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Grandmother calls on DOT for updated cameras, lighting after losing 11-year-old granddaughter in Major Deegan crash

The grandmother says she was home and heard the accident at the time but didn't think anything of it, receiving a call just a few moments later. 

Elly Morillo

Dec 9, 2023, 1:26 AM

Updated 223 days ago

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A grandmother in the Bronx is calling for justice after her 11-year-old granddaughter died in a crash on the Major Deegan Expressway back in 2019.
Iyasia Diamond Wallace would have turned 16 this year. Nandra Coles lives right across the expressway and says Iyasia, her two sisters and her grandfather missed an exit on their way to her house, which caused them to detour, but they never made it.
"The last text she sent to my son was 'we here,' which means for me to come downstairs and pick her up," said Coles.
Coles says she was home and heard the accident at the time but didn't think anything of it, receiving a call just a few moments later. 
"Couple of minutes later, I get a call from the grandfather saying we're in an accident. Now, did I figure that was the accident? Of course not," said Coles.
Nandra says the Department of Transportation must do their part. 
Coles tells News 12 she has called for updated cameras and better lighting on the expressway. 
"The DOT sent me an email back saying that they would get back to me with recommendations by September 2023. I have yet heard anything back from them," said Coles.
News 12 reached out to DOT for a statement and it responded, saying it recently repaired lighting at this location in response to this request from the community and the borough president.


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