QUEENS, NY – A fatal incident unfolded in Queens on Friday morning when a 73-year-old grandmother was by a school bus driver. The woman, identified as Maria Rodriguez, had just dropped her grandchildren off at school at the time of the accident. The fatal crash took place around 7:30 a.m. near the crossroads of 86th Street and 107th Avenue in Ozone Park. The family arrived at the scene, their grief so overwhelming that some members fell to their knees in the street, too stunned to contain their despair.
Rodriguez, a beloved family figure, was lauded for her role in child-rearing in the family. “She would take every kid that she could to school. She raised them like it was her own. She basically raised me, too,” grieved her grandson, Joel Rodriguez. Residing in the Bronx, Rodriguez was known for frequenting her daughter’s family residence and contributing significantly to the family’s upkeep. She was often referred to as the binding force within her family.
At the time of the accident, Rodriguez was not within a crosswalk, according to investigators. The 47-year-old bus driver responsible stayed at the scene and is under scrutiny by investigators. Residents in the locality described the situation as heartbreaking, with neighboring individuals sharing their reactions to the accident. Concerns are also being raised about potential speeding in the neighborhood, prompting calls for more traffic control measures.
Currently, Rodriguez’s grieving loved ones are preparing for her funeral. Meanwhile, investigations have found that four children aboard the bus at the time were unharmed. The driver has since been taken into police custody, with charges pending.