The Negligent Driver’s Best Defense: “I Didn’t See Him”

The driver who dragged Milo Montivilla down Broadway in the Bronx says he never saw him. Photo: Daily News

A 57-year-old Bronx man was struck and killed by a school bus driver on Tuesday.

According to reports, at around 6:00 a.m. Milo Montivilla was crossing with the light at Broadway and Mosholu Avenue in North Riverdale when the bus driver, turning right, ran him over. The Daily News interviewed a witness at the scene:

“He was walking to catch his bus and the [school] bus just hit him and dragged him down the street,” said the witness, who declined to give her name.

“He was under it for a good 10 minutes. I couldn’t believe it.”

The witness said the bus operator did not appear to have seen the pedestrian and continued driving.

“Everybody was screaming, ‘You hit someone! You hit someone!’ Everyone bum-rushed the street,” she said.

“That’s when he stopped and got out. Everyone was on their phones calling the cops.”

The driver was too distressed to talk at the scene but could be overheard telling a supervisor on the phone: “I didn’t see him. It was too dark.”

The driver’s identity was not released. He was not charged.

“I didn’t seem him/her” are the magic words for the motorist who pulverizes another person, even if the victim is breaking no laws, is directly in front of the vehicle when hit, and is dragged down the street until passersby intervene. The driver’s speed, the possibility that he was distracted in some way — these factors seemingly become irrelevant to police and prosecutors when presented with the invisible pedestrian or cyclist defense, despite state laws enacted to protect vulnerable street users from everyday driver negligence.

The crash that killed Milo Montivilla occurred in the 50th Precinct. The commanding officer there is Captain Kevin J. Burke. To voice your concerns about neighborhood traffic safety directly to Captain Burke or other precinct higher-ups, drop in on the next community council meeting. The 50th Precinct council meets the second Thursday of every month at the station house, located at 3450 Kingsbridge Avenue, at 7:30 p.m. Be sure to call ahead (718-543-5978) to confirm meeting times and dates.