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Police & Fire

Victim, Driver ID'd: Boy Dies After Being Hit By Minivan In Westchester

South Columbus Avenue in Mount Vernon.
South Columbus Avenue in Mount Vernon. Photo Credit: Google Maps

Police have released new details regarding the tragic incident in which a minivan struck and killed a 9-year-old boy while crossing the street in Westchester.

Drew Faustin, a fourth-grade student at Graham Elementary School in Mount Vernon was struck by the vehicle driven by 27-year-old Connecticut resident Janay Ruiz, 27, shortly after 6:45 p.m. on Wednesday, May 8, while crossing South Columbus Avenue in Mount Vernon, officials said. The boy was transported to Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx for treatment, where he was pronounced dead.

Ruiz, whose place of residence in Connecticut was not released, remained at the scene and is not expected to face charges, as the incident has been deemed an accident pending further police investigation.

“Our hearts are broken with the tragic traffic accident involving one of our elementary school children who just wanted to travel and play. The boy was on the verge of ‘double digits’ with his birthday next week and was looking forward to celebrating Mother’s Day with his mom,” Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas said in a statement.

“Though precious moments will never come to pass, we must lean into the Lord and pray for the family, his elementary school classmates, the Congregational Heights Church and good Mount Vernon families. I praise and thank the Mount Vernon Police, Fire, Empress Ambulance and Mount Vernon Hospital doctors who fought to stabilize the boy enough to transport him to Jacobi where he later moved on.”

Mount Vernon Police Chief Richton Ziadie said, “the men and women of the Mount Vernon Police Department are working vigorously on this investigation. We extended our heartfelt condolences to the family and loved ones of the victim.”

Graham School Principal Natasha Hunter-McGregor issued a statement on behalf of the school after he was identified.

"Drew was well liked by his classmates and teachers. He always had a smile on his face and compassion for his friends," Hunter-McGregor said in a statement. "He will be greatly missed. We extend our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends. We ask that you keep them in your prayers as we mourn the tragic loss of one of our Graham School Stars.”

“Please keep the family and our school community in your thoughts and prayers,” the Mount Vernon School District posted on Facebook. “It is times like this that we must band together for the sake of all children.”

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