School bus driver Aleksandr Parlakh has been charged after he ran over 15-year-old Antonina Zatulovska with his school bus on Monday. The school bus driver claims he never noticed the girl who was crossing the road in Brooklyn. Police are calling the incident a hit-and-run.
According to reports, the incident happened Monday around 8 a.m. Antonina Zatulovska was crossing Bedford Avenue in Midwood when she was mowed down by the yellow school bus. At the time, the vehicle was trying to make a turn on Bedford Avenue from Avenue P. The tragic incident was caught in a shocking video.
Officials say that there were children on the bus when the 15-year-old was hit. They were going to a local Jewish school that still had classes despite the holiday.
It is unclear why Antonina Zatulovska was crossing the road that early in the morning. The nearby high school, Madison High School, was closed for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but according to reports, some activities were being offered in the morning.
At the time of the accident, Antonina Zatulovska had the right of way. Footage shows the 15-year-old getting run over by one of the wheels.
The driver, later identified as Aleksandr Parlakh, was picked up by police and charged with failure to stop for a pedestrian and failure to use due care. The 55-year-old kept driving after he ran over the girl and says he didn’t know about the accident until police told him.
He was given a desk ticket and then released from jail. A court date has not been set.
NYPD officers were called to the scene after numerous 911 calls. The 15-year-old was found in the middle of the road and pronounced dead. Many witnesses are still shocked at the tragic event that took place in their neighborhood.
One man, who didn’t want to share his face or name, spoke to reporters. He said he heard screams shortly after the bus passed. “I don’t know if he didn’t realize that he hit somebody or something. But he kept on going and he didn’t stop,” the man said. “This poor little girl. She was just a small, small human. And the bus driver probably just didn’t realize that he unfortunately took someone’s life with the way he was driving.”
The witness said that ambulances started arriving within 10 minutes of the girl getting mowed down.
Michael Aryeh, who lives in the area, said that he had never seen an accident like that before. “A school bus? That’s really, really horrible. It’s definitely not something you see every day. I’ve seen these sort of things before. This is Brooklyn, New York. But right in front of our house, it’s really, really something bad,” Michael Aryeh said.
The neighbor added that the driver acted strange after hitting the 15-year-old. “The weird thing was he slowed down after he hit her, which is kind of shaky,” Aryeh said. “The way he, like, slowed down. He didn’t come to a complete stop. Either way he should have come out to see if anything happened. But he didn’t.”
Antonina Zatulovska’s family has not commented on the young girl’s death. Transportation Alternatives Executive Director Danny Harris released a statement after the incident.
He said, “We are heartbroken and angry, and send our deepest condolences to the loved ones of the teenager killed outside a school in Sheepshead Bay this morning. Whether they are crossing the street, standing at bus stops, or being pushed in strollers, traffic crashes continue to kill our kids and remain the leading cause of injurious death for children across New York City.”
NYPD officers continue to investigate the gruesome crime. They are trying to understand what happened.