By Sam Hagens, Leon Mastik and Pieter Munnik
Every 33 hours someone is killed by a traffic crash in New York City and every day five children are hit by a car. One of them was Lucian Merryweather, a Fort Greene 9-year-old who was killed by an SUV while walking on the sidewalk near the corner of DeKalb and Clermont Avenues with his mother and five-year-old brother Theodore on Nov. 2, 2013.
The speeding SUV, driven by Anthony Byrd, 59, was traveling the wrong way on DeKalb, before it crashed into several parked cars, then hopped the curb and pinned the fourth-grader, killing him instantly. Byrd has been indicted on charges of criminally negligent homicide, assault, criminal mischief, reckless driving, failure to yield, driving the wrong way on a one-way street and driving on the sidewalk.
As Mayor Bill de Blasio stumps for his Vision Zero plan to wipe out traffic fatalities in New York City by 2024, we sat down with Lucian’s father, Gregory Merryweather, to talk about how his family is trying to find “another way to exist” in the aftermath of a tragedy that plays out on city streets with alarming regularity.