Unlicensed Van Driver Kills Infant in Stroller on Astoria Boulevard [Updated]

A van driver backing out of a driveway on Astoria Boulevard struck and killed an eight-month-old boy in a stroller at around 10 a.m. this morning.

Navraj Raju
Navraj Raju

The crash happened at 92-20 Astoria Boulevard, according to NYPD, on a block that is saturated with curb cuts. The infant’s mother was pushing him on the sidewalk when the driver reversed into the stroller. The child was pronounced dead at Elmhurst Hospital Center.

The driver was unlicensed, according to NYPD. Charges are pending but have yet to be filed. NYPD policy is to withhold the name of the driver until charges have been filed.

This fatal crash happened in the 115th Precinct. If you’re concerned about traffic safety in the neighborhood, you can speak to commanding officer Michele Irizarry at the precinct community council, which meets on the third Tuesday of every month.

Update: The victim has been identified as Navraj Raju, and the driver as Armando Rodriguez, 44.

In a statement, Transportation Alternatives announced a protest with parents with strollers at City Hall next Thursday, “demanding to know how Mayor de Blasio plans to solve this crisis.”

Sofia Russo, whose 4-year-old daughter was killed by a reckless driver in 2013, said:

As a parent whose little girl was killed by a dangerous driver, I was so hopeful to hear about Vision Zero at the start of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration, but without a tangible commitment from his administration, we’ll never reach that vision. To hear that another parent has lost a child is devastating. If Mayor de Blasio is serious about Vision Zero, I want to see him support this safety initiative with real resources and funding.

The block of Astoria Boulevard in East Elmhurst where a van driver backed over and killed an infant in a stroller this morning. Image via Google Street View

Correction: This post originally cited a police spokesperson who said the driver would be charged with unlicensed operation and DWI, but the DWI charge hasn’t been confirmed. The post has been amended to reflect that.