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Teen Fatally Struck by Vehicle in Red Hook, NYPD Says

By  Aidan Gardiner and Nikhita Venugopal | June 2, 2014 9:51am | Updated on June 2, 2014 5:27pm

 Nicholas Soto, 14, was struck and killed by a car at Lorraine and Hicks Streets Monday morning, police said.
Teen Struck by Vehicle in Red Hook
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BROOKLYN — A teenage boy died after he was struck by a car in Red Hook Monday morning, the NYPD said.

Nicholas Soto, 14, was near the intersection of Hicks and Lorraine streets when a 2004 BMW hit him about 6:50 a.m., according to the NYPD.

He was taken to Methodist Hospital and pronounced dead, officials said.

The victim, who lived in Red Hook Houses East, was crossing Hicks Street when he was struck by the vehicle traveling on Lorraine Street and suffered severe head trauma, according to police. 

Nicholas, who was reportedly running to catch a school bus when he was struck, had to leave early for school that morning because he needed extra academic help, said Deborah Soto, his mother. 

The driver remained on the scene, police said. No charges or tickets were immediately issued, but police were still investigating the crash, a spokesman added.

The boy's death came amid Mayor de Blasio's effort to dramatically reduce the number of traffic-related deaths and injuries through a program dubbed "Vision Zero."

The teen's family and residents of Red Hook Houses East complained that the corner at Lorraine and Hicks Streets was notoriously dangerous and desperately needed a speed bump or traffic light to slow oncoming traffic. 

Eddie Soto, Nicholas' father, said his son's death reflected the community's need for safer streets.

"It's not only about my son," Soto said. "It's about everyone else."

Pedestrian accidents have occured at the corner in the past, including a man who was struck by a bus on Lorraine Street last year, residents said. 

"[Nicholas] was so young," said Olivia Daniels, who has a 13-year-old daughter and lives in Red Hook Houses East. 

"[And] he's not the only child crossing the street."

Some residents complained that vehicles parked along Lorraine Street make it difficult to see oncoming traffic before crossing the street.

Pedestrians have to walk onto the road and peer down to the street to check for traffic, which travels dangerously close to the parked cars, said Latiayia Williams, who has a 7-year-old daughter and an almost 2-year-old son. 

"It's easy to get hit," she said.