THE BRONX - The immigrant driver of a cab that struck and killed 6-year-old M?Mah Bangoura, when she was playing in an open fire hydrant, claims he was too scared to call 911.

Instead, he picked up the injured girl and rushed her to the hospital, where she later died.

?There is a fear to call 911,? said a neighbor, Dumarou Nimou. ?If he had called 911, it may have saved the child's life.?

People in the local community say they fear immigration officials and feel some accidents, like the death of the little girl, may have been prevented if there wasn?t such hesitation to turn to the authorities.

?Immigration issues are not only among Latinos [and] Africans,? said Djounedou Titikpina, of the Bronx African Alliance. ?We have to find a way to solve it. Otherwise, things are not going to be good for us or even elected officials.?

According to representatives of Community Board 4, they are working to get more parks in the area so local kids will have a safe place to play. In the meantime, they say they are urging neighbors to put spray caps on the tops of hydrants with the hope that less kids will be playing in the streets.