Update: The victim in the Rockaway Parkway crash was identified as Alex Davis, according to DNAinfo. Police said he was hit by the driver of a Ford Mustang. The driver remained at large as of November 7.
Hit-and-run drivers have killed two New York City pedestrians in the past week. After each crash NYPD sources either defended the motorist or blamed the victim in the press.
At approximately 9:30 p.m. last Thursday, the driver of a private sanitation truck ran over a 59-year-old man on Canal Street in Chinatown, according to NYPD. The man’s body was found near Centre Street, but police didn’t know where the collision occurred. NYPD had not released the victim’s name as of this morning, and no arrests had been made.
“It was not immediately clear if the driver was aware that a pedestrian had been hit, police said,” reported DNAinfo. To see justice done for this victim and his loved ones, this is a critical detail.
To secure a conviction against a hit-and-run driver in New York State, prosecutors must prove the motorist knew or had reason to know he hit someone, causing personal injury. Thanks to state laws that favor reckless drivers, when a New York motorist strikes a pedestrian and leaves the scene, “I didn’t see him” is not an admission of guilt, but a potent defense strategy. So in effect, NYPD has offered a preemptive defense for the motorist who claimed this person’s life.
In the second crash, a hit-and-run driver in a “dark-colored sedan” killed a 59-year-old man on Rockaway Parkway near Winthrop Avenue, in Brownsville, early Saturday. The victim’s identity is still being withheld pending family notification, NYPD said, and the driver remains at large.
Local residents told NY1 that speeding is rampant on the segment of Rockaway Parkway where Saturday’s crash occurred.
“If we were able to put a mid-block crosswalk and a light that split it right down the middle, tragedies like this wouldn’t happen because people would have an option to cross,” one area resident said.
“This intersection is never safe. It’s always somebody getting hit by a car. It’s always a child getting clipped by a car a vehicle. Everybody’s always speeding, not trying to stop at the lights. Everybody’s just in a rush,” another said.