A 1-year-old girl died and her mother was hurt after both were hit by a Jeep as they crossed a Staten Island intersection early Thursday, authorities say.
The Jeep Cherokee driver was turning at the intersection of Abbott Street and Scarboro Avenue in Shore Acres as the mother and baby were walking hand-in-hand in the crosswalk around 7 a.m. and hit them, police said. The driver, a 40-year-old woman, stayed at the scene.
She appeared to be wearing a medical uniform. A neighbor's surveillance video showed her immediately leaping from the Jeep and running to help the injured pair after the accident. The neighbor described the woman on the ground with them, hugging them.
Law enforcement sources close to the investigation said the driver told police she was running late for work and that she simply did not see the 31-year-old mother and daughter crossing the street.
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Emergency crews responding to the call found the baby and her 31-year-old mother in the intersection with trauma to their bodies. The baby, later identified as Lian Mashni, died a short time later. Her mother, who witnesses said was trying to shield her daughter from the impact, was recovering at Staten Island University North Hospital. Details on her injuries weren't known.
Chopper 4 showed a heavy law enforcement presence at the scene through the morning.
Multiple neighbors say they were awoken by screams and ran outside to help. They said they saw a lot of blood. The mother and daughter live in the neighborhood and neighbors saw them frequently out on walks, but they weren't familiar with their names.
"When the ambulance came, I had to tell the mom to let them do their job, because she didn't want to let go of her child," said neighbor Frances Garcia. "The lady that hit her came running to me, I hugged her, I was like, 'Everything is going to be alright."
The driver of the vehicle, Shannon Cocozza, was arrested and charged with failure to yield to a pedestrian and failure to exercise due care.
The investigation is ongoing.