EAST ISLIP, N.Y. — It’s a busy stretch of roadway where police say speeding drivers race to make lights, beat trains, and merge onto the busy Sunrise Highway.
An 11-year-old East Islip child is just out of the hospital after being struck by a car in the crosswalk near his home.
“It’s like life stops,” Erin Reilly said.
She can finally breathe now that her son, Connor, is out of the hospital.
“A car came out of nowhere faster than anything that we were seeing,” Erin Reilly said.
“All I remember is going on the crosswalk and all I see is the car,” Connor Reilly said.
Steps from his home, Connor and a friend were in the crosswalk at Connetquot Avenue and Jefferson Street. Security cameras were rolling as a BMW slammed into him, sending him careening onto the pavement unconscious.
“I remember waking up in my mom’s arms,” Connor Reilly said.
“We are so unbelievably lucky. I was standing outside when this happened and watched it,” Erin Reilly said.
The Reillys and their neighbors call the area danger zone. Although the speed limit is 35 mph, it is the north-south route to Sunrise Highway, Montauk Highway, the Great River LIRR station, and the local ballfield. Locals complain the area is known for speeding to make a light or beat a train.
Storekeepers say there was no countdown on the pedestrian crossing prior to the accident. Now, both Connetquot and Jefferson walk signs appear to be fully functional.
The driver was not cited. The Reillys hired attorney Dan Johnston.
“This is a very busy road. To have pedestrian lights that aren’t working correctly, to have buttons that don’t work when you press them, and when you have so many kids around, is just so wildly irresponsible,” Johnston said.
Connor Reilly, who can’t wait to play lacrosse again, is not out of the woods.
“I feel like a little bit scared, and like anxious,” he said.
He has serious injuries to his hand, head and leg.
“His foot is cut open top and bottom. We have wires and pins in his foot, multiple bones that had to be reset,” Erin Reilly said. “He can’t be left alone.”
Erin Reilly is a single parent and cannot return to work. Her son’s medical bills are rising. Recently, All Island Restoration donated a ramp and neighbors are helping out.
“The neurologists are hopeful that with therapy and time we will get him back,” Erin Reilly said.
The Reillys hope their ordeal serves as a message for drivers to slow down this summer.
The town of Islip, Suffolk County, and the state Department of Transportation are being contacted by the Reilly’s attorney about the possible malfunctioning crosswalk signals.
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