By Alex Ginsberg
A 10-year-old boy was struck and critically injured on Ditmars Boulevard in Astoria on Saturday night by a driver who fled the scene, police said.
Witnesses said the boy, a fifth-grade student at nearby PS 2, was riding his bicycle at about 7:30 p.m. on Ditmars Boulevard near 75th Street when a green Honda sport utility vehicle heading east on Ditmars Boulevard hit him.
Police said 19-year-old Emmanuel Kanios, of 25-39 80th St., turned himself in six hours later. He was charged with leaving the scene of an accident and speeding, they said.
The victim was taken to Elmhurst Hospital Center. He was still being treated Monday in the pediatric intensive care unit and was listed in critical condition.
One witness, a sixth-grader at nearby IS 141 who knew the victim, said the boy was not moving when the ambulance arrived.
Others told reporters that they saw the boy fly through the air about 100 feet, coming to rest on the ground by a parked car.
On Sunday morning, thick black skid marks could still be seen on the pavement near the corner where the boy was hit.
Harry and Anna Papaioannou, neighborhood residents who live on Ditmars Boulevard one block from the accident site, said the accident occurred because two vehicles had allegedly been drag racing.
Anna Papaioannou said such racing went on “constantly — all day long, through the night, all summer” on the six-block stretch of Ditmars Boulevard from Hazen to 76th streets because there were no traffic lights there.
Rose Marie Poveromo, president of the United Community Civic Association, said her organization had requested last month through Community Board 1 a traffic light to be installed at the intersection where the accident occurred.
The United Community Civic Association represents Astoria, Astoria Heights and Jackson Heights.
George Delis, district manager of the community board, confirmed that the request was received. He said it was faxed Monday to the Department of Transportation.
But Poveromo was incensed at the delay, and she predicted that the DOT would take even more time to study the situation.
“We need the light yesterday,” she said. “We need the light last year. This is a tragedy. This is a young boy who may not make it, and I’m very saddened by the fact that even one life has been impacted by lack of immediate response.
“Why is it that in this city a tragedy has to occur before anything gets taken care of?” she asked.
Reach reporter Alex Ginsberg by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 157.