NEW YORK, NEW YORK: Ommatt Cruz, a 19-year-old, died Friday, November 17, after he was struck and run over by a construction vehicle that New York authorities believe was being driven by his own father.
The devastating incident happened just after 8:30 a.m. at First Avenue and East Seventh Street in the East Village, according to a police statement.
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Ommatt Cruz was helping direct traffic when he was ‘hit and run over’
According to People, police said Cruz was “acting as a tour guide, helping to direct the movement of the elevator” and when “the elevator entered the intersection,” he “struck and ran over” it before running over him.
Authorities said the teen’s father was reportedly an equipment operator at the time.
Ommatt Cruz’s father arrested?
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The identity of the forklift driver has not yet been confirmed by police, but authorities said the operator remained at the scene after the tragic incident.
There have been no arrests in the case. “The incident remains under investigation by the New York City Highway Patrol Collision Investigation Unit,” police said.
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Who was Ommat Cruz?
Cruz was a member of his Staten Island high school’s varsity football team, where he continued to contribute even after graduation.
In a statement on Instagram on Sunday, November 19, Susan E. Wagner High School paid tribute to Cruz.
“In light of this terrible tragedy, please keep the Ommatt family and the Wagner High School community in your thoughts,” the school said in a statement.
The school also said it offers counseling support throughout the week.
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Speaking to The Staten Island Advice, Wagner head football coach Arthur Newcomb said, “He was a really good kid. Hard worker and player. Everyone loved him.”
“He has a brother on the team and he came to help us and just be around the team. We are just in shock,” he added.
GoFundMe calls Ommatt Cruz a ‘selfless’ teenager
A GoFundMe page has been set up for any “unexpected expenses” and has raised more than $19,000 as of Monday morning, Nov. 20.
The organizer described Cruz as a “loving and adoring son to his parents” and a “devoted and loving brother to his 14-year-old brother and nine-year-old sister.”
Cruz recently turned 19, just three months before the tragedy. “He was a brother to our guys on the Wagner Falcons football team,” the GoFundMe post said.
“For parents and coaches, his family is our family. He was always there to help others, he was selfless,” the statement said.
“He was a freshman in college and still found time to go out on the field and help his little brother on the JV team. We would like to help his family with any unexpected expenses due to this terrible tragedy,” the statement said.
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