Ariel Russo's Parents to Call for Criminal Investigation of 911 Operator
UPPER WEST SIDE — The parents of the 4-year-old girl who died last year after being hit by a teenage driver are calling for a criminal investigation into the actions of the 911 operator blamed for delaying the emergency response to the crash.
Franklin Reyes, 17, was fleeing from police and driving without a license on June 4, 2013 when he fatally struck Ariel Russo, 4, and her grandmother, Katia Gutierrez, 58, at 97th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, authorities said.
Russo's parents, Alan and Sofia, have said the delayed response of emergency services — it took four minutes for 911 operators to dispatch an ambulance to the scene — was part of the reason their daughter died.
The family plans to demand a criminal investigation at a press conference Wednesday, the same day Reyes is scheduled to appear in court for the beginning of his trial, lawyer Sanford Rubenstein said.
A Department of Investigation report issued in December showed there were no technical problems with the city's 911 system, citing errors made by dispatcher Edna Pringle.
"[Pringle,] who asserts that the call was not there or she did not see it, went on a break while the notification about the Ariel incident was still pending," the report said.
The Manattan District Attorney's Office and the DOI declined to comment.
Local 2507, Pringle's union, did not respond to request for comment.
Reyes will be on trial starting Wednesday for manslaughter, assault, driving without a license, leaving the scene of the accident and fleeing police.