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4-Year-Old Boy Struck, Killed By Garbage Truck In Albany

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

A 4-year-old boy is dead after being struck by a truck, and police are investigating. The scene is a busy Albany intersection that was shut down for more than five hours today.

The corner of Central Avenue and Quail Street in Albany was closed off Thursday morning, as police conducted an investigation into a pedestrian accident. They say a 4-year-old boy was struck by a garbage truck while crossing the four-lane Central Avenue, just steps from WAMC studios. Police spokesman Steve Smith:  

"At approximately 8:30 this morning, officers responded to the area of Central Avenue and Quail Street for a report of a child hit by a car," Smith said. "When the officers arrived on the scene they located a child who had been struck by a vehicle."

Smith says the youngster has died. He says he was holding his mother's hand as the two crossed Central Avenue heading north toward Clinton Avenue. The Albany City School District says the boy was a pre-K student at Philip J. Schuyler Achievement Academy on Clinton Avenue.

No names and no further details have been released. Mayor Kathy Sheehan and Police Chief Steven Krokoff were on the scene early Thursday but did not speak to reporters.

The truck driver was identified by the Times Union as Jim Kelly, who works for ICS Waste and Recycling. 

In a written statement, the company says: "Due to the incident that occured [sic] this morning, ICS waste and Recycling would like to issue a formal statement. I was informed early this morning that one of our drivers, Jim, struck a young child with his truck driving down Central Avenue. The child had jumped over a snowbank and out into the road without warning. We have received no information as to where the parents of the child were. We are cooperating fully with local law enforcement in order to fully investigate what occurred. The family of I.C.S would like to say that our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of the child."

But police said that's not what the video of the incident showed. They say the collision occurred in the crosswalk with the child holding his mother's hand.

The crime scene tape came down and the roadway reopened around 2 o'clock.

In May 2013, WAMC and the Albany Times Union took a look at the unusual number of fatalities along Central Avenue in Albany. A Times Union story showed 300 people had been struck, and eight killed, on the road in the past five years. A panel of experts discussed how law enforcement, engineering and new technology might find ways to reduce accidents along the road. Jeff Olson, an architect and planner, was on that panel.

"It is the rule of law that pedestrians have the right of way when they're crossing the road. It also is the rule of law that we should be driving the speed limit. And I would urge people, whether they're on Central Avenue here in Albany or on Route 50 in Saratoga or on any of the other suburban corridors to be aware of that and drive the speed limit, 'cause it can make a big difference."

At the time of the accident, the city crossing guard assigned to the intersection was at the other side of the intersection crossing someone else, according to the mayor's office.

Central & Quail is on the list to receive the city’s new red light traffic cameras. The busy stretch of Route 5 often sees cars racing through yellow lights at upwards of 40 miles per hour.

Credit WAMC photo by Dave Lucas
The mayor and police chief look toward the accident scene.

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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