Two Staten Island Pedestrians Killed in Four Days; One Driver Charged

Two pedestrians were killed by drivers in Staten Island in separate incidents last week. Despite indications that both deaths were caused by careless driving -- one motorist struck an elderly man while making a left turn, the other jumped a curb and slammed into a man waiting for a bus -- only the driver involved in the latter crash faces charges, according to reports.

On Thursday, as Nathan Pakow, 47, waited for a bus at the intersection of Seaview Avenue and Capodanno Boulevard in the Ocean Breeze area, an out-of-control car driven by 19-year-old Joseph Catrama came up onto the sidewalk, pinning Pakow against a metal pole. Pakow was later pronounced dead at Staten Island University Hospital.

Catrama, a licensed driver for a little over a month, was suspected of speeding at the time of the crash. Police initially let him go, but a short time later a charge of criminally negligent homicide was issued, and Catrama surrendered to authorities.

Last Monday, 84-year-old World War II veteran Howard Adrian was hit by an SUV driver turning left at the intersection of Burgher Avenue and Hylan Boulevard in Dongan Hills. Adrian died Monday evening. A quote from the driver seems to paint the victim as the culpable party.

About two dozen relatives crowded the waiting room of Staten Island University Hospital's Intensive Care Unit in Ocean Breeze ... some sobbing, others raging against the driver who hit him.

That man, Michael Pierre of Castleton Corners, said he had just pulled out of the parking lot of the TD Bank on the corner; he made the left, he said, after the two cars ahead of him started moving.

"He [Adrian] tried to rush, you know, to cross the street," Pierre said.

No charges had been filed against Pierre as of last week, as Adrian's relatives and neighbors continue to grapple with the most basic of questions.

Alex Harris, who lived in the apartment above Adrian on Delaware Avenue, wondered why the driver didn't stop for Adrian as he crossed.

"Why wouldn't you slow down? You're not speeding to make a left turn," he said.