Kindergartner Struck by Off-Duty Police Officer Near Precinct Has Surgery
JACKSON HEIGHTS — A kindergartner was hospitalized and had to undergo surgery after being struck by an off-duty police officer across the street the 115th Precinct stationhouse earlier his week as she walked to school with her mother, officials and family said.
In the wake of the accident, community members increased their calls for a crossing guard to be placed at the site where she was hit.
Chunli Mendoza, 5, was walking with her mother to P.S. 228 on Tuesday morning around 8:30 a.m. when they were both hit by a white pickup truck at the intersection of 92nd Street and Northern Boulevard, a block from the school, according to the NYPD.
Mendoza and her mother, whose name was not released, were taken to Elmhurst Hospital, according to the FDNY.
Chunli remains hospitalized and had an operation on her leg yesterday, according to Bruce Mendoza, her father. He's not sure how long she'll remain in the hospital and he said she has to remain immobilized.
Mendoza's mother was treated for a fracture in her foot, but was released Thursday, he said.
The NYPD confirmed that the man driving the car was an off-duty police officer from the 115th Precinct, which is across the street from the accident site.
Criminality is not suspected, the driver stayed on the scene and he was not issued any summonses, according to the NYPD.
A police official said the officer was "very upset" about the accident.
"We hope the girl makes a full recovery," he said. "Unfortunately it was a tragic traffic accident."
Activists from Make Queens Safer, a group formed in response to traffic deaths last year, held a rally Thursday to push for traffic safety agents to be placed on Northern Boulevard at 92nd and 93rd streets, in front of P.S. 228, which has pre-K through second grade students.
The closest crossing guard is at Junction and Northern boulevards, one block away from the school, according to the NYPD.
Community Board 3 voted last week to approve an "arterial slow zone" on Northern Boulevard, which would lower the speed limit to 25 m.p.h from 40th Road to 114th Street.
"We've been trying to get a crossing guard for at least two years," Penaherrera said.