A memorial on the corner of Gates and Vanderbilt Avenues pays tribute to an infant, now gone forever.
“I saw the cars wrapped around the pole,” said Nicole Simmons.
Seeing the baby blanket, bottle and stuffed animals is devastating Simmons said.
“Honestly, it’s heartbreaking. I heard about it, but to see it, I have a sunken feeling inside,” Simmons said.
She says the community is horrified after police say that on Saturday night a driver going the wrong way crashed into another car, and a mother, father and three-month-old baby in a stroller were hit. The infant was ejected into the street and the mother was left unconscious and rushed to the hospital.
“I heard a crash and sound like an explosion and I look to the left and call 911 immediately,” said witness Renee Collymore. “I heard the father start screaming and screaming, holding the baby in his arms. It was scary. It was the sound of helplessness.”
That helplessness has turned to anger, after authorities revealed that the driver police believe caused the crash, 28-year-old Tyrik Mott, has a history of traffic violations for speeding and reckless driving. City records show the vehicle he was driving has 160 violations, including running red lights more than a dozen times and speeding in school zones 91 times — 35 of those violations are from this year alone.
“I’m angry and I’m angry because we have to do this again and again and again. It doesn’t matter if it’s a baby,” said Danny Harris, executive director of Transportation Alternatives.
Police say Mott tried to carjack another vehicle after the wreck, but was arrested at the scene. Both Mayor Bill de Blasio and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams say this crash shows the need for tougher laws from Albany and funding for enforcement.
“Violence is violence. It does not change based on the tool that was used to carry out the violence,” Adams said.
There are several schools in this neighborhood and people in the area say they at least want to see more speed bumps and traffic warning signs.
“They should’ve repossess the car, revoked that license, everything. That doesn’t make sense. They don’t have a system to keep track of things like this? This could’ve been prevented,” Simmons said.