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12-Year Old Dashane Santana Killed on Delancey Street

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Dashane Santana. Family photo via the Daily News.

More details late tonight about the accident that ended in the death of 12-year old Dashane Santana Friday afternoon. The resident of the Riis Houses had just gotten out of school for the week.

The New York Post reports she was walking to Dunkin’ Donuts with friends for an afternoon snack when a minivan heading onto the Williamsburg Bridge struck her.

The girl’s mother, Shamika Benjamin, told the Post, she dropped a bookbag while crossing Delancey Street. When Santana turned around to pick it up,  the minivan hit her.

While police are telling reporters and the family that the driver won’t be charged, we understand it is not at all clear whether the motorist had a green light. Katherine Ramirez, a manager at the Sneak Jeans store on Delancey, said, “the light was was with them (the kids), and the car just came out of nowhere.”

More from the Post story:

Dashane’s mother said she asked cops why the driver wouldn’t be charged, and was told he didn’t run a red light. “I’m not okay with that,” she said. Benjamin said Dashane had dreamed of being an actress, and had recently scored a part as an extra in a film shot in the neighborhood. “She was a loving little girl, everybody loved her. That was my little girl,” her mom said. Dashane’s godmother, Karen Owens, said she still cannot process the horrific news. “Everyday after school she came over to my house,” Owens said. “I don’t know how I’m going to go home after this. It’s breaking me up.”

DNA Info reports:

The boyfriend of Santana’s mother described Dashane, who attended CASTLE Middle School on Henry Street, as a talented young girl who danced, played the flute and piano, and wanted to attend the prestigious Juilliard School. “She was very witty. She was wiser than you would expect for a 12-year-old,” said Robert White, 24, from the family’s home Friday night. “The last thing she said to me was I’ll see you after school.” Dashane had a younger brother and grew up in the neighborhood her whole life, White added.

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  1. A heart-breaking loss. When are we going to protest the traffic pattern there? How many more deaths will it take?

  2. he should be charged that was my only best best best best best friend we told eachother everything and we all had the light he ran the red light 

  3. The walk signals at Delancey/Clinton, Delancey/Norfolk, and Delancey/Suffolk are all at ridiculously short intervals (can’t be more than twenty seconds). DOT came out and said that they advise pedestrians to cross halfway at Clinton and wait for the next interval in the median (which they then promptly erected barriers that made reaching the median more difficult). This is beyond ridiculous and Sadik-Khan needs to be held responsible for this tragedy. I have called 311, emailed 311, and tweeted the DOT to no avail (other than “we’ll look into it”), the danger of the Clinton to Essex stretch of the “Delancey Interstate” has been reported on in multiple media outlets––including hosting the most dangerous pedestrian crossing south of 96th Street. I cannot imagine changing the signal to allow for a safe crossing (perhaps an extra ten or fifteen seconds) is that difficult of an initiative to put into action. This is a tragedy that SHOULD NOT have happened.

  4. I agree with you, Clarke.  I have also contacted the DOT about crossing Delancey Street and received the same, lame reply, that pedestrians should only cross half way across.  

    What is important here…the safety of pedestrians or managing the traffic on and off the bridge?  

  5. The DOT needs change the lights to longer times to cross street. What New Yorker stands in the median. It scary to stand in middle and to me it feels more dangerous. DOT stop waiting for more tragedies and do your job! Make NYC safer!

  6. And have you stand in a poorly designed (even worse now with the “renovation”) median in which you have bike traffic coming from four directions, one of which is off of a steep ramp. “Safety” first from the DOT!

  7. I was hit by a car on Essex and Delancey a few years ago by a Land Rover turning on to Delancey to get on the Williamsburg bridge.  Those drivers act like they are on a highway and we are just collateral.  They never get charged.  Now we get to add crazy cyclists going full speed to keep up with the fast moving traffic.  Its the pedestrians who suffer.  God bless this poor girl and all the other children who have to die before they slow those cars down!  No car should be going so fast passed where pedestrians cross that they aren’t looking at the crosswalk.

  8. I have recently noticed and especially in the Delancey area, all streets leading off, the traffic, turning corners, roars along.  Even if there is a traffic cop standing there!  It’s becoming increasingly dangerous.  If drivers can do this, if they can actually kill a young girl and without consequence…  it can only get worse

  9. from:Sayeed,Jessica,Duy                                                                                 We all feel bad for our best friend Dashane Santana she was a funny,cool, and a kind person. Castle middle school has pitch in to write letters about how we spend time with her or to her parents we all miss her very much. v vvour heartys 

  10. i feel they should build a pedestrian ramp for those crossings.. especially that there are a lot of schools around there..It is sad that a tragefy had to happen for something like this to be change or tried to be changed

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