A joyride turned deadly for a Waterbury-LaSalle child after the SUV she was riding in flipped over on the Bruckner Expressway service road, ejecting her. The other occupant of the vehicle, a 15-year old, denies he was behind the wheel when the accident occurred near Baisley Avenue at 12:03 a.m. on Tuesday, December 29.
The 2003 GMC Envoy, involved in the lethal accident , hit a curb on the left side of the road and went into a skid directly across from Schneider-Sampson Park.
Kaitlin Booth, 12, who lived at 1162 Edison Avenue, was ejected from the vehicle. Sources said the vehicle belonged to the family of the 15-year old, who lived one floor below on Edison Avenue. The Envoy was registered at the same Edison Avenue address.
The young man, whose name cannot be released because of his age, had not been charged with any crime as of press time.
“We are still investigating the accident, but we are not confirming anything at this time,” said Melvin Hernandez, spokesman for the Bronx District Attorney’s office.
Some published reports said that Booth walked away from the accident, but then collapsed. She was taken to Jacobi Hospital where she died. Friends described Booth as a “straight A student” who liked cheerleading. Booth attended Villa Maria Academy.
According to sources close to the case, the Envoy had been traveling southbound towards E. Tremont Avenue when it hit a curb on the left side of the street and the driver lost control, going into a skid.
Across the street from Schneider-Sampson Park, the SUV went through the highway’s chain-link fence, rolling over once and then skidding on its side. After striking a tree stump on the shoulder of the service road, it flipped over.
According to some sources, NYPD investigators believe that the 15-year old was the alleged driver of the vehicle, and that he allegedly dragged Booth out of the vehicle after the accident occurred. This had not been confirmed as of press time. Neither had the cause of Booth’s death.
“We conducted an autopsy,” said Ellen Borakove, spokeswoman for the Bronx Medical Examiners Office. “The circumstances [of Booth’s death] are undetermined pending police investigation.”
Reach reporter Patrick Rocchio at 718 742-3393 or firstname.lastname@example.org