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Driver Charged In UWS Chase That Killed Young Girl, Injured Grandmother

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TWC News: Driver Charged In UWS Chase That Killed Young Girl, Injured Grandmother
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A 17-year-old driver who police say fatally ran over a 4-year-old girl and critically wounded the child's grandmother Tuesday morning after allegedly fleeing from police during a Manhattan traffic stop is now facing charges.

Police say Franklin Reyes, 17, is charged with manslaughter and vehicular manslaughter.

It all began around 8:15 a.m. when police officers pulled over Reyes' black Nissan Frontier for reckless driving on 89th Street between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues.

When officers approached the vehicle, police say Reyes turned onto Amsterdam Avenue and started driving north.

They say officers then followed him closely before the SUV jumped the sidewalk at 97th Street and hit a building.

Police say Reyes then put the SUV in reverse, running over four-year-old Ariel Russo of the Bronx and her 58-year-old grandmother.

"He was absolutely being chased. He went flying through the intersection, came back down, hit the woman and little girl. Got out to flee, they pinned him down," said one witness.

"It was a very loud bang, like short and quick, really loud," said another witness.

Ariel and her grandmother were taken to St. Luke's Hospital, where the girl was declared dead.

Reyes, who was operating the vehicle with a learner's permit, was taken in custody to Mt. Sinai for hyperventilating, according to sources.

Police say Reyes does not have a previous criminal record.

While it is not clear how fast the SUV or the officers following it were going, a police spokesman says the officers involved followed proper procedure.

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