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Posts from the Carnage Category

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Drivers Killed Two Seniors in Manhattan and NYPD Filed No Charges

DOT reduced traffic lanes but did not install concrete islands to slow turns at West End Avenue and W. 93rd Street, where a driver killed 85-year-old George Mamalas. The white line represents Mamalas's path through the intersection — it is unknown which direction he was walking — and the red arrow indicates the path of the driver, per NYPD. Image: Google Maps

DOT reduced traffic lanes but did not install concrete islands to slow turns at West End Avenue and W. 93rd Street, where a driver killed George Mamalas. The white line represents Mamalas’s path through the intersection — it is unknown which direction he was walking — and the red arrow indicates the path of the driver, per NYPD. Image: Google Maps

Drivers fatally struck two seniors in separate crashes in Manhattan in the last few weeks. NYPD filed no charges in either case.

On August 23 at around 3:50 p.m., 85-year-old George Mamalas was crossing W. 93rd Street at West End Avenue when someone hit him with a box truck. NYPD told the West Side Rag that the driver was westbound on 93rd, which is one-way, and turning left onto West End.

Mamalas died from his injuries on September 11. His obituary says he was a Korean War veteran, dancer, and Pilates instructor.

There is no dedicated turn signal at West End Avenue and W. 93rd Street. If the driver had a green light and Mamalas entered the intersection with a steady walk signal, Mamalas would have had the right of way.

NYPD did not identify the driver, which is typical when police don’t charge or ticket a motorist who kills a person.

Drivers have killed at least five people walking on West End Avenue since January 2014, according to crash data compiled by Streetsblog. Following a string of deaths, beginning with the crash that killed 9-year-old Cooper Stock, DOT implemented a road diet along 35 blocks of West End Avenue in the fall of 2014, but installed concrete islands to slow driver turns at just four intersections. W. 93rd Street wasn’t one of them.

George Mamalas was killed in the 24th Precinct and in the City Council district represented by Helen Rosenthal.

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Driver Kills Army Vet Barney Pinkney, 63, in Harlem — NYPD Blames Victim

Morningside Avenue at 124th Street, where a driver fatally struck Barney Pinkney. Image: Google Maps

Morningside Avenue at 124th Street, where a driver fatally struck Barney Pinkney, has an unmarked crosswalk. Image: Google Maps

A motorist struck and killed 63-year-old Barney Pinkney as he crossed the street in Harlem Tuesday. NYPD blamed the victim in the press.

According to the NYPD public information office, the victim was crossing Morningside Avenue at 124th Street, west to east, when the driver, northbound on Morningside, hit him with a Saturn SUV. Pinkney suffered head trauma and died at St. Luke’s Hospital, police said.

NYPD filed no charges and blamed Pinkney, pictured, in the press. Photo via Daily News

NYPD filed no charges and blamed Pinkney, pictured, in the press. Photo via Daily News

The NYPD account of the crash focused on the victim’s behavior, with few details on the driver’s actions, and leaves many questions unanswered.

A police spokesperson told Streetsblog Pinkney was “in the vicinity of the double yellow line” when he was struck. Unnamed police sources told DNAinfo and the Daily News Pinkney was “outside the crosswalk” and “mid-street.”

Morningside Avenue and 124th Street is a T-intersection with an unmarked crosswalk on Morningside. A DOT road diet implemented in 2014 added center pedestrian islands and extended sidewalks at some Morningside crossings, but improvements at 124th Street were not included.

The NYPD public information office could not say how fast the driver was going — a crucial factor in the severity of the victim’s injuries — or why the driver failed to stop for someone crossing the street.

Police did not charge or ticket the motorist who killed Pinkney, identified as a 75-year-old man from Queens. NYPD usually shields the names of drivers who aren’t penalized for killing people.

Speaking to the Daily News, Russel Lowery, the victim’s brother, said Pinkney was an Army veteran. “He was just crossing the street,” Lowery said.

The crash that killed Barney Pinkney occurred in the 26th Precinct and in the City Council district represented by Inez Dickens.

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DMV: One-Month License Revocation for Con Ed Driver Who Killed Senior

A Con Ed employee was found guilty of careless driving after he struck and killed 88-year-old Stella Huang while turning left at Avenue C and E. 16th Street. The NYS DMV revoked his license for one month. Image: Google Maps

A Con Ed employee was found guilty of careless driving after he struck and killed 88-year-old Stella Huang while turning left at Avenue C and E. 16th Street. The NYS DMV revoked his license for one month. Image: Google Maps

A Con Ed employee who fatally struck a Manhattan senior and was found guilty of careless driving had his license revoked for one month by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles.

Andrew Franco hit 88-year-old Stella Huang with a Con Ed truck while making a left turn at Avenue C and E. 16th Street. The crash occurred at around 5:15 p.m. on November 27, 2013, a day when New York City motorists killed four pedestrians and one cyclist.

The Daily News reports that in August, nearly three years after the crash, the DMV revoked Franco’s license “after hearings and an appeal.”

In New York State, a license revocation means a motorist may apply to have his driving privileges reinstated after a prescribed period of time, which is normally a minimum of six months. Though according to the Daily News Franco was found guilty of failing to exercise due care — which likely means Huang was walking with the right of way when he killed her — the DMV deemed Franco eligible to get his license back after one month.

The News reports that Franco filed a lawsuit because the DMV isn’t processing his application for reinstatement quickly enough.

Franco’s lawyer, Michael McNulty, says the delay is “shocking to the conscience,” particularly since Franco has a good record and needs the license to work. He is asking the court to reduce the penalty to a suspension so Franco’s license could be reinstated immediately.

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Man Struck in East Elmhurst Was 17th Cyclist Killed by NYC Driver This Year

NYC motorists have struck and killed 17 cyclists in 2016, compared to 11 deaths through August of 2015. NYPD said the most recent victim was biking in the left shoulder of Grand Central Parkway, but the exact location of the crash is unknown. Image: Google Maps

NYC motorists have struck and killed 17 cyclists in 2016, compared to 11 deaths through August of 2015. NYPD said the most recent victim was biking in the left shoulder of Grand Central Parkway, but the exact location of the crash is unknown. Image: Google Maps

Update: According to NYPD collision location data, the crash occurred on Grand Central Parkway near LaGuardia Airport. H/t to reader Jules.

A man hit while riding a bike in East Elmhurst yesterday was the 17th cyclist killed by a New York City driver in 2016. NYPD filed no charges.

According to NYPD, the victim was in the left shoulder of eastbound Grand Central Parkway at around 1 a.m. Monday when an eastbound motorist traveling in the left lane hit him with a Mazda minivan.

The preliminary NYPD crash report said the cyclist “veered into the left lane,” a department spokesperson told Streetsblog. NYPD had no details on the driver’s speed.

It’s not clear exactly where the collision happened. The NYPD public information office said the victim was struck in the vicinity of 111th Street, which runs parallel to Grand Central Parkway for roughly two dozen blocks. Police also said the crash occurred in the 115th Precinct, where 111th Street runs for about six blocks from Roosevelt Avenue to Astoria Boulevard, two blocks to the west of the parkway.

The victim died at the scene, according to police. His name had not been released as of this morning, pending family notification.

The driver’s name was withheld. NYPD normally shields the identities of drivers who kill people unless charges are filed.

DOT has allowed Assembly Member Francisco Moya to block the installation of a protected bike lane on 111th Street. If there was an obvious bike route on 111th, maybe people would be less likely to end up biking on this stretch of the Grand Central Parkway.

Motorists killed 11 cyclists through the first eight months of last year, and 14 total in 2015, according to city crash data.

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NYPD: Critically-Injured Cyclist Caused High-Speed Park Slope Collision

NYPD blamed this collision on the cyclist, despite a witness account that the driver was speeding. Photo: Toby Cecchini

NYPD blamed this collision on the cyclist, despite a witness account that the driver was speeding. Photo: Toby Cecchini

A 20-year-old man is in critical condition after he was hit by a driver while riding a bike in Park Slope last night. Though a witness said the driver was speeding, police blamed the victim for the crash.

NYPD said the 25-year-old motorist was traveling southbound on Sixth Avenue near Ninth Street in a Honda sedan when the northbound cyclist “suddenly reared into the southbound lane, causing a collision.”

Police accounts cited by Gothamist said the cyclist was riding against traffic in the southbound lane. NYPD told Gothamist the motorist had been waiting at the red light at Sixth and Ninth just before the collision occurred.

The victim went head-first through the windshield into the vehicle’s passenger compartment, according to NYPD. Photos of the scene show the windshield was destroyed, a sign of high-speed collision.

Toby Cecchini, who witnessed the crash and tended to the victim before police arrived, told Gothamist the driver came “flying past” before he heard what sounded like an “explosion.”

Cecchini said the victim “was canted into the front passenger seat, his legs sticking out through the windshield.” According to Cecchini, the driver was “shouting loudly that the cyclist swerved into him from nowhere and repeating it loudly over and over to different group[s] of people.”

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NYPD: No Charges for Driver Who Left Van in Gear, Killing Senior in Astoria

Image: NY1

Image: NY1

Update: The Daily News identified the deceased victim as Arline Smeal.

A motorist killed one senior and severely injured another when the unattended van he was driving, left idling and in gear, backed across an Astoria intersection and onto the sidewalk. NYPD filed no charges.

The crash occurred at around 2 p.m. at Broadway and 32nd Street. After the driver, a 29-year-old man, exited the Ford van, “the vehicle began to roll backwards on 32nd Street and struck two pedestrians before colliding with a food cart,” according to NYPD.

The van hit an 80-year-old woman and a 71-year-old man — who according to WNBC and the Daily News operated the food cart — before crashing into the wall of a building.

Both victims were taken to the hospital in critical condition. The woman died from her injuries. Police have not released her name, pending family notification.

“The back left wheel and the front right wheel rolled over this old lady’s neck and then hit an older gentleman, knocked the souvlaki stand, and it was just devastating,” one witness told WCBS.

The van “pushed the food cart about 25 feet and clipped the owner in the back of the head and then rolled over his legs,” the News reported.

WPIX posted video of the van rolling through the intersection.

The circumstances of yesterday’s crash are very similar to the crash the led to the adoption of the state’s vulnerable user law. In 2009, a van left unattended by a commercial driver backed onto a sidewalk in Chinatown, killing toddlers Diego Martinez and Hayley Ng. The crash prompted state legislators to establish the offense of careless driving for cases where a driver injures or kills a pedestrian or cyclist while failing to use due care. NYPD has a poor record of enforcing the law.

As of this afternoon NYPD has filed no charges and issued no tickets for yesterday’s crash. The department’s public information office told Streetsblog the investigation is ongoing.

With reporting by David Meyer

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FDNY Ambulance Driver Kills Gen Zhan, 81, in East Village Crosswalk

An FDNY ambulance driver turning left fatally struck Gen Zhan as he crossed E. 14th Street at Second Avenue. The white arrow represents Zhan’s path, and the red arrow indicates the path of the driver. Image: Google Maps

An FDNY ambulance driver turning left fatally struck Gen Zhan as he crossed E. 14th Street at Second Avenue. The white arrow represents Zhan’s path, and the red arrow indicates the path of the driver. Image: Google Maps

An FDNY ambulance driver struck and killed a senior in the East Village yesterday.

The crash happened at around 1:20 Monday afternoon. Gen Zhan, 81, was in the crosswalk on 14th Street at Second Avenue, walking south to north, when the driver, who was southbound on Second, hit him while turning left onto 14th, according to NYPD.

Photos and video of the scene show the ambulance sitting in the crosswalk on 14th Street, on the east side of the intersection.

Zhan, who lived in Kips Bay, was transported in critical condition and died at Bellevue Hospital, DNAinfo reported.

The driver was identified only as a 22-year-old man who, according to the Daily News, had been on the job “less than a year.”

The News said the driver was responding to a “non-priority call” and was not using lights and sirens. NYPD had no information on who had the right of way. Police had issued no summonses and filed no charges as of this afternoon. An NYPD spokesperson told Streetsblog the Collision Investigation Squad is still working the case.

Gen Zhan was killed in the 9th Precinct, and in the City Council district represented by Rosie Mendez.

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TA Calls on de Blasio to Act After Driver Kills Cyclist, 78, on Northern Blvd

NYPD filed no charges and issued no summonses after a driver struck and killed Michael Schenkman, 78, while he biked on Northern Boulevard in Bayside.

Michael Schenkman was the 16th cyclist killed by a New York City motorist this year. Photo via Facebook

Michael Schenkman was the 16th cyclist killed by a New York City motorist this year. Photo via Facebook

New York City motorists have now killed 16 cyclists this year, compared to 14 cyclist fatalities in all of 2015, according to city crash data. After yesterday’s crash, Transportation Alternatives called on Mayor de Blasio to pick up the pace of Vision Zero safety improvements.

Schenkman was eastbound on Northern Boulevard near 223rd Street at around 6:30 a.m. Wednesday when a motorist traveling in the same direction hit him with a Chevrolet sedan. Schenkman, who lived in Flushing, sustained head and body trauma and died from his injuries at North Shore Manhasset Hospital, police said.

The NYPD public information office said Schenkman “collided in the left lane” with the car. A photo published by the Daily News shows the car with a dented hood and a large hole in the windshield — the type of damage that would occur in a high-speed collision. Information released by NYPD did not mention driver speed.

As is customary when police don’t ticket or charge a motorist who kills a person, NYPD withheld the driver’s name, identifying him only as a 25-year-old man. The department said the investigation was ongoing as of this afternoon.

Schenkman was a driver for former public advocate Betsy Gotbaum, the Daily News reported, as well as a long-time cyclist and member of Transportation Alternatives. “Every morning he got on his bike and rode 15 or 20 miles,” Peter Schenkman, the victim’s son, told the News.

“Michael, who was passionate about bicycling, was a beloved Transportation Alternatives member who joined us on many of our bike tours and supported our work to make New York City streets safer for all road users,” said TA Executive Director Paul White in a statement released today. “We are dedicating our upcoming NYC Century Bike Tour on September 10th to his memory.”

In addition, TA has scheduled a “Ride for Mayoral Action” on September 15. In his statement, White noted that a large share of cyclist fatalities this year happened on streets that the city knows are dangerous:

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NYC Motorists Injured 1,225 Pedestrians and Cyclists in July, and Killed 12

Andrew Esquivel, Jack Koval, Sean Ryan, and Matthew von Ohlen

Andrew Esquivel, Jack Koval, Sean Ryan, and Matthew von Ohlen

Seventeen people died in New York City traffic in July, and 5,310 were injured, according to City Hall’s Vision Zero View crash data map.

City Hall reported 83 pedestrians and cyclists killed by city motorists through July of this year, and 8,378 injured, compared to 77 deaths and 7,835 injuries in the same period in 2015.

Citywide, nine pedestrians and three cyclists were fatally struck by drivers last month. Among the victims were Teresa Martinelli, Matthew von Ohlen, Jorge Zepeda, Andrew Esquivel, Sean Ryan, Terrence Montrose, Roberts Nukheimra, Jack Koval, Antonio Flores, and an unnamed male pedestrian in the Bronx.

Motorists killed at least one senior in July: Teresa Martinelli, 79.

Across the city, 727 pedestrians and 498 cyclists were reported hurt in collisions with motor vehicles. Per NYPD policy, few of these crashes were investigated by trained officers.

Of 10 fatal crashes on surface streets reported by Streetsblog and other outlets, three motorists were known to have been charged for causing a death. Based on NYPD and media accounts, at least four victims were likely walking or cycling with the right of way when they were struck.

Teresa Martinelli was reportedly “knocked out of her shoes” in a Midtown crosswalk by a driver who was charged with a misdemeanor Right of Way Law violation.

After Andrew Esquivel was struck and killed on a Brooklyn sidewalk by an allegedly drunk off-duty police officer, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said drunk driving cops are “not a problem” at NYPD. Another driver who reportedly had a BAC of .163 killed Sean Ryan, 17, as he rode his bike near Marine Park. The motorists who killed Esquivel and Ryan were both charged with manslaughter.

Police said the hit-and-run driver who ran over cyclist Matthew von Ohlen in Brooklyn may have done so intentionally. Though investigators located the vehicle, von Ohlen’s killer remains at large. The 90th Precinct responded to von Ohlen’s death by ticketing people on bikes.

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Private Trash Hauler Critically Injures Cyclist in Flatbush

A private trash carter struck and critically injured a cyclist at this intersection last night. Photo: Google Maps

A private trash carter struck and critically injured a cyclist at this intersection last night. Photo: Google Maps

A private garbage truck driver struck and critically injured a 44-year-old cyclist at the intersection of Albany Avenue and Lefferts Avenue in Flatbush last night, highlighting the pervasive public safety risks in the commercial waste carting industry.

The victim, whom police did not name, remains in critical condition today, according to NYPD’s public information office. The driver, Steveson Thanus, received “multiple summonses,” though the police spokesperson could not specify the violations.

Police arrived at 11:23 p.m. last night to find the victim “laying in the roadway” with “severe head trauma,” the spokesperson said.

According to NYPD, the cyclist was riding south on the east sidewalk of Albany Avenue last night when he entered the intersection. The spokesperson said the driver was “going westbound on Lefferts approaching Albany” at the moment of impact, and the victim “collided with the right rear tire area of [the truck].”

The garbage hauler was driving a white Mack dump truck registered to La Vega Carting Corporation, located on Highland Boulevard in Cypress Hills, NYPD said.

La Vega is a small company with three employees. Co-owner Edwin Rosario told Streetsblog the truck had a broken rear light at the time of the crash. It’s not clear if this contributed to the collision, but if Thanus was backing up, the equipment failure could have been a factor.

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