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‘Heartbroken’ family identifies toddler killed by ambulance

Clockwise from top left: Steven Wu, Jennifer Huang, Isabella Wu and Annabella Wu. Isabella was struck by an ambulance and killed outside the family’s apartment building on Saturday.
Clockwise from top left: Steven Wu, Jennifer Huang, Isabella Wu and Annabella Wu. Isabella was struck by an ambulance and killed outside the family’s apartment building on Saturday.(Handout)

The family of the toddler who was killed by an ambulance near Tufts Medical Center on Saturday is heartbroken by the loss of 2-year-old Isabella Wu, the girl’s uncle said.

Isabella was returning with her mother and older sister to their apartment on Nassau Street, across from the ambulance entrance to the Tufts emergency department, when an EasCare ambulance struck her on the narrow street. As the girl’s mother wept, Isabella was rushed inside the hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Through Isabella’s uncle, the family declined an interview.

“They are still very sad . . . . heartbroken,” said the uncle, who did not provide his name, in a series of text messages. “There are a lot of things that need to be taken care of at this time.”

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Photos and videos shared on the Facebook page of the girl’s father, Steven Wu, show an ebullient baby who he wrote looked just like her older sister Annabella — big Bella — when she was born the day after Christmas in 2013.

In videos a few months later, Isabella laughed in her bassinet as her older sister bounced her or tried to give her a pacifier. Soon, she started to walk, grinning as she pushed a small orange plastic stool around a room lined with colorful toys.

A month later, she celebrated her first birthday with a Hello Kitty cake.

And last month, the happy toddler smiled, sandwiched between her mother, Jennifer Huang, and her big sister at bedtime. The two girls, a neighbor said on Saturday, played together often at a small playground outside the apartment building.

A neighbor who lives in the building on Sunday called the accident “terrible” — both for the family and the ambulance driver, who witnesses described as distraught behind the wheel of the vehicle after the crash.

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Jake Wark, spokesman for Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley, said crash reconstruction was ongoing and no charges had been filed.

“It’s just a heartbreaking situation,” said Tufts Medical Center spokeswoman Brooke Hynes. The hospital referred questions about the circumstances of the crash to police.

Police on Saturday indicated that the death appeared to be “a tragic accident,” but the circumstances remain the subject of an investigation that could take several days.

A Boston police spokeswoman, Officer Rachel McGuire, declined to say how fast the ambulance was traveling down the street, and said that information would not be released unless speed proved to be a factor in the crash.

The crash scene appeared to be beyond the ambulance bay on the one-way street, in the area where vehicles would leave the hospital. A spokesman for EasCare did not return an e-mail Sunday.

The identity of the driver will also be withheld unless charges are filed, McGuire said.

The crash occurred outside the Nassau Street apartment building where a neighbor said the family had lived for about a year. Steven Wu is from China, a friend said Saturday, and both girls were born in America.

“I looked out the window and saw the little girl lying a few feet away from the ambulance,” said Alex Zohrabyan, a high school student who saw the aftermath of the accident from a third-floor window.

Within moments, emergency responders were at the scene, Zohrabyan said.


Evan Allen and Laura Crimaldi of the Globe staff and correspondent Alexandra Koktsidis contributed to this report. Nestor Ramos can be reached at nestor.ramos@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @NestorARamos.

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