflicting information and why no arrest has been made," Tacopina said. 

The NYPD and DOT did not immediately return requests for comment. 

Oprea and Tacopina said they will continue to seek justice and will hold a rally June 20 where Buta was killed.

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