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A hit-and-run driver sent a 14-year-old Ridgite to the hospital on Sept. 11 — and is sending his family out of the neighborhood.
A sedan struck Jackson McLeer at the corner of 86th Street and Fourth Avenue at 5 pm, then sped off. McLeer’s father said the Fort Hamilton High School student was darting out into the avenue to catch a bus when the vehicle hit him. Ambulances took the young football player to Lutheran Medical Center, where he received treatment for a broken hip and a laceration on his liver.
The teen returned home on Sept. 14 — but his father said the family won’t be calling their native Bay Ridge home much longer.
“We’ve been deciding it for a while, but this really just put a cap on it,” said Adam McLeer, adding that the family has yet to choose where they are moving.
Hit-and-run drivers have haunted the McLeer family for three generations. In 1994, a motorist killed Adam McLeer’s mother and sister at the corner of 92nd Street and Fort Hamilton Parkway before speeding away. He said the highway horrors were a major factor in the decision to leave the neighborhood.
“We’re Brooklyn people all our lives, but the streets are getting too crowded. It’s just overpopulated and the cars are just too much,” the elder McLeer said.
The city has targeted the 86th Street and Fourth Avenue intersection for a radical overhaul. The Department of Transportation’s designs call for installing a concrete pedestrian island in the corridor on the side nearest the Verazanno Bridge — the same side where the driver hit Jackson McLeer — and for reducing the roadway to one lane in each direction between 86th Street and Ovington Avenue. Several members of Bay Ridge’s Community Board 10 have attacked the plan, and the neighborhood panel decided against approving it in June, postponing the vote until October. The father of the convalescing adolescent said he supported the measures.
“Anything that slows people down,” McLeer said — though he said increased street safety would probably not change his mind about moving.
McLeer asks anyone with information about the collision that injured his son to call the 68th Precinct at (718) 439–4211.
©2013 Community Newspaper Group
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