Principal Warns Students Not to Walk With Headphones After Horrific Crash
MASPETH — The principal of I.S. 73, the school attended by five students who were seriously injured after a driver careened over a curb and smashed into them from behind, sent a letter Thursday urging parents to remind children not to walk around with headphones in their ears.
The letter, given to students by Principal Camillo Turriciano, says kids should travel without electronic devices and headphones.
"We are sending you this notice pertaining to the safety of our students when traveling to and from school as an incident occurred earlier today," Turriciano wrote.
But the students who were hit at 71st Street and Grand Avenue, in Maspeth, did not appear to be wearing headphones at the time of the horrific crash, which was captured on video.
The victims were hit when the driver of a Honda Pilot SUV drove into them as they walked in front of a deli, according to store surveillance video.
Friends also said that they were not listening to music at the time of the crash.
"All children must be encouraged to be aware of their surroundings when riding the bus or train and walking to and from the school building," the letter reads.
Students shouldn't use headphones, CD players and iPods while commuting, the note states, because it prevents children from hearing what's going on in their surrounding environment and can be a threat to safety.
A spokeswoman for the DOE said the letter was just a "general reminder" about walking safely to and from school.
"The principal sent home a letter to parents about safety precautions now that school has started," spokeswoman Marge Feinberg said.
Sources said the 40-year-old driver was going shopping and was trying to pull into a space when he accidentally hit the gas instead of the brake.
He remained on the scene and was not expected to be charged, sources said.