BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A local 4-year-old was just steps from his mother Tuesday, when the two crossed the street and the little boy was fatally hit.
Just before 7:20 p.m. Tuesday, Tasfiq Tofa and his mother were crossing Sycamore Street at Fillmore Avenue. Witnesses said the light had just turned from red to green when the boy was struck, and dragged about 50 feet.
As to be expected, the boy’s family, as well as the broader community of the tight-knit portion of the east side, was grief-stricken Wednesday.
Tasfiq and his family are from Bangladesh, and are part of a growing number of Bangladeshi people living in the east side.
What appears to be little more than a tragic accident has shaken them. But, they’re also questioning whether this accident could have been prevented.
“We cannot believe how that happened. It’s so devastating,” said Mohammed Hussain, a family friend who spent all of Tuesday night and Wednesday with Tasfiq’s family.
Tasfiq’s father, Tufaial Ahmed, said through reddened eyes his feelings were hard to put into words. But he’s thankful for the community’s support and their interest in his family.
“It’s very bad for me. I hope, after my son, I don’t want to lose anybody’s children,” he said.”Our community is not very big, but we are committed. We are united. I think whoever is a father, who lost his son, he knows how I feel now. It’s very bad for me.
Wednesday morning, friends of the family showed News 4 the area where the boy was struck. They said traffic moves far too fast through their neighborhood, and that police are unresponsive.
However, police said preliminary investigation show speed was not a factor, and the driver is cooperating.
“He (the driver) probably didn’t see them crossing because it was a red light, and it just turned green. And he ran right through the boy,” Hussain said.
No charges had been filed as of late Wednesday.
Tasfiq would have turned 5 years old in the next few weeks.
“He just took a life away from this community and we are very devastated and we really want to know what the city or the police department is going to do about it,” Hussain said.
As part of the investigation, police have impounded the car involved for further testing.
Blood samples were also taken from the driver to determine whether he was intoxicated at the time.
Those results won’t be released for another five or six weeks.