NYC Motorists Killed Three Pedestrians on City Sidewalks Today

Three pedestrians were killed on NYC sidewalks today in two separate crashes. Just before 7:30 a.m. on Queens Boulevard in Elmhurst, a 22-year-old man driving a new Camaro ran over and killed two men on the sidewalk, and just before 1 p.m., a woman was killed on an East Harlem corner after a taxi driver struck a box truck, which careened onto the sidewalk. So far, no charges have been filed, though witnesses say the Queens Boulevard driver was speeding and the East Harlem cabbie ran a red light, according to reports.

The driver of a yellow 2014 Chevrolet Camaro was heading westbound on Queens Boulevard when he crashed into two parked vehicles at Van Loon Street before jumping the curb and striking a phone booth, a lamp post, and two pedestrians — Man Chit Cheng, 59, and Muang Lin, 41 — who died at Elmhurst Hospital, according to FDNY.

Cheng, identified by the Post as Min Tin Cheng, was walking to work at a nearby construction site. He is survived by a wife and four grown children.

The driver, who has not been identified by police, was also transported to Elmhurst Hospital with minor injuries and is now in police custody on two outstanding warrants for failure to appear in court to face previous unspecified charges. The Collision Investigation Squad is investigating, and as of yet no charges have been filed relating to this crash. According to Gothamist, witnesses say the driver was speeding and crashed when he attempted to brake.

“The driver must’ve been speeding,” Council Member Danny Dromm told Streetsblog, adding that while speeding enforcement in the precinct has increased dramatically over last year, it’s not enough. “It’s going to take a while for it to sink in for drivers,” he said. “When people find out where speed cams or red light cams are, drivers take note and obey the law.” Dromm urged NYPD to take the investigation of these two men’s deaths seriously, and pointed to a march scheduled for tomorrow evening in his district to protest pedestrian deaths in Jackson Heights. “This is something that we can’t fool around with anymore,” he said. “We have to change people’s mentality on this. This is totally unacceptable.”

The crash occurred in the 110th Precinct, which issued 198 speeding tickets in September, the latest month for which information is available. Through the end of September, the precinct had issued 2,243 speeding tickets so far this year [PDF]. To voice your concerns about neighborhood traffic safety directly to Deputy Inspector Ronald D. Leyson, the commanding officer, go to the next precinct community council meeting. The 110th Precinct council meetings happen at 7:00 p.m. on the third Monday of the month at the Flander’s Field VFW Post #150, 51-11 108th Street. Call 718-476-9311 for information.

At 12:51 p.m., a taxi driver traveling westbound on East 102nd Street crashed into a box truck traveling southbound on Park Avenue, sending the truck into the southwest corner of the intersection, where it struck Olga Rivera, 65, who was standing on the sidewalk. She was pronounced dead at Mount Sinai Hospital.

As many as four other people were taken to Mount Sinai and Weill Cornell Medical Center, including the driver of the taxi and his two passengers. FDNY says three were in critical condition, and one was classified as serious. NYPD said the agency does not believe any of the injuries are life-threatening. According to WCBS and WPIX, police are looking into whether the cabbie ran a red light, but NYPD would only say that CIS is investigating and no charges have been filed.

“This corridor along the Park Avenue viaduct is a critical area of concern in my district for pedestrian safety,” Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito said in a statement, adding that she will soon be following up with DOT on pedestrian safety changes she suggested for Park Avenue earlier this year.

The crash occurred in the 23rd Precinct, which issued only 39 speeding tickets so far this year through the end of September. The precinct issued 35 tickets for red-light running in September, and a total of 277 this year as of October 1 [PDF]. To voice your concerns about neighborhood traffic safety directly to Captain Eric Pagan, the commanding officer, go to the next precinct community council meeting. The 23rd Precinct council meetings happen at 6:00 p.m. on the third Thursday of the month at the 23rd Precinct, 164 East 102nd Street. Call 212-860-6411 for information.

Last week, three pedestrians were killed by curb-jumping drivers in Fort GreeneWakefield, and Mott Haven. Charges have been filed in two of those cases, but NYPD has declined to charge the driver who, according to witnesses, ran a stop sign before killing a Mott Haven senior.