Gothamist: NYPD Says School Crossing Guard Absent Where Boy Was Killed

East Harlem Community Board members reacted angrily to Steve Vaccaro’s observation that their delaying of pedestrian safety improvements on First Avenue might have contributed to the death of 9-year-old Amar Diarrassouba.

The school crossing guard assigned to the East Harlem intersection where a 6-year-old boy was fatally struck by a tractor trailer yesterday never showed up for work and lied about her whereabouts, according to the NYPD. After the crash, Flavia Roman, 55, told reporters that she had briefly left the corner to use the bathroom, but now sources say she never showed up until after the crash, even though her shift was supposed to start at 7:30 a.m.

In an ugly Twitter exchange documented on Streetsblog, a local restaurateur blamed the crash on Diarrassouba’s 9-year-old brother. Community Board member Erik Mayor, owner of Milk Burger, was angered at attorney Steve Vaccaro’s Tweet speculating that rejected changes to First Avenue might have saved the boy’s life. Vaccaro was referring to the board’s rejection of a proposal for bike lanes and pedestrian refuges on First and Second Avenues from 96th to 125th Streets.

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