BROOKLYN — A 9-year-old boy was struck and killed when an SUV driver trying to flee an earlier crash drove onto the sidewalk and pinned him under the car as his mother looked on, according to police and reports.
Lucian Merryweather, 9, was walking with his mother and his 5-year-old brother on DeKalb Avenue in a busy section of Fort Greene just before 1 p.m. Sunday when driver Anthony Byrd crashed his red Ford Expedition into a parked car and hopped the curb, striking another car and plowing into the doors of a restaurant, police said.
Byrd panicked and made an illegal U-turn, going the wrong way down the one-way DeKalb Avenue, police said. Byrd then sideswiped a Chrysler Pacifica and hopped the curb again, plowing into Merryweather in front of his 49-year-old mom, police said.
"It was horrific. There were people running and screaming," said Velma Armstrong.
The boy was declared dead at the scene, police said.
"He was a great kid, that's all I can say," a man said outside the family's Clinton Hill home.
Lucian was the son of Gregory Merryweather, an architect, green builder and professor at Pratt University, neighbors confirmed. His children both appear in older photos online for a DesignSponge article showcasing their Hall Street home.
Byrd, who lives a few blocks from the Merryweather family, was arrested and charged with criminally negligent homicide, assault, reckless endangerment, criminal mischief, reckless driving, and failure to yield right of way as well as driving the wrong direction on a one-way street and driving on the sidewalk, police said. He had previously been convicted of sexually abusing a 10-year-old girl in 2001, according to the state's sex offender registry.
Merryweather's mother and brother were also taken to hospital, where they were listed in stable condition, police said.
A 28-year-old woman was rushed to Kings County Hospital with a leg injury, police said.
Councilwoman Letitia James, who met with the family at the hospital, said the mother was struggling to cope with the crash. James said there was no community memorial planned, as the family had asked to be left to grieve in private.
"She's traumatized, as any mother would be who has lost their child," said James, who represents Fort Greene. "The other child... he is doing fine, he is going to be fine," she added.
A worker at Black Iris restaurant, which had its doors smashed by Byrd's SUV, said several employees and the owner saw the crash unfold and were still shaken up.
"We heard the first crash, like 'bang!'" said the worker, who did not want his name used. "It was too scary."
"This is really tragic," said resident Lisa Ferreira, who has lived in the community for a decade.