May 9, 2023 By Bill Parry
A Maspeth woman was arrested and charged Tuesday morning for fatally striking a 7-year-old girl in Astoria in February.
Claudia Mendez-Vazquez, 46, of Maurice Avenue was booked at the 114th Precinct in Astoria and was charged with criminally negligent homicide for allegedly driving through a stop sign at the intersection of Newtown Road and 45th Street and striking Dolma Naadhun on the afternoon of Feb. 17.
Officers from the 114th Precinct arrived minutes after the collision and found the youngster lying on the roadway with severe head trauma. She was rushed in an NYPD squad car to Elmhurst Hospital Center, where she was pronounced dead. Mendez-Vazquez remained at the scene.
An investigation by the NYPD Highway District’s Collision Investigation Squad determined that Mendez-Vazquez was behind the wheel of a 2021 Ford Explorer traveling eastbound on Newtown Road and as she approached the intersection with 45th Street, failed to complete her stop at the stop sign and struck the 7-year-old girl as she was crossing from the northeast corner to the southwest corner. Mendez-Vazquez was not injured in the collision.
An NYPD spokesman could not to provide any detail on how her arrest was made on Tuesday morning.
Astoria elected officials and community members rallied for immediate safety measures at the intersection following the girl’s death and on March 30, the city’s Department of Transportation announced it would install a traffic light at the intersection in May.
Mendez-Vazquez’s arraignment in Queens Criminal Court is pending.
Driving past a stop sign without stopping is not enough to establish criminally negligent homicide. This is ordinary negligence – a civil matter.
The photo shows the stop sign at the right visible. However, when I drive around many stop signs are hidden behind tree growth.
My condolences for the family, and by the way, it’ll be good if they install a light also in front of the park in 45th street and 30th Rd, a lot of kids crossing there and there is not a light or at least a ” STOP ALL WAY ” sign .