The New York City Department of Investigation is “investigating the facts surrounding the Ariel Russo matter,” according to DOI spokeswoman Diane Struzzi. Ariel Russo, 4, died following a car crash on the Upper West Side June 4. Struzzi said the Bloomberg Administration asked DOI to investigate why it took four minutes to dispatch an ambulance to the crash scene.
The investigation follows the SUV crash in which Ariel Russo, 4, was struck and killed on a sidewalk by a teenage driver fleeing the police. Ariel’s grandmother, Katia Gutierrez, 55, was also struck but is expected to survive. Reports of the incident said that it took four minutes to dispatch an ambulance, a delay that was attributed to human error by fire officias, according to The Daily News. However, an official from the paramedics and emergency technicians union was quoted as saying that the call for Ariel’s ambulance never showed up on dispatchers’ screens. It’s unclear if the delay contributed to Ariel’s death.
The News later reported on emails sent between EMS officials the day after Ariel was killed that revealed they knew —
before Ariel’s death — about so called “lost calls” in which transmissions between emergency workers and police never reach the recipient. Ariel’s family called for an investigation into the communication errors at a press conference on July 2.
The News also reported that Ariel’s family is suing the city for $40 million. The new computer-aided dispatch system run Intergraph Corp. began in late-May of this year. The News reported in June that it had crashed four times in three days.
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