NJ Man Arrested in NYC Hit-Run That Killed 4-Year-Old Boy, Badly Hurt 6-Year-Old

Police said at the time he was unaware he had even hit a child, let alone two

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A 76-year-old New Jersey man has been arrested on criminally negligent homicide and other charges in the hit-run crash that left a 4-year-old dead and a 6-year-old hurt in Brooklyn earlier this year, the NYPD said Thursday.

Yehiel Guzi, of Old Tappan, also is accused of leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death and acting in a manner injurious to a child younger than 17 in the Jan. 4 9 a.m. crash on 67th Street near Bensonhurst's P.S. 205 Clarion School.

It wasn't immediately clear if Guzi had retained an attorney, nor was it known how the NYPD connected the New Jersey man to the case.

At the time of the accident, police had said the driver, now believed to be Guzi, was heading south when he struck the two boys. Video shows the van come to a stop 30 yards from the scene of the accident and wait for almost 10 seconds, before taking off. The driver would voluntarily return to talk with police shortly after, however. Police said he was unaware he had even hit a child, let alone two.

The 4-year-old, identified as Yoshi Balaban, of Staten Island, was pronounced dead at the scene. The 6-year-old was taken to a hospital in critical condition but had been expected to survive. No update on his status was given Thursday.

Hours after the accident, volunteers were seen scrubbing the blood off the street at the scene of the incident — a busy spot on school mornings with public school kids heading into their school on one side of the street and religious school students headed into the yeshiva on the other.

It was not clear which school the students were attending or if the van that struck them was transporting other children at the time. Similar vans were seen picking up students from the yeshiva after school, hours later. A representative of the school declined to comment.

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