Family and community members mourned the death of a 6-year-old girl who was struck by an SUV Tuesday night in Brooklyn and called for safer streets.
Dozens gathered at 12th Avenue in Dyker Heights on Thursday for a candlelight vigil in honor of Tamy Quema Guachiac, who was hit by a blue Lexus while she was playing on the street -- at an intersection where neighbors say speeding is common.
As relatives wept over the photos of bright-smile Tamy, local leaders and neighbors say her death and other similar accidents could be prevented. Daisy Mendez was among those who attended the vigil.
"I have a niece that age. It's so tragic because little girls shouldn't be dying," Mendez said.
New York City Councilman Justin Brannan and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams held a news conference at the scene Thursday and said 2021 is set to be the worst year for traffic deaths since 2014.
"This was not an accident. This was a crash. It could have been avoided," Brannan said. In just the past six months, 124 people died in traffic and 64 of which were pedestrians, according to Adams.
The 30-year-old driver of the vehicle that struck Tamy left the scene and then returned shortly after, where the girl's mother still was. Qiuhua Zhu was arrested and charged with manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and vehicular assault, police said.
A funeral for Tamy is scheduled for Friday.