Stephanie Sugorovskiy, the 5-year-old sister of the boy killed in Delaware Park nearly three weeks ago, is recovering from her injuries but will need further treatment outside of Buffalo, a relative says.
“She has two broken legs, a broken right wrist, plus she has a brain injury,” Mark Cantor said. “She’ll be going to the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh’s rehab center on Monday, a move recommended by the staff at Women’s & Children’s Hospital.”
The Lancaster Ambulance Corps has donated its services to transport Stephanie, Cantor said.
“We feel there is a strong likelihood she will recover,” said Cantor, whose oldest brother is the father of Mary Sugorovskiy, the girl’s mother.
“She is a very spirited and a smart little girl. She’s talking and conversing,” Cantor said of Stephanie, who will turn 6 in August.
Stephanie has been told that her brother, Maksym, died in the tragedy that occurred in Delaware Park, when a car on the Scajaquada went off the expressway, over a median and into the park, striking the two children and their mother.
“They tried to delay telling her about her brother, but she was adamant about finding out,” Cantor said. “When she asked, she was told Maksym was sleeping in another room down the hall. You could just tell by the look on her face that she smelled a rat.”
Cantor, who is a lawyer, said the family intends to file a lawsuit against the city and the state over the boy’s death and the girl’s injuries, but added the family would prefer to reach a settlement.
“The mayor called me right back,” Cantor said. “I spoke to the corporation counsel, and I received a very positive response. They said they would be willing to sit down.
“We’re not looking for blood, vengeance or to bankrupt the city or anything like that. The point is that they just accept responsibility for not having a guardrail up to protect the Sugorovskiys and others. They actually have in a way – afterward – by putting up new guardrails, but they should have been there already,” he said.
“There’s no reason why a high-speed expressway cuts into a park where you have pedestrians and bicyclists on a path approximately 18 feet from a high-speed driving lane,” said Cantor. “So I think the state had a responsibility to put a guardrail up there. They hadn’t done so for years and the city was aware of that. And the city owns the bike path so it was incumbent for the city to do something to protect my clients.”
The day after the accident, Cuomo directed the state Department of Transportation to immediately lower the speed limit on the Scajaquada Expressway from 55 mph to 30, and to install “park-appropriate” guardrails where the expressway passes through Delaware Park.
No charges have been placed against the driver of the car, Christian P. Myers, who was taken to Erie County Medical Center because he was distraught after the accident, although the investigation is continuing.