THE BRONX — A 4-year-old boy was struck and killed by a minivan just outside his home on Topping Avenue in The Bronx Tuesday evening, officials said.
Ebrahim Kebe was hit by a black 2010 Chrysler minivan traveling north near 1759 Topping Ave., between East 174th and East 175th streets, in the Mount Hope section of The Bronx about 6 p.m. Tuesday, the FDNY and the NYPD said.
Kebe was taken to Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center, where he was pronounced dead on arrival, an NYPD spokeswoman said.
Kebe, the youngest child in a large West African family, lived at 1757 Topping Ave., just next to the crash.
His aunt Fante Soumare, 41, who lives with the family, raced down to the street after Kebe was hit and cradled the child in her lap until the ambulance arrived.
"I heard people screaming outside and I saw the boy," Soumare said through tears Tuesday evening. "He was laying on the floor. I grabbed him and laid him on my legs. He was bleeding out of his nose and mouth. He was gasping."
Shocked relatives gathered Tuesday night at the family's home to mourn Kebe.
"I just lost my breath," said Mohamed Kebe, 24, Ebrahim's oldest brother, who learned of the accident through a text message.
Mohamed Kebe described Ebrahim as "a funny kid" who liked basketball. He had five older sisters and two older brothers.
"Everybody loved him," Mohamed Kebe said.
The family is from Guinea and Ebrahim's father, a truck driver, was back there this week visiting relatives, Mohamed Kebe said.
Mohamed Kebe added that he was furious at the driver of the minivan, who remained at the scene of the accident and was not charged.
Police said no criminality was suspected, and officers told Ebrahim's family the driver was not speeding, Kebe said.
The investigation into the crash is continuing, the NYPD said.
Neighbors said Ebrahim Kebe and his siblings often played with other local children in the street outside their home.
"It's an accident waiting to happen," said Junior Nunez, who has lived on the block for 15 years and said he frequently sees kids playing in the street, especially in the summer.
While Topping Avenue is a quiet residential street, the block where the accident occurred is adjacent to the Cross Bronx Expressway, and neighbors said cars often race up the street during rush hour as they take a shortcut through the neighborhood.
"When the block seems empty people think they can speed through here," said Queenie, a mother of five who lives on the block.
Other neighbors recalled Ebrahim Kebe as a friendly, smiling child.
"He was a very sweet little guy," said a 48-year-old woman who gave her name as Miss Jones and lives in Kebe's building. "He always ran up to me to say 'Hi' and try to play with me."