Baby girl struck and killed by pickup truck driver in East Elmhurst: NYPD

Officers from the 115th Precinct set up a checkpoint across 94th Street in East Elmhurst from where 1-year-old Skylar Perkins was struck and killed in her stroller Thursday night.
Photo by Bill Parry
By Bill Parry

A 1-year-old baby girl was struck and killed by a pickup truck in East Elmhurst Thursday night, according to the NYPD. The toddler, identified as Skylar Perkins, was in a stroller being pushed by her mother across 23rd Avenue just before 9 p.m. when a white Dodge Ram made a right turn off 94th Street crushed the stroller, police said.

The baby girl suffered severe trauma to the head and body, according to police. Officers from the 115th Precinct rushed both the mother and child in the back of their vehicle to Elmhurst Hospital Center where the child was pronounced dead, police say.

The driver of the pickup, Wallace Ramirez, 44, of Ashfield, Mass. remained at the scene. Ramirez was arrested and charged with failure to yield to a pedestrian and failure to exercise due care, according to the NYPD.

Mayor Bill de Blasio commented about the fatal collision on Twitter Friday morning. “Heartbreaking news last night,” he tweeted. “We’re redoubling our Vision Zero efforts to spare families this kind of pain.”

The mother and child lived at the Landing, a shelter for homeless families, located at 94-00 Ditmars Boulevard, which the city’s Department of Homeless Services converted at the former Clarion hotel in August, 2015. The intersection is a busy one, as it leads to the 94th Street Bridge approach to LaGuardia Airport.

“We are deeply saddened by this tragic incident,” Department of Social Services Commissioner Steve Banks said. “On behalf of the Department of Social Services, we offer our condolences to the family and friends in this difficult time. Mental health counselors are on site to offer support to our clients and staff.”

The crash scene is not far from where 8-month-old Navraj Raju was struck and killed in a stroller last October.

Officers from the 115th Precinct were back at the intersection Friday morning operating a checkpoint, as police tape fluttered from a pedestrian island. An officer confirmed the stops were related to the deadly collision that took Skylar’s life.

“That’s why we’re here,” he said. “We’re just checking licenses and making sure people are wearing seat belts. We want to make sure people are driving safely here.”

Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparry@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4538.

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