Jersey City

Bus Driver With Suspended License Hits, Kills 11-Year-Old Boy in Jersey City: Sheriff

A bus driver with a suspended license hit an 11-year-old boy walking to school in Jersey City Friday morning, killing him, officials say. 

George Gonzalez was walking to school in the vicinity of John F. Kennedy Boulevard and Neptune Avenue Friday morning when he realized he forgot his football jersey. His aunt, who was across the street, was ready to give him his jersey when he was hit by the bus.

The boy's uncle, Nelson Rodriguez, told reporters, "As he was crossing in the crosswalk, there was a Snapple truck parked here. And the bus went around it, speeding, and dragged my nephew to where that van is."

"He wasn't moving, he was bleeding," said his aunt, Christy Gonzalez, still in shock. 

The boy was taken to Jersey City Medical Center in what a hospital spokeswoman described as "very critical" condition and died several hours later.

"I just can't believe it," said Gonzalez. "He was laying right here." 

The bus stopped after hitting the boy; it's not clear if it had any passengers at the time of the accident.

The driver, 44-year-old Raul Delatorre-Galaza of Elizabeth, was taken in for questioning and later arrested on a charge of causing a death while driving with a suspended license, the Hudson County sheriff said. He was also issued a summons for driving while suspended.

Delatorre-Galaza had as many as nine license suspensions on his record, law enforcement sources said. 

Delatorre-Galaza is being held at the Hudson County Correctional Center on $50,000 cash bail. Attorney information wasn't immediately clear. 

Neighbors say the area is always busy, particularly during the morning rush as children head to school nearby. Many are heartbroken by the loss. 

"He was a good kid, he was really happy," Martha Melendez said, she wiped tears from her eyes. "He used to come downstairs [to my apartment] to play with my daughter."

"Every day after school he walks his dog," another neighbor said. "This is a sad, sad day."

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