By Jess Wisloski and Jesse Lent
DNAinfo.com New York Reporters
CONEY ISLAND — A 3-year-old boy was fatally injured after he was struck by an ambulette Friday night, and died before reaching the hospital.
Police identified the victim as Kevin Rodriguez, 3, of Coney Island.
An FDNY spokesman said a call came in at 7:47 p.m. from 2792 West 15th St., for a child hit by an ambulette near Neptune Avenue. Upon arrival, police said they found the boy unconscious and unresponsive.
Responders arrived and transported the child, who was in critical condition, to Coney Island Hospital. He was pronounced dead on arrival.
Police said an investigation revealed that the child was struck by a woman, 49, driving an ambulette, who was traveling westbound on Neptune Avenue, and turning northbound on West 15th Street when she struck the boy, who was crossing West 15th Street.
Family member's at Kevin's home on Saturday declined to speak to a reporter, but flowers appeared early at the site of the intersection of West 15th and Neptune, where the boy was struck.
Wayne Chappell, 52, an upstairs neighbor, said Kevin's and his own family had just recently moved into the condominium building. He said it was just three of them, the mother and father and the little boy living in the unit below his.
He said he saw the three of them playing in the yard just last weekend.
"They're nice people, I feel bad for them," said Chappell. "He was a happy little boy. I have a daughter, I know how he must feel."
Witnesses in the neighborhood reported that the van was driven by a worker for Great Ambulette Company, at 1612 Neptune Ave.
A person answering the phone for the company refused to speak, and said, "We have no comment at this time" when asked if the company was involved.
According to a laundromat worker, the boy's mother had been doing washing when the accident occurred, but had been standing outside when Kevin was hit.
"We were inside doing laundry," said the worker, who did not what her name published. "The woman was outside, we heard her screaming," she said.
An mechanic at Great Auto Repair, which is just up the road from the ambulette service at 2772 West 15th St., said the van had been checked at his shop recently.
"The car was just inspected on Monday," said Victor, who did not want his last name used. "It was in excellent condition, it passed the DOT inspection," he said. Despite the similar name, he said his business was not connected in any way to the ambulette service. But he defended the driver, saying that a surveillance video he'd seen from a deli shows that the child appeared to have been crossing the street alone.
"The company is not guilty, the driver is not guilty, it was the responsibility of the parents," he said.
The video was not immediately available for viewing.
Police said no criminality appeared to be involved, but said an investigation was ongoing.