Roshard Charles
5 years old

Roshard Charles was a picky eater. There were foods he loved, and foods he definitely didn’t. Waffles for breakfast were a favorite, as was chicken and rice. But pepperoni pizza was the best.

The workers at a 7-Eleven near his house would make sure they had it on hand for Roshard when he’d walk to school. His mother, Rochelle Charles, knew that if she walked Roshard past the store, he had to go in. The only way to have a non-pizza morning was to guide him on a route that avoided the store. “He loved pizza that much,” she said.

Rochelle said Roshard was one of the quiet ones in his kindergarten class at P.S. 375. But, she added with a laugh, “At home, he was a little different.”

Roshard was also impeccably neat. His mother said he sometimes clipped his nails by himself, and asked her to polish his school shoes every evening. He also loved the water, and showed off his swimming skills on trips to the Poconos, and on cruises to Jamaica and Haiti.

“He was very smart,” his mother said. “He wanted to be a doctor.”

This collision happened on March 16, 2014 near 289 Empire Boulevard in Brooklyn. See details in the Mean Streets Tracker.

Mean Streets 2014: Who We Lost, How They Lived

Throughout 2014, WNYC tracked the 265 men, women and children killed in traffic crashes in New York City. In addition to reporting the circumstances of their deaths, we looked at who they were in life: mothers, fathers, grandparents, students, recent immigrants and native New Yorkers. To read some of their stories, click on a photograph.