12-Year-Old Boy Killed by Van in Park Slope – Bill to Reduce Speed Limit

A 12-year-old boy was killed after he was struck by a van traveling on Prospect Park West and 3rd Street on October 8.

Sammy had the light in his favor when he went to retrieve his soccer ball in the intersection but when he entered the crosswalk, the light suddenly changed and the van came racing down the street at full speed.

Sammy’s mother, Amy and sister testified in favor of a bill to reduce the speed limit to 20mph in residential areas.

Sammy’s death came just one month before his Bar Mitvah. “Our family has suffered an unspeakable loss,” Cohen said, her voice trembling and breaking.

Sammy’s death jolted the tight-knit Park Slope community. Almost a month later, there’s still a memorial at the intersection and a second at his nearby middle school. Someone tied teddy bears to every lamppost along Prospect Park West.

“Just yesterday morning, Amy used a borrowed radar gun to clock the speed of vehicles traveling in front of our home on Prospect Park West where Sammy was killed,” said Gary Eckstein, Sammy’s father. “In a span of approximately 15 minutes, 25 vehicles — many of them large commercial vehicles — exceeded the 30 mph limit.”

Sammy’s sister, Tamar, 14, somehow managed not to break down while reading a letter she’d written for her brother’s funeral. “You made me so happy when you wrote me a letter from camp,” she read. “Even though it was short and you didn’t really say much.”

Activits in Park Slope recently put up 20mph signs on Prospect Park West in an effort to help re

“Death by traffic is the leading preventable cause of death for children under the age of 15,” said Paul Steely White, executive director of Transportation Alternatives, who was also emotional throughout his testimony. Even before Sammy’s death, Cohen and Eckstein had been members of the group.duce speeding in this residential area.

This is a horrific tragedy in our local neighborhood. We urge drivers to please slow down in residential areas. Please do not exceed the speed limit and watch out for pedestrians!

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a pedestrian knockdown accident, contact us today for help.

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