EAST ELMHURST — A 1-year-old baby girl was killed after a driver ran over her stroller as she and her mom were crossing a busy intersection on their way home Thursday night, police said.
The girl, Skylar Perkins, and her mother were crossing at the corner of 94th Street and 23rd Avenue on Thursday before 9 p.m. when Wallace Ramirez made a right turn in his pickup from 94th Street into the stroller, police and witnesses said.
"She yelled at the driver because the driver didn't see her, and the driver rolled right over the front of the stroller," witness Philip Walker, 39, said.
The distraught mom ran right over to her baby, pulling the pink and black stroller out from under the truck once it stopped, he said.
"She just kept saying 'My baby, my baby, God no, you hit my baby.' And when the driver got out, she ran at him once he finally realized he hit the stroller," he said.
The driver, who is from Ashfield, Mass., was arrested and charged with failure to yield and failure to exercise due care. A police official said he is working in Queens and staying at a nearby hotel. His pickup, a white Dodge Ram, had Delaware plates.
Reese Fluellen, 30, knows the mother and child from neighborhood parks and said he passed them on 94th Street moments before she was hit. They were walking back to The Landing family shelter, at 94-00 Ditmars Blvd., where they live.
"I turned the corner ... and I heard a crunch and I heard the screaming," he said.
He rushed over to help, but the baby was covered in blood and unconscious.
"I did two tours in Iraq and I've seen some messed up stuff and this was one of the most messed up things I've ever seen," the Army military police officer said, holding back tears.
Plainclothes detectives from the 115th Precinct drove by the scene less than two minutes later and whisked the mother and child to the hospital in their car, Fluellen said.
"They grabbed her and they grabbed the mom and they sped off to the hospital," he said.
Captain Nicola Ventre, the executive officer from the 115th Precinct, said the two undercover officers were patrolling East Elmhurst when they saw the crash.
The baby was pronounced dead at Elmhurst Hospital.
A small memorial with candles was placed outside The Landing shelter on Friday for the young girl, as residents said the mood inside was somber.
"The staff, residents — everyone is just down and out," Stacy de Jesus said as she left to go to work.
Grief counselors were inside the shelter, which is run by CAMBA, and were available throughout the day.
Josh Estrella, 24, has lived at the shelter for a year and said he knew Perkins and her mother only in passing — but that it still "broke" him to learn the news.
"She really loved that baby," he said.