A 12-year-old boy was struck and killed as he walked to school on in Valley Stream on December 10. The driver of the vehicle that struck the child was driving on a suspended license, according to police.
Zachary Ranftle was struck by an SUV while crossing the street on his way to Memorial Junior High School at about 7:20 a.m. The incident occurred near South Franklin Avenue at West Merrick Road. The boy was rushed to Long Island Jewish Medical Center but succumbed to his injuries, according to CBS New York.
The driver, Austin Soldano, 29, was driving on a suspended license. He was charged with aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle and operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license. Soldano pleaded not guilty and was released on bail of $10,000 bond or $5,000 cash, CBS New York reported.
Soldano, of Seaford, had his license revoked after a DWI incident arrest in August. His police record includes guilty pleas for DWI, disorderly conduct, unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and reckless driving. Nassau Police told CBS New York that Soldano did nothing criminally wrong when he struck the seventh-grader because he could not see him. Soldano’s lawyer said her client was unaware that his license had been revoked.
The young man had just been permitted to walk to school by himself this past fall, according to Newsday.