A 9-year-old boy and his stepfather were crossing Columbia Road near the Washington Street intersection in Dorchester on Tuesday night when a white sedan struck and killed the boy, his stepfather said.
Police have not identified the child, but Steve Huntley, who described himself as the boy’s stepfather, said he and his stepson, Miles, were walking to the Burger King on the corner of Columbia Road and Washington Street, around 10:30 p.m.
Huntley said they were crossing the four lanes of traffic when out of the corner of his eye he saw a car approaching “very fast” and heard the screech of the brakes. He said he knew instantly that the vehicle would hit the boy.
“Everything happened so fast. I wish there was more I could have done,” said Huntley, visibly upset as he stood at the intersection Wednesday. “I should have done more.”
The child was taken to Boston Medical Center and was later pronounced dead.
Boston police have not released the identity of the car’s driver but said the person stayed at the scene. The accident was still under investigation and no citations had been issued as of Wednesday evening, police said.
Charles Harvey, who lives in a building at the intersection, said he was standing outside when he saw the boy and a man jogging across the street, not using the crosswalk. Harvey said he saw the car come down the curve of Columbia Road and then hit the child. The child’s body came to rest several feet away.
Two unlit candles had been placed near the spot on Wednesday.
Huntley returned to the intersection on Wednesday, but said it was hard to hold himself together.
“He was a joyful 9-year-old boy with big ambition and a lot of energy,” Huntley said. “He was very serious about school and was an A-honor roll student.
Maria Cruz, who has lived in an apartment building at the corner for 20 years, said she was returning from the grocery store when she too saw the car come down Columbia Road.
“This isn’t the first time this happened,” Cruz said in an interview in Spanish. “People drive down this street like it’s a race. They don’t care about the speed.”
Police had not determined if alcohol or speed were factors in the crash as of Wednesday evening.
Cruz and Harvey said they believe the intersection is particularly unsafe because Columbia Road curves just before the intersection, creating a blind spot.
On Wednesday, several people, including a woman with three children, crossed Columbia Road at the same spot without using the crosswalk.
Cruz acknowledged that she has done it as well.
“I usually just cross the street straight from my door,” she said. “Even when you’re in the crosswalk, cars are approaching at 60 miles per hour. Why don’t they just slow down when they can see the light is red?”
Cruz said she took a photo of the accident’s aftermath Tuesday night and posted it on her Facebook page to caution her friends.
“I posted it because I wanted people to know what happens on Columbia Road,” Cruz said. “People need to watch out.”