Truck Driver Who Struck Boy Had NY Driving Privileges Suspended 3 Years Ago

By Jeanmarie Evelly and Janon Fisher  on December 24, 2013 11:46am

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 The driver of a tractor-trailer that struck and killed an 8-year-old boy in Queens Friday had his New York State driving privileges suspended more than three years ago, according to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles.
Woodside Boy Struck and Killed by Tractor-Trailer
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WOODSIDE — The driver of a tractor-trailer that struck and killed an 8-year-old boy in Queens Friday had his New York State driving privileges suspended more than three years ago and racked up a slew of violations in New Jersey, according to official records.

Mauricio Osorio-Palominos, 51, of Newark, is currently a licensed driver in good standing in New Jersey, but had his driving privileges suspended in New York in October of 2010 for failure to pay a fine, according to the New York DMV.

The fine was for a 2010 conviction in The Bronx for driving a commercial vehicle on a road that did not permit that kind of traffic, the DMV said.

Osorio-Palominos' New Jersey license is currently in good standing, though he has amassed 17 violations on his Class A commercial license since 1985, according to New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission records.

Among the infractions are failing to obey traffic signals, speeding and dangerous driving, resulting in three license suspensions in that state.

Police say Osorio-Palominos was behind the wheel of a tractor-trailer that struck and killed third-grader Noshat Nahian as the boy crossed six lanes of Northern Boulevard at 61st Street Friday morning.

Noshat had been walking with his sister to nearby P.S. 152, the last day of school before winter break.

Osorio-Palominos was arraigned Saturday on charges of aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and unlicensed driving, according to a criminal complaint. He is due back in court Jan. 3. His lawyer declined to comment when reached by phone Monday.

On Monday, local leaders held a press conference at the crash site, where elected officials called for harsher penalties for drivers with suspended licenses who are involved in deadly crashes.

State Sen. Michael Gianaris, of Queens, said he plans to introduce a bill that would make suspended drivers who kill or seriously injure someone subject to a felony charge. It is currently a misdemeanor.

"The punishment does not fit the crime," Gianaris said. "The law does little to nothing to protect New Yorkers in a dangerous intersection such as this."

The legislation would specifically target suspended drivers with dangerous traffic records, Gianaris said. He is also proposing that drivers whose licenses are suspended have the plates on their vehicle immediately confiscated.

"Suspended license drivers are more than twice as likely to kill than regular drivers," Paul Steely-White, executive director of the advocacy group Transportation Alternatives, said at Monday's press conference.

City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer described the intersection of Northern Boulevard where young Noshat was killed as "incredibly treacherous."

"None of this should have happened," he said. "This school has been asking for a crossing guard at this location for months."

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