Driver Who Ran Over Toddler Has Tickets Dismissed, This Can’t Be Real Life

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allison liao killed by negligent driverIn October of last year, a three-year-old girl and her grandmother were holding hands while crossing a busy street in Queens when a black SUV, making a left hand turn, ran over the little girl and killed her. Just a few days ago the girl’s parents learned that the two tickets that the driver was issued at the time of the accident were dismissed over the summer.

Sorry, I’m getting a little dizzy from this rage spiral that I’m in.

Witnesses claimed in a CBS New York article that Allison Liao had broken free of her grandmother, who was “eating watermelon…not caring about where [the child was] going.” The driver, Ahmad Abu-Zayedeha, who had been drinking before the accident but was under the legal limit, swore under oath at a hearing that the girl ran in front of his car. These would be good arguments for his innocence if they weren’t total bullshit. A dashboard camera captured the entire accident, and screen caps from that video, which are pictured in The Gothamist, show Allison and her grandmother in the crosswalk, holding hands, with the right of way.

This was clearly, without question, the driver’s fault. Which is why Abu-Zayedeha was not charged with a crime but was simply issued summonses for “Failing To Use Due Care” and “Failing To Yield To A Pedestrian.” Makes perfect sense, right? You say tomato, I say tomato, you say failure to yield to a pedestrian, I say vehicular homicide, let’s call the whole thing off.

No, actually, let’s not. Because not only was the driver just issued those tickets (which have a maximum penalty of $150 per ticket if guilty) but those tickets were then dismissed in July; this despite the fact that police from the Collision Investigation Squad argued for the tickets. This guy didn’t even get his license suspended. Please, someone explain how you can mow down a three-year-old due to your own negligence and have nothing happen to you. So you can get thrown in jail for smoking pot, but running over children gets you a pass?

To issue tickets for “Failing To Use Due Care” and “Failing To Yield To A Pedestrian” is insulting. It makes that little girl’s life, her life, worth no more than $300. And not even that anymore, since those tickets got dismissed. I don’t know how you can run over someone and not be guilty of failing to yield to them, but I’ll just punch a wall later while I debate that.

The Liaos have filed a wrongful death suit against Abu-Zayedeha, and the DMV has issued a statement saying:

 Mr. Abu-Zayedeha was found not guilty and [his] tickets were dismissed on July 1, 2014. No criminal charges were brought by the Queens District Attorney as a result of the accident. However, whenever a fatal accident occurs anywhere in the state, the DMV schedules a special safety hearing. That hearing for Mr. Abu-Zayedeha has been set for January 6. At that time, a determination will be made if Mr. Abu-Zayedeha has any culpability for the accident on October 6 that would result in any action being taken with regard to his driver license based on the Vehicle and Traffic law. DMV is an administrative agency and has no authority with regard to law enforcement or criminal prosecution.

Is this real life? Because this can’t be real life.

(Photo via Twitter)