8-Year-Old Killed May Have Been Too Young to Walk to School

Heartbreaking 25

As a parent, probably the hardest decision to make is when to let your child have more freedom, more independence, and how much. When is it okay to let them go to a sleepover? When to play outside alone? And when to leave the house and go somewhere alone? It all depends on you, your child, and your neighborhood, and the activities involved, of course, but there is never a cut-and-dried answer. For Noshat Nahian, who was 8 years old, walking to school alone with his 11-year-old sister turned to tragedy when a truck turned a corner and hit him.

The siblings were in the crosswalk, they had the right of way, and they were only a block from their school in the Bronx, New York. But the truck driver, who was unlicensed, turned the corner, didn't see them, and the worst happened. He hit little Noshat, leaving him dead in the street.

His sister panicked and ran home to get her mother. The driver stayed at the scene of the accident and was arrested for various vehicular charges, but not yet charged with the boy's death (and may never be -- punishment for vehicular deaths like these are notoriously lax).

But I can only imagine what his mom must be feeling -- probably wondering if she should have ever let him walk to school with his sister.

I have a school near me with children about this age. I mostly see parents walking their kids to school, despite the crossing guards on duty. I don't blame them. There is a very busy city street right by the school, and there have already been several accidents at a corner the kids must cross. It's extremely dangerous. There are drivers here who would run you down without a second thought.

But there comes a time when you, as a working parent, or even one who may have younger children or elderly parents, or other things to take of, can't walk your older children to school. When you have a kid, you don't say to yourself, "I'll spend every day, twice a day, for the next 16 years, walking this child to school."

As for the crossing guards ... I see them every day. And I will be honest, I have no freaking idea what they are doing. I have not once seen them help a child. They stand there. Maybe that is all they're supposed to do. No word if the corner where Noshat was killed had a crossing guard.

The street he died on is an extremely busy, intricate, big city street. I just don't know about kids walking alone on it, though I don't want to judge because I do not know the kids or how much the mom prepped them. Also, the fault is with the driver.

As a parent, you spend years teaching your kids how to stop, and look both ways, and how to cross on the light.

These kids were doing everything right and it didn't help them.

At what age did you start letting your kids walk around town alone?


Image via The Tire Pit/Flickr

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Elaine Cox

he was with his 11 year old sister..plus its not even their fault

Saras... Sarasahmof3

From the sounds of what happened even if Mom had been there, it still would have happened.

Vanessa Fasanella

You are foolish, for saying that you never see crossing guards helping children. Then report them to your town. They get paid, it's not a volunteer position, as most people think.


I have had two great crossing guards in my life. One was when I was a child, he worked the busiest corner in our neighborhood, and helped a lot of schoolmates cross. He was killed by a diabetic woman who did not take care of herself. She had an episode behind the wheel, ran over him, dragged him to his death. It was preventable.

My younger daughter now has an 83-year old retired military man who acts like it is his life's duty to protect the children in our neighborhood. When people try to speed through his Stop sign, he runs up and gets the children out of the way and pounds on the hood of their car while yelling Stop! He is a fantastic and necessary addition to our street, which is 25 MPH and people speed up to 65!

Crossing guards are among the unsung heroes of everyday life. For you to say you see them and they suck hurts them. If you see guards that are not doing their job, it is your job to report them, so that your town can fire or retrain them. Every adult needs to look out for every child.

ZacsA... ZacsAuntie

I started walking to school alone with my cousins around kindergarten. One cousin was in the same grade as me ( we are 2 weeks apart and still really close) and her sister who is 3 years older. Our school was a 20 minute walk from our house and the only crossing guard was right in front of the school we had to cross 3 streets before we got there. I did get hit by a car one day walking from school, but there were multiple factors. 4th grade me was running and having a snow ball fight and it was a foggy icy day, the man that hit me was very distraught ( he was the one crying not me). I guess what I'm getting at is these things happen no matter how long the kids are walking themselves. In this case the only one who did anything wrong was the truck driver, He shouldn'thave been driving and he should be charged with manslaughter at the very least because it is his fault.  Oh and all I got from being hit was a big bruise on my thigh and a nasty scrape on my face from the icy snow, I was sore for a few days but ok.

nonmember avatar Charla

Their school is 14 miles away so I drive my kids to school. During my drive I drive through several school zones. One of which is really busy but it is swarming with cop cars and you rarely see anyone going over 20 miles an hour.

nonmember avatar NoWay

I agree with Sarahs - this sounds like a tragic accident that likely would have occured even if the mom was there with them. Very sad. May the little boy RIP.

nonmember avatar Sue

Oh brother. My kids started walking to school alone in first grade, and we live in LA. This is a tragic accident that has nothing to do with the fact that the children were walking without their parents.

lovem... lovemyson1224

From the story you told the children did everything right. This had nothing to do with the childs age and walking without a parent.

stace... stacey541

People need to pay attention. Every day cars fly through our school zone, and twice this week alone I have seen our crossing guard almost get hit, while I have been walking my 5 year old home.

Sunny... Sunnysdmom

Do any of you that have commented understand what "alone" means? It means by oneself. If you are walking with your sister or your cousin, you are not "alone.". Sheesh. While this is a tragic story, stop exaggerating. 

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