At 7:48 a.m. last Thursday at the corner of 71st Street and Grand Avenue, a Honda Pilot barreled into five students on their way to school, IS 73.
The driver, 40-year-old Francis Lu, was attempting to parallel park his car but as the SUV swept into the space, he stepped on the gas instead of the brake just as Angie Pena and her two friends walked by.
Video surveillance from a nearby deli that was leaked on YouTube shows the car knocking over a parking meter seconds before slamming into Pena and barely missing her two friends.
The car then mowed down friends Ashley Kahn, 13, and Marina Abadir, 14, who were standing nearby and were pinned underneath the vehicle.
Several onlookers ran over to the scene and proceeded to lift the car off the teenagers.
According to the NYPD, the car struck three girls and two boys, leaving all but one with fractures, breaks and lacerations.
Kahn sustained the worse injuries, suffering a compound fracture to her leg and a broken pelvis. Abadir had a broken back.
All of the students were transported to Elmhurst Medical Center and most are listed in stable condition except Michael Gomez, 13, who sustained minor injuries in the accident, but died on Saturday from an asthma attack.
Department of Education School Chancellor Dennis Walcott visited each student on Friday and informed those waiting outside that they were doing well and that one boy asked if he would be able to go back to school tomorrow.
“Kids are kids,” he told the press. “They’re resilient.”
In response to the bloody morning, Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village) toured Grand Avenue with Department of Transportation Queens Borough Commissioner Dalila Hall to discuss traffic safety improvements on the avenue.
Crowley has spent several years creating and implementing a safe routes to schools program in partnership with the DOT in the area.
The NYPD reported that Lu has been fully cooperative with officers who administered a Breathalyzer test on the scene — he was not found with any alcohol in his system. He has not been charged with any summonses.