GARFIELD, N.J. -- (UPDATE) A 12-year-old Albanian boy who was struck and killed by a box truck in Garfield on Tuesday had just emigrated to New Jersey a few days earlier.
Identified by his cousin as Elios Xhemollari, the boy was riding alongside the truck's right side on the sidewalk of eastbound Lanza Avenue when the 43-year-old truck driver made a right turn onto Pleasant Avenue, hitting the boy, at 1:17 p.m. Tuesday, Capt. Darren Sucorowski said.
He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The boy had only arrived here on Friday, a GoFundMe page established by his cousin for the family says. He was in the process of being enrolled into the Garfield school district.
"The family doesn’t even have cell phones yet," a source with direct knowledge of the incident told Daily Voice. "Didn’t even move into their apartment yet -- they’ve been staying with a friend while they get their new home ready.
"Just terrible -- the loss of a child and on top of that being in a strange country."
Created around noon Wednesday, the GoFundMe page created by the boy's cousin had raised more than $53,000 (over its $20,000 goal) in 10 or hours Wednesday.
TO DONATE: https://www.gofundme.com/5gi25z4
The driver cooperated with the investigation and refused transportation to the hospital, signing a medical release at the scene, Sucorowski said Wednesday.
Witnesses said he was visibly upset, pacing back and forth and shaking his head, while waiting for police.
Although no charges had been filed or summonses issued, Garfield police were continuing an investigation, assisted by the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office and the Bergen County Sheriff's Office, whose Bureau of Criminal Identification collected evidence, Sucorowski said.
"We would ask that anyone who may have been in the area of Lanza and Pleasant Avenue at the time of this accident and may be able to provide even the smallest amount of information, please contact Lt. Michael Marsh of the Garfield Police Department Operations Division at (973) 478-8500, ext. 4154.
Meanwhile, Schools Supt. Nicholas Perrapato said grief counselors were provided for district students.
At the same time, Sucorowski, the police captain, asked that "all of the media to consider the privacy of our young victim, the grieving family and friends, the driver and the people of the neighborhood where this tragedy occurred."
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