QUEENS — An 11-year-old boy was fatally struck by a dump truck on his way to school in Jackson Heights during Friday morning's rush hour, authorities said.
''He was in the middle of street," said Gloria Cardon, 50, who works at a nail salon near the intersection.
"He was lying down on his side. He was wearing an orange sweater, blue jacket and orange and blue sweatpants.... I thought he fell. It didn't look like he was run over.''
Sunny Batel, who works at N&K Smart Mart at 80th Street and Northern Boulevard, said Torres stopped at the store to buy soda and candy minutes before the collision, and shared surveillance images of the boy just moments before he left the shop.
"He bought a Sprite and a Pop Tart. He was a nice kid. He said, 'Thank you,'" Batel recounted. "One minute after I see him, this happened. I was shaking."
The truck was making a right turn from 80th Street to travel west on Northern Boulevard when its rear wheels clipped the teen, police said. The truck did not remain at the scene.
"It's unknown if [the driver] knew it struck someone," a police source told DNAinfo.com New York.
The truck was white and towing a green generator, police said. Cops are investigating which company or agency owned the truck.
The victim was on his way to a winter-break program at I.S. 145 when he was hit, students said.
At the end of the day, as parents arrived at the school to pick up their kids, Principal Dolores Beckham gathered the families together and urged them to be careful when crossing the street.
''She just said that the kids shouldn't even go to like the 7-Eleven or other stores on Northern Boulevard," a sixth-grader said, "because it's really dangerous crossing around there."