Statement from the Toulouse Family

Photo by M. Hermann/BHB; inset courtesy of the Toulouse family
Photo by M. Hermann/BHB; inset courtesy of the Toulouse family
The following statement was released by Dr. Chris Toulouse, father of Alexander “Zander” Toulouse:

Zander Toulouse (2000-08) was 8 years-old and a student at PS 29 in Cobble Hill. He was killed Saturday afternoon after being hit by a Post Office van in downtown Brooklyn.

Zander was a very popular little boy at his school and the neighborhood where he was known for being polite and very smart. He loved subways and ‘Dancing with the Stars’. He was a joy to his parents who are utterly devastated by their loss.

Zander was very well-known at Fordham University at Lincoln Center. He would regularly go on field trips with his Dad, who is a Political Science professor. Students knew him as ‘the little professor.'”

Share this Story:

, , , , ,

  • my2cents

    As I said yesterday, this is a terrible tragedy. Take a look at
    which has a graphical map of bike and pedestrian injuries and fatalities in the city, and you will find that this corner is one of the worst intersections in the brooklyn heights area for pedestrian and bike injuries, although this is the first bicycle fatality there. I hope that the city can look into how the intersection can be improved so that terrible incidents like this will not happen again.

  • momof2

    My heart is breaking.. I only wish that the family can find peace.. I pray for them!!!!

  • here since 89

    I will pray for this family. I am so very sorry for their loss.
    it is just heartbreaking.

  • hoppy

    My condolences to the Toulouse family. What a beautiful and bright boy. God Keep Him.

  • JbrownHarlem

    We’ve got to do something about the situation with pedestrians and auto traffic in this city. It’s completely out of hand.

  • Joseph

    I’m so sorry to hear about this. I was a student of Dr. Toulouse’s last year and I remember him talking about his child. I know he loved him more than anything in the world and my heart goes out to him and his wife at this terrible time.

  • nazimova

    this is sickening a terrible tragedy I will pray for the family

  • Cranky

    This is awful. I saw it in the newspaper and tears started rolling down my face even though I don’t know the family.

    My sincere sympathy to the family on this dreadful loss.

  • Henry&State

    My prayers to the family at this very sad time.

  • nabeguy

    This is truly a tragedy for all concerned and my heart and prayers go out to the Toulouse family. I can only hope that this sad loss of an innocent life will serve as a clarion call to the DOT to better investigate ways to protect the public against further accidents of this kind at this corner and that, perhaps out of this sad event, something positive may be achieved.

  • tanya

    I am so saddened by this accident, I often bike ride with my daughters and I am so aware that many times we opt to get of the bikes when crossing the street as an additional safety precaution. My condolences to the Toulouse family and to the family of the mail man, as all families will have to live with this tragedy.

  • cormac

    My condolences, this is terribly sad news.

  • Andy

    I have a suggestion: why not pass a law allowing parents or any adult on a bike accompanying a child under the age of 14 on a bike to ride on the sidewalk? In Los Angeles it is legal to ride on the sidewalk as long as you ride slowly and responsibly. The bike lanes in NYC are a joke…drivers do not even notice them, much less respect them, and they give a false sense of security to riders. I ride on sidewalks all the time (I’m 64) and if I get a ticket, so be it. Also, how about designing trucks with low cabs so that drivers can SEE children and small adults on bikes or on foot? I know this family and my heart aches for them!

  • Ben

    So tragic. Something must be done to increae safety for pedestrians and bicyclists in this city! agreed it is out of hand.

  • Vanessa

    I was also a student of Dr. Toulouse and anyone who had him can tell that he was deeply in love with his son, because he talked about him a lot. I met Zander on a school trip we went to and he was a very polite intelligent boy. My condolences to the family.

  • Old Fulton

    I certainly don’t want to diminish or deflect this profound loss and tragedy, but I’ve grown so weary of the ‘bike lobby’ in NYC who would have us believe that a cyclist is benign and is implicitly innocent of all blame in a traffic accident. This goes, incidentally, for pedestrians, as well. I am sometimes a pedestrian, sometimes a cyclist, and sometimes a driver. The behavior of cyclists in NY (and Brownstone Brooklyn) is far from exemplary. I actually knew a woman who was KILLED by a cyclist in Manhattan and my spouse was nearly hit by a speeding cyclist going the wrong way. (Yes, the road rules apply to cyclists, but few obey them … that includes red lights!) Cyclist on the sidewalk is a very bad idea. And lastly, might I suggest that the big push in NYC by our current mayor, and the push to encourage Brownstone Brooklyn to be so bike-friendly so fast, may have been a factor in this horrible event. It’s very clear that those planning the new rules of the road (not to mention painting the lines) are not the brightest bulbs.

  • The Tolosa Family

    We are so saddened to hear about your loss. Zander was a very good boy. We hope you will recover from this the soonest possible…

    Your neighbors (used-to) upstairs,
    The Tolosa’s

  • David

    Old Fulton,

    The comment you have written is deeply uninformed and utterly repugnant.

    An 8-year-old boy crossing the street on a bicycle with his father and with the traffic signal giving them the legal right of way is, as a matter of fact, “innocent of all blame.”

    You really have to be lacking the most basic human empathy not to see that isn’t the place or time for your ridiculous, anti-bicycle axe-grinding. One of our neighbors suffered a real loss here.

  • Andy

    I can’t help but hope SOMETHING positive comes out of this terrible tragedy so this child’s death will not have been in vain. Today, by coincidence, I crossed in front of a postal van. I’m small, 5’1″, and I was appalled at how high the driver’s seat was! Small wonder that he didn’t see the child if he was close to the front of the truck!
    So, some more suggestions: kids under 5’3″ should ride with orange flags attached to a long pole on the rear of the bike; kids should wear brightly colored helmets and shirts. The bike lanes should be painted bright green, and most important, vans should have a LOW CAB so the driver can SEE pedestrians and cyclists. If it takes a lawsuit to get the latter implemented, do it. Let this be the last tragedy of this kind. Do it as a memorial to Zander.

  • T.K. Small

    This is definitely not the time or place to cast blame. The Toulouse family needs our prayers and condolences. I think Andy has hit the nail on the head. We can only hope for something positive to come from this tragedy. At the very least, requiring flags on the bicycles of children would be a quick and effective beginning to address the problem.

    Incidentally, that intersection has always been a place that I avoid. One of my professors at Brooklyn Law School had been run over there by two separate buses. Remarkably he survived with only one leg having to be amputated and the other leg getting reattached

  • EK

    I am a former student of Dr. Toulouse, I usually log into Dr. Toulouse web site to see the many interesting things he usually has posted on his site. I am deeply sadden by this tradegy, I remember being on a field trip with Dr. Toulouse and Zander, we went to Roosevelt Island. Zander was such a delighted child and inquisitive child.

    Zander will truely be misses!