Brooklyn boy killed by van one month before bar mitzvah

NEW YORK (JTA) — A Brooklyn boy was struck and killed by a van one month before his bar mitzvah.

Samuel Cohen-Eckstein, 12, was hit Tuesday night by a white van on Prospect Park West in the Park Slope neighborhood after chasing a ball into the street, the New York Daily News reported. The boy was pronounced dead soon after arriving at nearby Methodist Hospital.

The van driver remained at the scene and no summons was issued, according to the Daily News.

The Park Slope Stoop website reported that Cohen-Eckstein had been scheduled to mark his bar mitzvah at Kolot Chayeinu, a liberal congregation in Park Slope, and planned to donate a portion of his gifts to Heifer International.

His parents, Amy Cohen and Gary Eckstein, have spoken at community meetings “in support of traffic calming and the protected bike lane on Prospect Park West,” according to

StreetsBlog reported that at a 2011 community board meeting on the bike lane, Eckstein said, “I like to pick up my kids from Hebrew school on my tandem. Before it wasn’t safe, but now I can do it.”