Staten Island Boy Rescued by Grandmother Recounts Hit-and-Run

The heroic woman pushed her 8-year-old grandson out of the way before she was hit

View Comments ()



    Clara Almazo, 57, right, and her grandson, Brian Herrera-Ramirez, left

    The young boy rescued by his grandmother from a hit-and-run driver on Staten Island says he tried to stop the driver barreling toward them on their walk home from church Thursday night.

    "I just put my hand out and said, 'Stop!' but the car didn't listen to me," Brian Herrera-Ramirez, 8, told the Daily News.

    Staten Island Woman Dies in Hit-and-Run, Saves Grandson

    [NY] Staten Island Woman Dies in Hit-and-Run, Saves Grandson
    A heroic Staten Island woman pushed her 8-year-old grandson out of the way before being struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver as the two walked home from church Thursday night. Brynn Gingras follows up on the story. (Published Saturday, April 7, 2012)

    Clara Almazo, 57, and her grandson were crossing Cary Avenue in West Brighton just before 10 p.m. Thursday when a black Ford Escape came speeding toward them.

    "I think [the driver] was talking to somebody," the boy said.

    Witnesses said Almazo was thrown 10 to 20 feet by the impact. She was later pronounced dead at Richmond University Hospital. Her grandson suffered a broken leg.

    The boy recounted the incident to the newspaper from his hospital room at the Richmond University Medical Center.

    "We just crossed," he said. "I heard my mom say, 'Run!' The car just pushed my grandma."

    Witnesses said the boy sat stunned on the curb as the driver took off, according to the paper.

    He said that he sensed his grandmother was not OK during their ambulance ride to the hospital.

    "It felt like when I'm worried about something that might happen," he said.

    The family was returning home from Thursday services at Our Lady of Mount Carmel-St. Benedicta Church.     

    The boy said he was close with his grandmother, who immigrated here from Mexico about seven years ago, and that he helped her learn English while she helped him with homework. She often prepared him his favorite meal of rice and tacos, he told the News.

    The family hopes to bury Almazo in her native country.

    The alleged driver, Brian McGurk, turned himself in several hours after the accident and was charged Friday with leaving the scene of an accident. He was released on $50,000 bail.

    He would not speak to Daily News reporters from his home Saturday.

    It wasn't known how fast McGurk was driving. His vehicle is under police surveillance.

    McGurk pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Friday.

    Police said additional charges could be issued against the 40-year-old suspect.

    Get the latest from NBC 4 New York anytime, anywhere. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Sign up for email newsletters here. Get breaking news delivered right to your phone -- just text NYBREAKING to 639710. For more info, text HELP. To end, text STOP. Message and data rates may apply.