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Bayside Little League honors boy killed last year

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Christopher Scott had been in the Bayside Little League for three years by the time he was chosen as an all-star last summer, playing as a pitcher and loving every minute of it, League Commissioner Bob Reid said.

“He was just so thrilled he was picked for an all-star,” Reid said.

Nearly a year after Christopher’s death in a car accident on the Clearview Expressway service road, the 11-year-old was in the hearts and minds of many in the community this week when the Bayside Little League presented a memorial award his honor. The trophy recognizes the most valuable player in the league’s minor division for kids ages 10-12, Reid said.

“It was a great thrill to be able to do this,” he said.

The award was presented to Christopher Wong, 12, during the Bayside Little League’s 2001 All-star Game, he said, by Christopher Scott’s parents.

Christopher was killed last August when he was hit by a car after he rode his bicycle across the pedestrian bridge at 46th Avenue and began to enter the Clearview Expressway service road, where there was no curb or buffer from the street. In July 1994 John Shim, 10, was killed in the same spot while riding his bike.

The Bayside boy’s death has become a lightening rod for the community, where a push to improve safety at the pedestrian bridge has resulted in the city Department of Transportation making several changes at the site, including a ban on bike riding.

Members of Community Board 11 in Bayside also voted to support naming the pedestrian bridge “Christopher’s Crossing” as a way to honor the dead boy and remind other children of the fatal accidents there.

A few weeks ago state Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose) announced the Senate had passed a bill to adopt the name and this week a spokeswoman for state Assemblywoman Ann-Margaret Carrozza (D-Bayside) said the same bill was in committee.

Carrozza spokeswoman Mary Ann Maltese said “the bill is being reviewed by the Assembly Ways and Means committee. We’re going through the process and we feel very positive about it.”

Upon passing the Assembly the bill should go to Gov. George Pataki to be signed into law, she said.

While elected officials work to rename the 46th Avenue pedestrian bridge, Reid said the Bayside Little League has been trying to help teach kids about safety as a way to prevent accidents similar to Christopher’s.

Reid said the league regularly teaches its kids about safety in baseball.

“After last year’s tragedy we decided to expand that and just do safety in general,” he said. “We brought in the Department of Transportation to talk to the kids.

“We have to make sure we don’t have another tragedy like this,” he said.

Reach reporter Kathianne Boniello by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 146.

Posted 7:07 pm, October 10, 2011
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