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Another Pedestrian Killed on Nightmarish Bronx Broadway Stretch

In 2014 drivers injured more than one pedestrian a week, on average, on the 15-block segment of Broadway where Daniel Cabrera was killed. Image: Google Maps

In 2014 drivers injured more than one pedestrian a week, on average, on the 15-block segment of Broadway where Daniel Cabrera was killed. Image: Google Maps

A hit-and-run driver killed a pedestrian last night on a stretch of Broadway in the Bronx with a history of fatalities, and where motorists injured one person walking per week last year.

Daniel Cabrera was attempting to cross Broadway at W. 225th Street in Marble Hill at around 7 p.m. yesterday when he was struck by the driver of a Dodge Magnum station wagon, according to the Daily News. The driver did not stop. Cabrera, 38, died at New York Presbyterian Hospital.

Reaction to Cabrera’s death has largely focused on the fact that the driver left the scene. “When a driver flees the scene of an accident without reporting the incident or aiding the individual they’ve hit, they not only breaking the law but disregarding the well-being of others and their moral responsibility to aid them,” said a statement from local Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez. “In our city we cannot tolerate these callous actions.”

Hit-and-run collisions are an epidemic in New York City — thanks in part to Albany’s failure to make penalties more severe — but street conditions where this crash occurred should not be ignored as a contributing factor.

Cabrera was hit just north of the Manhattan Bridge, on a stretch of Broadway both teeming with people and overrun by speeding traffic. Stores and restaurants line Broadway from W. 225th to W. 240th Street, which borders Van Cortlandt Park. It’s dark and loud due to the elevated 1 train. Crossings are long, and drivers speed with impunity. The 50th Precinct issued just 450 speeding tickets in 2014, according to NYPD data.

CBS 2 reported that Cabrera worked at Columbia University and was headed to the Metro-North station on W. 225th Street when he was hit.

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NYPD: No Charges for Driver Who Killed Man in Brooklyn Crosswalk

NYPD filed no charges against the driver who killed Martin Hernandez Tufino as he crossed the street in a crosswalk. The red arrow represents the movement of the driver and the white arrow the movement of the victim, according to information released by NYPD. Image: Google Maps

NYPD filed no charges against the driver who killed Martin Hernandez Tufino as he crossed the street in a crosswalk. The red arrow represents the movement of the driver and the white arrow the movement of the victim, according to information released by NYPD. Image: Google Maps

NYPD said charges probably won’t be filed against the driver of a private bus who ran over and killed a man in a Brooklyn crosswalk, though it appears the victim was crossing with the right of way.

Police said Martin Hernandez Tufino, 64, was crossing Avenue M north to south at around 2:11 p.m. Friday when the driver struck him with a Freightliner bus while turning right from Coney Island Avenue, according to Gothamist.

From the Daily News:

The man was in the crosswalk and was caught under the bus’s front wheels. He suffered a massive head injury, horrified witnesses told police.

He died at the scene.

Though Tufino was in a marked crosswalk and would presumably have had the right of way, anonymous police sources told the Daily News “no charges were expected.”

It would not be unusual for the driver in this case to avoid penalty. Since the Right of Way Law took effect last August, motorists have injured and killed thousands of New York City pedestrians, yet as of this month NYPD had applied the law just 17 times.

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The Weekly Carnage

The Weekly Carnage is a Friday round-up of motor vehicle violence across the five boroughs. For more on the origins and purpose of this column, please read About the Weekly Carnage.

Moshe Kanofsky, 73, died from injuries he sustained when a driver hit him in a Brooklyn crosswalk last December. No charges were filed. Photo via Daily News

Moshe Kanofsky, 73, died from injuries he sustained when a driver hit him in a Brooklyn crosswalk last December. No charges were filed. Photo via Daily News

Fatal Crashes (4 Killed This Week, 15 This Year*, 1 Driver Charged**)

  • Herald Square: Susan Eddy, 69, Dies From Injuries After Ambulance Driver Struck Her in January (DNA)
  • East New York: Regina Stevenson, 41, Struck by Truck Driver on Linden Blvd.; No Charges (Streetsblog)
  • Crown Heights: Moshe Kanofsky, 73, Hit by Driver in Crosswalk in December (NewsDNAJP Updates)
  • Chelsea: Bob Simon, 73, Killed in Livery Cab; Driver Had History of Suspensions (NYT 1, 2NewsPost)

Injuries, Arrests, and Property Damage

  • Chelsea: Nine Injured in Multi-Vehicle Crash at Sixth Avenue and W. 20th Street (WNBC)
  • East New York: Three Injured, One Critically, in Linden Blvd. Crash That Overturned Ambulance (WCBS)
  • Borough Park: 80-Year-Old Pedestrian Seriously Injured (@NYScanner)
  • Williamsburg: Pedestrian Seriously Injured at Marcy Avenue and S. Third Street (@NYScanner)
  • Queens: Drunk Driver Who Hit Parked NYPD Van, Injured Officers Has Diplomatic Immunity (Post)
  • Mariners Harbor: Driver Crashes Head-One Into Telephone Pole (Advance)
  • Dongan Hills: Alleged Drunk SUV Driver Slams Head-On Into Car, Leaving Passenger Critical (Advance)
  • Jamaica: Truck Driver Arrested at JFK for Driving Without a License (Advance)

* Based on latest available reports
** Drivers known to have been charged for causing a death in 2015

***Incident in which a vehicle left the roadway

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MTA Bus Driver Runs Over 15-Year-Old Girl in Brooklyn Crosswalk [Updated]

Turning MTA bus drivers have killed at least 12 people in the last two years. Image: News 12

Turning MTA bus drivers have killed at least 12 people in the last two years. Image: News 12

Update: NYPD told Streetsblog the bus driver involved in this crash was arrested and charges are pending. Transportation Alternatives tweeted that, according to police, he was charged under the Right of Way law.

An MTA bus driver ran over a teenage girl in a Brooklyn crosswalk this morning.

The 15-year-old victim was walking north across Grand Street at around 8:45 when the Q59 driver, southbound on Union Avenue, struck her while turning left onto Grand, according to NYPD and DNAinfo.

Video from a nearby bodega’s camera shows the bus swinging around the corner just as the girl steps into the crosswalk, hitting her and then dragging her out of the frame.

“Oh my God, the lady was crossing the street. He did not see the lady. The people in the street were screaming,” said Jose Aguilar, 48, who owns nearby Grand Gourmet Deli.

“I saw the girl crossing the street. The bus came in fast,” said Aguilar’s worker, El Mehdi Ouafiq.

He said a woman stayed with the girl when she couldn’t pull her from under the tire.

A video Ouafiq shot shows the girl’s bright green shoes poking out from beneath the bus’ large wheel while a group of people huddle around her trying to help.

The Daily News reported that the victim “was pinned under the left front wheel.”

A spokesperson with the NYPD public information office said the victim suffered a severe leg injury. Reports on social media that the victim died were not true, the spokesperson said, but she had no further information. A tweet for confirmation on the victim’s condition to the Highway Department, which investigates traffic crashes, got no response.

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The Weekly Carnage

The Weekly Carnage is a Friday round-up of motor vehicle violence across the five boroughs. For more on the origins and purpose of this column, please read About the Weekly Carnage.

Two drivers fatally struck 36-year-old Kamil Gorski in Ridgewood. One was charged with leaving the scene. No charges were filed against the second driver. Photo via Daily News

Two drivers fatally struck 36-year-old Kamil Gorski in Ridgewood. One was charged with leaving the scene. No charges were filed against the second driver. Photo via Daily News

Fatal Crashes (3 Killed Since Jan. 23, 11 This Year*, 1 Driver Charged**)

  • Ridgewood: Kamil Gorski, 36, Struck by Two Drivers; One Fled Scene (DNANews)
  • Jamaica: Female Pedestrian Struck by Turning NICE Bus Driver; No Charges (News)
  • Far Rockaway: Jeffery McDonald, 28, Crashes Car Into Subway Pillar (WABC)

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In Brooklyn, Another Alleged Unlicensed Driver Faces Wrist Tap for Killing

An allegedly unlicensed driver who killed a pedestrian in a Brooklyn crosswalk last month was not charged with criminal negligence by NYPD or District Attorney Ken Thompson. Meanwhile, legislation to increase the penalty for causing a death while driving without a valid license continues to languish in Albany.

The motorist who killed Raul Leone-Vasquez was charged with unlicensed driving and careless driving, but was not charged by Brooklyn DA Ken Thompson with criminal negligence under the “rule of two.”

The motorist who killed Raul Leone-Vasquez was charged with unlicensed driving, a misdemeanor, and careless driving, a traffic infraction, but was not charged by Brooklyn DA Ken Thompson with criminal negligence.

Raul Leone-Vasquez was crossing Bay Parkway at Bath Avenue at around 6:35 a.m. on December 28 when Simcha Rosenblatt hit him with a Toyota Camry, according to the Bensonhurst Bean and the Daily News. Leone-Vasquez, 27, suffered head trauma and died at Lutheran Hospital. His death was reported by several outlets Wednesday, following an NYPD media release.

Rosenblatt, 60, of Lakewood, New Jersey, was charged with aggravated unlicensed operation and failure to exercise due care. The Bensonhurst Bean and WNBC reported that, according to police, Leone-Vasquez was crossing Bay Parkway east to west, in the crosswalk, and Rosenblatt was southbound on Bay Parkway. If that account is accurate, and Leone-Vasquez had a walk signal, it appears Rosenblatt would either have been turning from Bath Avenue onto Bay Parkway or he drove south through the intersection against the light.

Aggravated unlicensed operation is a low-level misdemeanor that stipulates that Rosenblatt drove without a license when he knew or should have known he didn’t have one. It is common for NYPD and city prosecutors to file a top charge of aggravated unlicensed operation when an accused unlicensed driver kills a pedestrian. It’s the same charge applied by police and prosecutors when an unlicensed driver commits a traffic infraction.

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NYPD: 1,399 Pedestrians and Cyclists Injured, 10 Killed in December

Image: NYPD

Image: NYPD

Twelve people died in New York City traffic in December, and 4,116 were injured, according to the latest NYPD crash data report [PDF].

Unofficial numbers from DOT indicate that 132 pedestrians and 20 cyclists were killed by city motorists in 2014. Drivers injured 14,922 pedestrians and cyclists last year, according to NYPD.

Citywide, at least 10 pedestrians were fatally struck by drivers in December: two in Manhattan, one in the Bronx, five in Brooklyn, and two in Queens. Among the victims were Blima Friedman, Gloria Ramiro, Ignascio Andal, Joan Hale, Denise Lippin, Jean Bonne-Année, Guler Ugur-Yaacobi, an unnamed female pedestrian in Queens, and an unnamed male pedestrian in Brooklyn. The victims included at least one child and four seniors.

NYPD reported no cyclist deaths in December.

Across the city, 1,210 pedestrians and 189 cyclists were reported hurt in collisions with motor vehicles. Per NYPD policy, few of these crashes were investigated by trained officers.

Based on NYPD data provided to Streetsblog, police applied the city’s Right of Way law in one fatal crash in December. No other motorist was known to have been charged for causing a death. Historically, nearly half of motorists who kill a New York City pedestrian or cyclist do not receive so much as a citation for careless driving.

In three cases, immediately after a pedestrian was killed, police exonerated the driver by telling the press the victim was not in a crosswalk. NYPD publicly blamed a child and two seniors struck by motorists for their own deaths.

One motorist and one passenger died in the city in December; 1,292 and 1,426 were injured, respectively.

There were 17,281 motor vehicle crashes in the city last month, including 3,118 that resulted in injury or death.

Download December NYPD summons data here. NYPD posts geocoded crash data here. Crash and summons data from prior months is available in multiple formats here.

After the jump: contributing factors for crashes resulting in injury and death.

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The Weekly Carnage

The Weekly Carnage is a Friday round-up of motor vehicle violence across the five boroughs. For more on the origins and purpose of this column, please read About the Weekly Carnage.

Hoyt Jacobs was killed by a truck driver making a right turn from Vernon Boulevard onto 41st Avenue. Image: Google Maps

Cyclist Hoyt Jacobs was killed by a truck driver making a right turn from Vernon Boulevard onto 41st Avenue in Queens. In 2008, DOT chose to maintain parking, rather than install bike lanes, on the segment of Vernon Boulevard where Jacobs was killed. Image: Google Maps

Fatal Crashes (4 Killed Since Jan. 9, 8 This Year*, 1 Driver Charged**)

  • Long Island City: Hoyt Jacobs, 36, Struck on Bicycle by Private Sanitation Truck Driver (Streetsblog)
  • Bayside: 69-Year-Old Woman Struck Crossing Bell Boulevard (Streetsblog)
  • Jamaica: Patina Deygoo, 22, Killed in Backseat of Car When Driver Crashed Into Tree; Two Injured (Post)
  • Far Rockaway: Geovanni Balverdy, 19, Killed in Car Whose Driver Swerved Into Traffic (PostWNBC)

Injuries, Arrests, and Property Damage

  • Cambria Heights: Unlicensed Driver Hits 6-Year-Old Boy Stepping Off School Bus (News)
  • UWS: Driver Strikes Pedestrian at 97th Street and Columbus Avenue (DNA)
  • Ditmars: Pedestrian Struck at Ditmars Boulevard and 31 Street; CIS Requested (@NYScanner)
  • Midtown: Coach Bus Driver Slams Into Wall of Port Authority Terminal (News)
  • Flatbush: Van Driver Hits, Critically Injures Man on Ocean Avenue (Post)
  • Forest Hills: MTA Bus Involved in Seven-Car Pile-Up on Metropolitan Avenue (TL)
  • Brooklyn: Tractor-Trailer Overturns on Verrazano-Narrows Bridge (@NYScanner)
  • Dozens of Weather-Related Pile-Ups Lead to 911 Backlog, Suspended Bus Service (Post, WABC)
  • Schuylerville: 14-Year-Old Boy Hits Parked Cars With Van, Attempts to Ram Police Cruiser (Post, News)
  • Staten Island: Three MTA Buses Involved in Separate Crashes, Injuring Passengers (Advance)
  • St. George: Icy Road Blamed for 15 Car Pile-Up on Richmond Road and Clove Road (Advance)

* Based on latest available reports
** Drivers known to have been charged for causing a death in 2015

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The Weekly Carnage

The Weekly Carnage is a Friday round-up of motor vehicle violence across the five boroughs. For more on the origins and purpose of this column, please read About the Weekly Carnage.

A hit-and-run driver killed Guler Ugur-Yaacobi in Morningside Heights on New Year’s Eve. Prezidor Porbeni was later charged with felony leaving the scene and unlicensed driving, court records say. NYPD and Manhattan DA Cy Vance did not charge Porbeni for causing a death. Photo: LinkedIn via Daily News

A hit-and-run driver killed pedestrian Guler Ugur-Yaacobi in Morningside Heights on New Year’s Eve. Prezidor Porbeni was later charged with felony leaving the scene and unlicensed driving, court records say. NYPD and Manhattan DA Cy Vance did not charge Porbeni for causing a death. Photo: LinkedIn via Daily News

Fatal Crashes (4 Killed Since Jan. 1*, 1 Driver Charged**)

  • Upper East Side: Wesley Mensing, 27, Struck by Uber Driver While Crossing Street With Girlfriend, Who Was Injured; No Charges Filed (Streetsblog 1, 2)
  • Edenwald: Dylon Ramirez, 16, Killed by Hit-and-Run Driver; 15-Year-Old Girl Critical (News,Post
  • Morningside Heights: Guler Ugur-Yaacobi, 44, Killed in Hit-and-Run on New Years Eve; Driver Later Charged With Leaving Scene, Driving With Suspended License (News, DNA)****
  • Verrazano-Narrows Bridge: Thomas Choi, 62, Struck in 2013, Dies From Injuries (WCBS)****
  • Cross Bronx Expressway: Pamela Pimental, 27, Killed When Driver Rear-Ends Livery Cab; Driver Charged With Homicide, DWI (Post)
  • Kensington: Jose Hoffman, 56, Killed in Four-Car Crash; 1 Injured (Bklyn Paper)

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DMV Judge Delays Action Against License of Driver Who Killed Allison Liao

Amy Tam and Hsi-Pei Liao speak to reporters after the New York State DMV failed to take action against the driver’s license of the man who killed their daughter Allison. Photo: Brad Aaron

Amy Tam and Hsi-Pei Liao speak to reporters after the New York State DMV failed to take action against the driver’s license of the man who killed their daughter Allison. Photos: Brad Aaron

An administrative law judge for the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles today deferred a decision concerning the driver’s license of the motorist who killed 3-year-old Allison Liao.

In a packed hearing room at a DMV office in Jamaica, Sidney Fuchs watched video that showed an SUV driven by Ahmad Abu-Zayedeh run over Allison as she and her grandmother, Chin Hua Liao, crossed Main Street in Flushing, in a crosswalk with a walk signal. And he heard from police investigators, including the officer who summonsed Abu-Zayedeh for failure to yield and careless driving.

“My entire family has been suffering heartbreaking pain,” said Chin Hua, who stopped several times to compose herself as she described the crash via a translator. “It’s better to revoke the driver’s driver’s license.”

Fuchs twice asked Abu-Zayedeh if he wished to testify on his own behalf and, through his attorney, Abu-Zayedeh twice declined to speak. Fuchs rejected a request from Abu-Zayedeh’s attorney to dismiss the video, which Abu-Zayedeh has refused to watch, on the grounds that the person who gave it to police was not at the hearing to vouch for its authenticity.

Fuchs refused to consider documentation offered by the Liao’s attorney, Steve Vaccaro, that Abu-Zayedeh had alcohol in his system an hour after the crash. According to a civil suit filed by Allison’s family, Abu-Zayedeh told police he had consumed two glasses of wine before the collision. He tested positive for alcohol in his bloodstream, the suit says, but his BAC was below the .08 legal limit for driving. ”That would be an issue for some other forum,” said Fuchs. “I prefer not to go into that.”

Fuchs also refused to allow the admission of Abu-Zayedeh’s New Jersey driving record, which Vaccaro said “demonstrates numerous violations,” and indicates that Abu-Zayedeh once surrendered his driver’s license.

“I do have my exhibits and evidence,” said Fuchs at the conclusion of the hour-long hearing. “I’ve heard the testimony. I will reserve decision.”

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