No Summonses for DSNY Driver Who Killed Man in Crown Heights Crosswalk

Gedalia Gruntzweig was killed in broad daylight by a city sanitation driver making a right turn at a signalized intersection with crosswalks. The red arrow represents the movement of the driver and the white arrow the movement of the victim, according to reports and photos from the scene. Image: Google Maps

Gedalia Gruntzweig was killed in broad daylight by a city sanitation driver making a right turn at a signalized intersection with crosswalks. The red arrow represents the movement of the driver and the white arrow the movement of the victim, according to reports and photos from the scene. Image: Google Maps

A pedestrian crossing with the right of way was struck and killed in Crown Heights Sunday by a city sanitation worker who was not charged or ticketed by NYPD.

Gedalia Gruntzweig, 25, was walking with friends when, at approximately 9:08 a.m., he was hit at the corner of Carroll Street and Kingston Avenue. Published reports say Gruntzweig was in the crosswalk when the driver of a city sanitation hauler, identified by the Daily News as Marlon Martinez, hit him while turning right.

From the Post:

Security camera footage from a nearby store showed that the sanitation truck had the green light when it turned right from Kingston onto Carroll, said a resident who lives in the building and saw the footage, which was turned over to police.

But Gruntzweig and his friend also had the “walk signal” when they stepped into the crosswalk on Carroll, law-enforcement sources said.

The victim was hit by the front side of the truck, knocked down and run over by its rear wheels, sources said. The driver apparently didn’t see the man before hitting him, sources said.

Gedalia Gruntzweig. Photo via New York Post

Gedalia Gruntzweig. Photo via New York Post

NYPD told Gothamist that Gruntzweig was crossing Carroll Street from south to north, and that two other pedestrians were also injured.

According to reports, Gruntzweig was originally from Ukraine. City Council Member Laurie Cumbo told the Times he was a rabbinical student in New Jersey and was visiting the city for an engagement party.

Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero Action Plan contains a number of goals for the city fleet, including driver training and vehicles with improved visibility and other safety features. Among its near-term targets: “Ensure all City fleet vehicles are equipped with technology that record speeding and other dangerous driving behaviors, by the end of 2014.”

A central tenet of Vision Zero is, as the action plan states, “vigorous law enforcement against dangerous driving.” Though reports are consistent that the victim had the right of way in this case, and Martinez reportedly drove a truck into three people in a crosswalk on a neighborhood street, NYPD issued no summonses for careless driving or failure to yield.

Officers from the 71st Precinct, where the crash occurred, wrote 161 speeding tickets in 2013, and cited 268 drivers for failure to yield to pedestrians last year. In January, the precinct issued 14 speeding tickets and 32 failure to yield summonses. To voice your concerns about neighborhood traffic safety directly to Deputy Inspector George Fitzgibbon, the precinct’s commanding officer, go to the next community council meeting. Precinct council meetings happen at 7:30 p.m. on the third Thursday of the month at MS 61, 400 Empire Boulevard. Call 718-735-0527 for information.

To encourage Council Member Cumbo to take action to improve street safety in her district and citywide, contact her at 212-788-7081, M35@council.nyc.gov or @cmlauriecumbo.