2006-07-20 / Other News

Mill Basin Street Where Boy Was Struck By Van To Become Dead End

By Charles Rogers

Boy injured in van accident Sunday (foreground) is comforted by his father as East 52nd Street residents man the barrier.         Charles RogersBoy injured in van accident Sunday (foreground) is comforted by his father as East 52nd Street residents man the barrier. Charles Rogers After four-year-old Emanuel Papa-dopoulos was injured Sunday by a van that struck him on East 52nd Street near Avenue T in Mill Basin, residents of that street decided to take matters into their own hands. The next day, they blocked off the street to thru traffic.

Thankfully, Emanuel suffered only a broken right collarbone, among other, relatively minor, injuries, none of which are life-threatening. Emanuel's father, Paul, along with other East 52nd Street residents, helped Ed Evans, who coordinated the effort, to put up barriers across the intersection in order to block "dollar vans and other vehicles," he said, from going down the street.

Evans engineered setting up the barriers, using some street cones and blue NYPD barriers. The blockade prevents vehicles from going south to Avenue U.

"We're going to leave the barriers there until the Department of Trans-portation (DOT) comes through and makes this street a dead end," Evans said.

But he didn't have to. Apparently, it's already a done deal.

According to Deputy Inspector Kevin McGinn, commanding officer of the 63rd Precinct, the DOT has agreed to reconfigure the street, but they have to arrange issues with the Department of Sanitation, Fire Department and other emergency services first.

"We're already helping with giving them barriers for the top of the street," said Deputy Inspector McGinn, "and they'll use those until the DOT completes what they have to do."

One witness said the van that struck the boy was a dollar van, but McGinn says that was refuted and it was "just a van" that struck the boy.

Witnesses said the van did not appear to be speeding and the driver was not charged.

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