ALBANY, N.Y. - A makeshift memorial and a sign reading "Slow down kids are crossing" has been set up on South Pearl Street in Albany after Albany Police tell the NEWS CENTER a 7-year-old boy was struck and killed by a car on Saturday.
The young boy's aunt spoke with the NEWS CENTER on Monday saying her nephew, 7-year-old Qazir Sutherland was taken off life support Sunday.
Albany Police Spokesperson Steve Smith says the boy was struck by a vehicle while crossing the street on the 600-block of South Pearl Street Saturday around 8 p.m.
Upon arrival at the scene, officers located the boy and he was transported to Albany Medical Center Hospital.
The boy's aunt Sakina Boyd says Qazir was playing with a friend, and was trying to get to a family barbecue. She says his mother was helping him cross the street when it happened; neither apparently saw the car coming.
Boyd says the family is planning to go to City Hall in effort to get some kind of action taken on making the street safer.
Police are continuing to investigate the accident. They say the driver, 37-year-old Cheryl Flowers of Albany, immediately stopped and has been interviewed by investigating officers. Charges have not been filed at this time.
The school Qazir attended, the Brighter Choice Charter School, released the following statement on his death:
"The Brighter Choice Charter School community sends its deepest sympathies and condolences to Ms. Haggray and the Sutherland family. We are all trying to cope with such a devastating loss to our school community," said Darryl Williams, Director of Schools at Brighter Choice. "Qazir was a model scholar, always exceeding our expectations in the classroom, and melting our hearts with his undeniable charm in the process. We were fortunate to enjoy Qazir's smile, his growing charisma, and his ability to build positive relationships with his peers and our faculty. Our school community is operating with heavy hearts today, yet we continue to find strength in knowing we can lean on the wonderful memories, and there are plenty, Qazir has provided us over the past three years. We would also like to acknowledge the outpouring of support we continue to receive from our concerned families and community members. We are fortunate to serve the children and families of this community and will celebrate Qazir's memory as we continue to provide an exceptional education to our scholars. At the request of Ms. Haggray, we ask this great community to keep Qazir and his family in their thoughts and prayers."
Now, community members are marching for change. They say drivers travel recklessly through their neighborhood and they are taking their fight to city hall.
Neighbors along South Pearl Street say they need the city to step up and implement measures to slow down traffic along this stretch before another young life is taken from them.
Residents tell the NEWS CENTER speeding in the area has been an on-going issue for them where children are getting hit by cars and they say they're fed up.
Community members are voicing their concern Monday night by signing a petition to fix the problem before another young life is taken.
A sign is already up along the street warning drivers that children are at play, but residents say drivers can't see it because it is not set up along the street properly.