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Anita Culp, a Park Slope resident who bikes to work on Prospect Park West every day, stopped on her way to work to take in the few hand-made signs, signed by Eckstein-Cohen’s friends and classmates, and bouquets.
Culp said she saw the aftermath of the accident on Tuesday. “I was riding up and saw him lying in the street,” Culp told the Forward. “There were a few people standing around helping him and stopping traffic.”
Two of Eckstein-Cohen’s classmates from MS 51, Flora Lennihan, 12, and Alison Collard de Beaufort, 13, stood for a while at Eckstein-Cohen’s memorial. Collard de Beaufort was especially emotional, saying today at school was “terrible,” for the students and the teachers.
“The teachers were uncomfortable,” said Lennihan. “They hadn’t had a student pass away before, and they seemed uncomfortable so they didn’t know how to react or help students. “Luckily we have no tests tomorrow,” she added.
Collard de Beaufort said she heard about the accident on the news on Tuesday night, but didn’t know who had been hit. Lennihan said she didn’t know anything until she got to school on Wednesday morning and “saw everyone was crying,” and heard from her friends. Lennihan said the school administration had to close down the girl’s bathroom because too many people were writing messages to Eckstein-Cohen on the walls.
Both girls said Eckstein-Cohen was in their science and math classes, that he was good at school, liked soccer and being with his friends, and played trumpet in a jazz band. “He was very kind,” said Collard de Beaufort. “He never picked on anyone.”
City Councillors Brad Lander and Steve Levin both issued statements expressing their condolences. Levin said in an email to Streetsblog that, “this is a terrible tragedy and my thoughts and prayers go out to the boy’s family.”
Heart broken by incomprehensible loss of Sammy Cohen-Eckstein, hit yestrday on PPW. Beautiful kid & family. No words.ampmdash; Brad Lander (@bradlander) October 9, 2013