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Throngs mourn accident victim

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A steady stream of people, many of them teenage friends of Kaitlin Booth, mourned the death of the 12-year old Waterbury-LaSalle resident at her wake on New Year’s Day. Booth died in a tragic car accident on the Bruckner Expressway service road.

A 45th Precinct police car sat outside Victor Quirolo & Sons Funeral Home for the wake and funeral precession through Throggs Neck on Saturday, January 2.

Police believe that Booth was a passenger in a 2003 GMC Envoy early on Tuesday, December 29 when the vehicle, reportedly driven by her 15-year old neighbor, Anthony Pontis, crashed opposite Schneider-Sampson Park near Baisley Avenue. The vehicle skidded, then flipped into a chain-link fence and rolled. Booth was taken to Jacobi Hospital, where she died from her injuries. As of press time, no charges had been filed against Pontis, reportedly a resident of the same three-family Edison Avenue house where Booth also lived.

“The investigation is ongoing, with no arrests yet,” city Law Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Thomas said.

The 15-year old has reportedly denied that he was the driver of the vehicle and has secured an attorney. He was questioned at the 45th Precinct after the accident, and was released into the custody of his mother. Early reports stated he told police that he had been walking with Booth and that the errant vehicle hit her.

Reportedly, the vehicle was traveling more than 50 miles per hour in a 30 miles per hour zone. It was traveling southbound on the service road towards E. Tremont Avenue when it hit a curb on the left side of the street, causing and the driver to lose control.

The crash occurred next to an off-ramp from the Bruckner Expressway to E. Tremont Avenue; the vehicle stopped near the shoulder of the Bruckner. Neighbors asked that the families of Booth and Pontis left alone.

“I think that people ought to start leaving [the families] of these kids alone,” an Edison Avenue resident said. “Can you imagine what it must be like to lose a kid?”

According to the Bronx Medical Examiner, the cause of Booth’s death remains under investigation.

Reach reporter Patrick Rocchio at 718 742-3394 or procchio@cnglocal.com

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CNG: Community Newspaper Group