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NEW YORK -- A 6-year-old boy was struck and killed by a tractor-trailer one block from his school Thursday morning while the crossing guard was taking a break, according to a law enforcement official.
The boy, identified as Amar Diarrosova, was walking with his 9-year-old brother and was crossing First Avenue in East Harlem just before 8 a.m. when the tractor-trailer turned right onto the avenue from 117th Street.
The older boy was not struck.
A law enforcement official told NBC 4 New York that the 55-year-old crossing guard was allowed the short personal break, but did not note it in her memo book. She has been suspended from her job, police said.
The children were one block from PS 155 and were in the crosswalk, police said.
Diarrosova was taken to Harlem Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The driver was cited for failure to yield and failure to exercise due care, police said.
The boy's distraught parents did not speak to reporters as they returned to their apartment except to answer a question about how the 9-year-old brother was doing after the accident.
"He's OK, thank you," the boy's father said.
It's unclear why the parents were not with the young boys as they walked to school, which is 12 blocks away from where they live.
Family friend Maya Toure called Amar a "sweet boy," telling NBC 4 New York the boy loved school and "he prayed a lot."
City Councilwoman Melissa Mark Viverito questioned whether the intersection has enough crossing guards to protect children from the heavily traveled roadway.
"People have to take breaks," she said. "People are working and they're out on the street and they have to do what they have to do. But if there's any way we can create of look at whether there's any plans to make sure there's coverage if the person has to step away for any reason."