The driver who fatally struck a 65-year-old woman and an 8-year-old girl, and injured three other pedestrians, with her SUV at a Queens intersection on Friday afternoon apparently meant to hit the brake, but instead floored the accelerator, law enforcement sources said Saturday.
The apparent pedal error led to the deaths of Yuniang Cong, 65, of Henley Road in Jamaica Hills and Jashanty Cole, 8, of 134th Avenue in Springfield Gardens. Cops said the victims were not related.
Cong and Cole were among a group of pedestrians crossing at the corner of 164th Street and Jamaica Avenue in Jamaica at about 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 30 when the unidentified 47-year-old woman, behind the wheel of a black Range Rover, approached while heading southbound on 164th Street.
Instead of hitting the brake, police sources said, the driver pushed the accelerator, causing her to lose control and drive into the pedestrians as they crossed.
Authorities said Cong became pinned between the Range Rover and a light fixture, while Cole was thrown to the ground — the impact causing severe head trauma.
Officers from the 103rd Precinct and EMS units responded to the incident. Paramedics rushed Cong and Cole to Jamaica Hospital, where they were pronounced dead a short time later.
Three other pedestrians — a 31-year-old woman, a 16-year-old boy and a 71-year-old woman — were also hospitalized at Jamaica Hospital for injuries not considered life-threatening.
Cops said the driver remained at the scene following the incident. As of Saturday morning, no charges have been filed against her.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Twitter that the incident is “heartbreaking and gut-wrenching.”
Police are on the scene after a car jumped the curb in Queens, killing a woman and child, and injuring a second child. It’s heartbreaking and gut-wrenching. Chirlane and I are sending our prayers to their families.
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) October 30, 2020
The case is being handled by the NYPD Collision Investigation Squad.
This story was updated on Oct. 31.