The Department of Motor Vehicles has dropped two tickets against the driver who fatally struck a 3-year-old girl in Flushing last year, angering the toddler’s father and others.
Allison Liao and her grandmother were crossing the intersection of Cherry Avenue and Main Street on Oct. 6, 2013, when an SUV hit the child, according to police.
The driver, identified in media reports as Ahmad Abu-Zayedeha, remained at the scene and was not charged with a crime. But he was issued two summonses for failing to exercise due care and failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.
The girl’s father, Hsi-Pei Liao, took to social media Friday to express his feelings over the dismissal of the summonses.
“[email protected] why did you void the 2 tickets for the driver that killed my 3 year old daughter!?!?” he wrote on Twitter.
He has filed a civil suit against Abu-Zayedeha, according to the New York Post.
Advocacy group Transportation Alternatives and U.S. Rep. Grace Meng were also upset over the decision and took aim at the DMV.
In a statement, Meng said she would be writing to the department about the dismissal.
“After watching the video of this tragedy, I find the decision to dismiss these tickets very troubling,” she said.
According to the video and published reports, Liao and her grandmother were crossing with the light and holding each other’s hands when the SUV struck them as it was making a turn.
Abu-Zayedeha had been drinking before the accident, but passed a Breathalyzer test, reports said. He testified under oath that Allison had run into the path of his car, according to Gothamist.
Transportation Alternatives called for the removal of DMV Commissioner Barbara Fiala.
“This is an outrageous injustice to the family of Allison Liao, and to all New Yorkers,” executive Director Paul Steely White said. “The two summonses were already a mere slap on the wrist for the driver who failed to yield and killed Allison Liao when she was in the crosswalk with the light, hand-in-hand with her grandmother. Now the state Department of Motor Vehicles has decided the deadly driver who muscled his way through that crosswalk doesn’t even deserve such a paltry sanction.”
In a statement released to CBS New York, the DMV reiterated that no criminal charges were brought against Abu-Zayedeha in connection to the accident and said that the tickets had been dismissed on July 1.
“However, whenever a fatal accident occurs anywhere in the state, the DMV schedules a special safety hearing,” the statement also said. “That hearing for Mr. Abu-Zayedeha has been set for January 6. At that time, a determination will be made if Mr. Abu-Zayedeha has any culpability for the accident on October 6 that would result in any action being taken with regard to his driver license based on the Vehicle and Traffic law. DMV is an administrative agency and has no authority with regard to law enforcement or criminal prosecution.”