NEW YORK — Residents and workers in Sheepshead Bay say they are worried about the safety of the neighborhood's children after 15-year-old Antonina Zatulovska was struck and killed by a school bus on Monday morning.
Several people told NY1 school buses frequently drive recklessly in the area.
What You Need To Know
- Sheepshead Bay residents and workers are worried for children’s safety after a 15-year-old girl was hit and killed by a school bus while crossing the street on Monday
- They claim school buses frequently drive recklessly through the area, speeding, rolling through stop signs and blowing red lights
- Dash cam video shows four buses running red lights on four separate occasions in a three-week span
- The Deptartment Education says the buses in the videos are not theirs
“It can’t go on any longer,” said Christine Yaptangco, who works in Brooklyn. “We can’t continue putting these children at risk.”
“My heart breaks for that family, to think that such a young life was taken,” Yaptangco added. “But at the same time, as horrible it sounds, I was not totally surprised that a fatality was the outcome of how these buses drive.”
Many are calling for change, saying enough is enough.
“I don’t see any change in their speeds when they’re going through a narrow lane,” said Solani Solanki, who works in the area.
Jesse Kotler, who works nearby said many of the buses "drive at reckless speeds, and don’t have any regard for pedestrians.”
“Every day, for sure, I can say that easily,” Yaptangco said. “Every day I see one of them blow a stop sign. Every day I see them barreling down the streets at an ungodly speed."
A Brooklyn father who asked to remain unnamed said Monday's tragic incident could have happened to "anybody's kids."
While his daughter isn't old enough to go to school yet, he said unless things change, he won't let her ride the bus after what he has seen.
Dash cam video he shared with NY1 shows school buses blowing through red lights on four separate instances in a three-week span this winter, once on Tuesday, Nov. 30 at 4:05 p.m.; a second time on Thursday, Dec. 2 at 4:41 p.m.; a third time on Tuesday, Nov. 9 at 6:30 p.m.; and a fourth time on Monday, Nov. 29 at 8:08 a.m.
Police said Zatulovska was killed on Monday at 7:55 a.m.
NY1 shared the buses' license plates with the city's Department of Education. The agency said they were not its buses.
A public records check carried out by NY1 showed one of the buses had two moving violations in three days, for speeding in a school zone. Both violations were just before 3 p.m., when many students are being let out.
“And no one seems to hold them accountable, unfortunately,” Yaptangco said. “Which I feel like emboldens these drivers to feel like they’re above the law.”
Lawlessness, these neighbors said, needs to stop.
“I definitely am more aware of my surroundings, making sure that I’m paying close attention," Kotler said. "Just because I know that the buses around me aren’t."