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Driver won’t face criminal charges after running red light, striking and killing 11-year-old in Sunny Isles

No criminal charges for driver who ran red light, striking and killing 11-year-old in Sunny Isles
No criminal charges for driver who ran red light, striking and killing 11-year-old in Sunny Isles

SUNNY ISLES BEACH, Fla. – Six months after an 11-year-old boy died after being struck in a crosswalk by a red-light driver, the case is closed, and the boy’s family is working to change the law.

Anthony Reznik was on the marked crosswalk on Sunny Isles Boulevard when Samentha Toussaint, who was driving a red Mercedes-Benz, ran a red light, police said.

Toussaint will be cited for running the red, but is not being held criminally responsible.

Inna Trakhtenberg, Anthony’s mother, said she was in disbelief after leaning the fate of the case.

“I cannot even describe the emotions that I’m going through,” Trakhtenberg said. “I can tell you 100 percent that I thought that justice would be on our side. But unfortunately it’s not.”

But in the close out memo sent to Local 10 News, Assistant State Attorney Laura Adams wrote that prosecutors had “...insufficient evidence to charge Toussaint with any felony offenses...”

Toussaint stayed on scene and was not believed to be intoxicated, according to traffic homicide investigators.

“In order to prove the crime of Vehicular Homicide, the State would have to prove that Toussaint was driving recklessly...” or had a willful disregard for safety, Adams wrote.

Trakhtenberg said she believes laws need to be changed to hold drivers responsible and to beef up penalties after traffic crashes.

“We’re working with officials to create Anthony’s Act,” she said.

State Senator Jason Pizzo confirms he is drafting legislation to be filed in the coming days. Details are forthcoming.

“My job as Anthony’s mom is to find justice and to save other people from things like that happened to us,” Trakhtenberg said.

Read the official closeout memo below:

RELATED LINKS

Surveillance video in case of boy killed shows Mercedes-Benz driver speeding

Driver who ran red light, killing 11-year-old boy, has numerous citations

Boy struck by car in Sunny Isles by red-light runner declared brain-dead

Police increase safety enforcement after boy struck and killed in Sunny Isles Beach


About the Author:

Janine Stanwood joined Local 10 News in February 2004 as an assignment editor. She is now a general assignment reporter. Before moving to South Florida from her Washington home, Janine was the senior legislative correspondent for a United States senator on Capitol Hill.