Is the Truck Driver Who Killed Roxana Sorina Buta Still Behind the Wheel?

NYC DOT has not responded to Streetsblog queries concerning the death of Roxana Sorina Buta, the woman allegedly struck and killed by a DOT truck driver in a hit-and-run crash near Union Square.

Roxana Sorina Buta. Photo via DNAinfo

On May 24 at approximately 1:30 a.m., Buta was walking across Broadway at 14th Street, in the crosswalk and with the light, when the driver of a dump truck made a right turn, ran her over and kept going, according to reports.

Buta, an aspiring actress who came to the U.S. from Romania at age 11, was on her way home to East Harlem from the restaurant where she worked. She was 21.

In early June, it was reported that the killer had been identified. At that time, Joseph Tacopina, the attorney hired by Buta’s family, said police had confirmed that the driver worked for DOT. No charges or traffic citations were issued, according to a lawsuit filed by Buta’s mother, which claims that her death resulted from negligence on the part of the driver, the city, DOT, the Department of Design and Construction and Mack Trucks.

“Upon information and belief, the driver fled the scene and is free to continue driving New York City dump trucks recklessly,” reads the lawsuit.

In late October, Streetsblog emailed DOT for confirmation that the driver who killed Buta was an agency employee, and if so, whether the driver continues to operate DOT vehicles on the job. We followed up with a second email this week. DOT has yet to reply.

It’s a characteristic outrage that NYPD and Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance would decline to pursue charges against a hit-and-run killer. But it would be disappointing, to say the least, if an agency that has done so much to make streets safer is allowing the person who killed Ms. Buta to continue to endanger lives.