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Posts from the Carnage Category


No Charges for Driver Who Killed Senior in Bensonhurst Crosswalk

A motorist fatally struck Antonietta Orlando at 15th Avenue and 76th Street in Brooklyn. The white arrow indicates the approximate path of the victim and red arrow shows the approximate path of the driver, according to NYPD. Image: Google Maps

A motorist fatally struck Antonietta Orlando at 15th Avenue and 76th Street in Brooklyn. The white arrow indicates the approximate path of the victim and red arrow indicates the approximate path of the driver, according to NYPD. No charges were filed. Image: Google Maps

A senior has died from injuries sustained when a motorist hit her in a Bensonhurst crosswalk last month. NYPD filed no charges.

Antonietta Orlando. Photo via Facebook

Antonietta Orlando. Photo via Facebook

At around 9:10 a.m. on November 9, Antonietta Orlando was crossing 76th Street south to north when a 53-year-old woman, northbound on 15th Avenue, hit her with an Audi while turning left onto 76th, according to NYPD.

Orlando was transported to Lutheran Medical Center, police said. She died last Sunday, December 4.

Where the two streets cross, 15th Avenue runs north-south with one general traffic lane in each direction and 76th Street is one-way westbound with a single traffic lane. The intersection has marked crosswalks and is signalized with no designated turn phase. If the driver had a green light, Orlando would have had a walk signal and would have been crossing with the right of way.

The investigation is ongoing, according to NYPD. Police did not release the driver’s name, which is customary when no charges are filed after a fatal crash.

Antonietta Orlando was killed in the 62nd Precinct, where officers ticket between one and two motorists a day for failing to yield, and in the City Council district represented by Vincent Gentile.


MTA Bus Driver Pleads Guilty in Deadly Brooklyn Hit-and-Run Crash

MTA bus driver Paul Roper pled guilty last week to fatally striking 70-year-old Carol Bell and leaving the scene in Brooklyn in November 2015. Image: WNBC via @BrooklynSpoke

MTA bus driver Paul Roper pled guilty last week to fatally striking 70-year-old Carol Bell and leaving the scene in Brooklyn in November 2015. Image: WNBC via @BrooklynSpoke

An MTA bus driver who killed a senior in Brooklyn last year pled guilty to leaving the scene and violating the victim’s right of way.

Paul Roper hit 70-year-old Carol Bell as she crossed Fulton Street at Sackman Street on November 3, 2015. Video showed Roper strike Bell, who was using a walker, while making a left turn. Reports said Roper briefly stopped the out-of-service bus after hitting Bell before driving away.

Investigators tracked the bus to the East New York Bus Depot. Though NYPD declared “no criminality” before locating Roper, police eventually charged him with leaving the scene, failure to yield, and careless driving.

The crash happened soon after City Hall reached a settlement in a suit filed by the Transport Workers Union, which spent much of 2015 trying to gut the Right of Way Law. The settlement served to clarify the law, but the TWU said it was proof that bus drivers were wrongly arrested for killing people who were following traffic rules.

MTA bus drivers killed four pedestrians over the course of November and December of last year, and have killed at least two people walking in 2016.

Last week Roper pled guilty to the top charge of leaving the scene, a class D felony, as well as a Right of Way Law violation and careless driving. He is scheduled to be sentenced in January.


No Charges Filed After Drivers Kill 2 People in Brooklyn and the Bronx

Nostrand Avenue at Myrtle Avenue, where a driver killed a 54-year-old man last night. Image: Google Maps

Nostrand Avenue at Myrtle Avenue, where a driver killed a 54-year-old pedestrian last night. Image: Google Maps

NYPD filed no charges after drivers killed two people walking in separate crashes in Brooklyn and the Bronx. The Bronx crash happened in November and NYPD announced the victim’s death today.

Last night at around 8 p.m. the driver of a box truck fatally struck a 54-year-old man at Nostrand and Myrtle avenues in Bedford-Stuyvesant, in the 79th Precinct.

DNAinfo posted video, embedded below, that shows the southbound driver enter the frame at a high rate of speed and pass a stopped car before hitting the victim head-on. NYPD blamed the victim, telling the press he was “outside of the marked crosswalk.” Reports by DNAinfo and the Daily News do not mention driver speed or question how the driver failed to avoid striking the victim.

As of this afternoon, NYPD had no further details on the crash, and the victim’s name had not been released pending family notification. The driver’s identity was not revealed. NYPD usually shields the names of motorists who kill people unless charges are filed.

Motorists have injured 22 people walking at Nostrand and Myrtle, where there is a playground, since 2009, according to city data.

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NYC Drivers Injured 1,457 Pedestrians and Cyclists in October, and Killed 10

Navraj Raju, Jazmine Marin, Bella Krementsova, Carmen Puello, and Anna Colon

Navraj Raju, Jazmine Marin, Bella Krementsova, Carmen Puello, and Anna Colon

Nineteen people died in New York City traffic in October, and 5,065 were injured, according to City Hall’s Vision Zero View crash data map.

City Hall reported 132 pedestrians and cyclists killed by city motorists through October of this year, and 12,550 injured, compared to 107 deaths and 11,957 injuries in the same period in 2015.

Five motor vehicle occupants died in the city in October, according to City Hall, and 3,608 were injured.

Citywide, 10 pedestrians were fatally struck by drivers last month. Among the victims were Anna Colon, Blanca Pagan, Krystyna Iwanowicz, David Pajarito-Mendez, Carmen Puello, Marie Guido, Bella Krementsova, Jazmine Marin, Navraj Raju, and an unidentified male pedestrian in Queens.

City Hall reported no cyclist deaths in October.

Motorists killed at least two children and four seniors in October: Navraj Raju, eight months; Jazmine Marin, 13; Anna Colon, 73; Blanca Pagan, 73; Marie Guido, 92; and the unidentified male pedestrian in Queens, 79.

Across the city, 1,012 pedestrians and 445 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, two motorists were known to have been charged for causing a death. Based on NYPD and media accounts, at least six victims were likely walking with the right of way when they were struck.

An unlicensed driver ran over 8-month-old Navraj Raju as his mother pushed him in a stroller on an Astoria Boulevard sidewalk. The driver was not charged for killing the baby.

A motorist hit 13-year-old Jazmine Marin and her friend as they walked to school on Cross Bay Boulevard in Ozone Park. NYPD filed no charges and blamed the children.

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Unlicensed Driver Charged in Hit-and-Run Killing of Brooklyn Pedestrian

A suspect was arrested and charged in the September hit-and-run death of a pedestrian in Sheepshead Bay.

Francis Perez (pictured) had just bought snacks for his son when he was allegedly struck by Brian Young and left to die in the street.

Francis Perez (pictured) had just bought snacks for his son when he was allegedly struck by Brian Young and left to die in the street.

Francis Perez, 28, was crossing Avenue V between Ford and Coyle streets at around 8 p.m. on September 23 when a motorist struck him and fled, according to the Daily News.

“The guy flew in the air, and then the [driver]… stopped at that corner and just drove off,” said a witness.

Perez, who lived and worked near the crash scene, bought snacks for his 8-year-old son just before he was struck.

“He just went to the store to buy some sodas and Snickers,” Perez’s girlfriend Sandra Mcillwain told the News. “Something fell from his hand and he went to pick it up and he went flying.”

“He had the biggest heart,” Mcillwain said. “Ask anyone around here.”

Police identified a suspect, 47-year-old Brian Young, shortly after the crash. Young was arrested on September 27, according to court records. He was charged with leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death and third degree aggravated unlicensed operation.

Leaving the scene of a deadly crash, the top charge against Young, is a class D felony with penalties ranging from probation to seven years in prison. Young was not charged for the act of killing Perez.

Young was arraigned last week. He pled not guilty and was held on $200,000 bond. His next court appearance is scheduled for December.

This fatal crash occurred in the 61st Precinct, and in the City Council district represented by Alan Maisel.


Cab Driver Who Challenged Constitutionality of ROW Law Pleads Guilty

The cab driver who unsuccessfully challenged the constitutionality of the Right of Way Law after killing Manhattan pedestrian Silvia Gallo pled guilty to violating the law yesterday.

Silvia Gallo and her son, former MMA star Jorge Gurgel. Photo: Cage Potato

Silvia Gallo and her son, former MMA star Jorge Gurgel. Photo: Cage Potato

Adopted as part of Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero initiative, the Right of Way Law made it an unclassified misdemeanor for New York City drivers to strike pedestrians or cyclists who have the right of way. MD Hossain was the first person charged under the law, also known as code Section 19-190.

Hossain hit Gallo as he turned left into a crosswalk at Madison Avenue and E. 79th Street on August 29, 2014. Gallo was stuck beneath the cab until witnesses overturned the vehicle to extricate her. She was pronounced dead at Lenox Hill Hospital.

DNAinfo reported that Gallo, a 58-year-old Pilates instructor, was scheduled to leave for Ireland the day after her death, to work and live with her boyfriend. Gallo’s son is former mixed martial arts star Jorge Gurgel.

Hossain was charged with violating the victim’s right of way and careless driving. He filed a lawsuit claiming that Section 19-190 violates the state and U.S. constitutions by “undermin[ing] the very concept of innocent until proven guilty” and “purport[ing] to regulate alleged reckless driving ‘by imposing criminal penalties on a strict liability’ basis.” Hossain also challenged the application of the law in his case.

In November 2015, New York County Criminal Court Judge Ann E. Scherzer dismissed the suit, rejecting Hossain’s claim that the law presumes driver guilt.

“Before the Right of Way Law, only the officer’s observation of the crash — not videotapes of the crash — would support a charge, except in cases handled by the Collision Investigation Squad,” attorney Steve Vaccaro said of Scherzer’s ruling. “Now, a non-CIS police officer can collect and watch video, record spoken admissions by the driver at the crash scene, and lay charges based on those types of plainly reliable evidence. This is exactly what the Right of Way Law was supposed to accomplish.”

Hossain was fined $750 plus $200 in court fees, according to court records. His drivers license was suspended for six months.

Read more…


Motorist Kills Cyclist on Broadway on the Upper West Side [Updated]

Broadway and W. 89th Street, where a motorist killed a cyclist this afternoon.

Broadway and W. 89th Street, where a motorist killed a cyclist this afternoon.

Update: The cyclist in the this crash was identified as Jing Yin Jiang. Photos published by DNAinfo and West Side Rag indicated the driver was operating a tractor-trailer.

Update: The Daily News and WNBC identified the Bronx hit-and-run victim as Orlando Savino.

A motorist struck and killed a cyclist on Broadway near W. 89th Street this afternoon.

The crash occurred at around 12:10 p.m. The driver was northbound on Broadway and struck the cyclist, who had swerved to avoid a parked vehicle and was also northbound, according to NYPD. Police did not specify if the parked vehicle was occupying a legal space.

The victim, whose identity had not been released as of mid-afternoon, died at Mount Sinai West Hospital, police said. West Side Rag reported the victim’s age as 59.

A tipster told us people at the scene said the victim was a delivery worker, but NYPD could not confirm that detail. The driver was not immediately ticketed or arrested and the investigation is ongoing.

NYPD said the motorist was operating a box truck, but a Honda minivan and a bike were cordoned by police tape at the scene. It is not unusual for NYPD to disseminate incorrect information concerning serious traffic crashes, especially in the early stages of an investigation.

Through the first nine months of this year, motorists had killed 17 cyclists on New York City streets, three more than than the number of people killed while riding bikes in all of 2015.

The crash occurred in the 24th Precinct, and in the City Council district represented by Helen Rosenthal.

Also in Rosenthal’s district today, a motorist struck two pedestrians at Columbus Avenue and W. 96th Street at around 11 a.m., and one of the victims may lose a leg, according to WNBC.

In a third crash a 72-year-old man was killed by a hit-and-run driver in the Bronx this morning, WNBC reported.

We’ll post more information on these crashes as it becomes available.

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Unlicensed Driver Kills Abrehet Hagos on Broadway in Washington Heights

Broadway and W. 180th Street, where an allegedly unlicensed driver killed Abrehet Hagos last weekend. Broadway above Columbus Circle is a Vision Zero priority corridor, but the city mainly relies on speed enforcement, which is sporadic, to keep people safe. Image: Google Maps

Broadway and 180th Street, where an allegedly unlicensed driver killed Abrehet Hagos last weekend. Broadway in Upper Manhattan is a Vision Zero priority corridor, but NYC mainly relies on speed enforcement, which is sporadic, to slow motorists. Image: Google Maps

A woman allegedly driving without a valid license stuck and killed a man in Washington Heights last weekend.

Abrehet Hagos, 50, was walking at the intersection of Broadway and W. 180th Street on Sunday when 24-year-old Kyara DeJesus hit him with a 2007 Mercedes, according to Patch and DNAinfo.

Hagos, who lived in the Bronx, sustained injuries to his head and torso and died at Harlem Hospital.

DeJesus, of Harlem, was charged with aggravated unlicensed operation, a low level misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of 30 days in a jail and a $500 fine — though actual penalties are rarely that severe, even in cases where an unlicensed driver kills someone. DeJesus was not charged for the act of taking Hagos’s life.

Broadway from Columbus Circle to the Broadway Bridge, which links Manhattan and the Bronx, is a Vision Zero priority corridor. Motorists killed 18 people walking along the corridor between 2009 and 2013, according to DOT, and there were 118 crashes that resulted in serious pedestrian injury or death during that period.

As in most of Washington Heights and Inwood, Broadway at W. 180th Street is often a chaotic mess, with no bike lanes and one through-lane in each direction generally occupied by double-parked vehicles. Upper Broadway was designated as an arterial slow zone in 2014, but the city relies mostly on police enforcement, which is historically not a priority for local precincts, to slow motorists down.

Officers from the 34th Precinct, where this crash occurred, had ticketed just 255 drivers for speeding this year as of October.

Abrehet Hagos was killed in the City Council district represented by transportation chair Ydanis Rodriguez.

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Matthew von Ohlen’s Alleged Killer Charged With Assault and Manslaughter

A Brooklyn man was arrested and charged yesterday for the death of Matthew von Ohlen, who was killed last summer as he rode his bike on Grand Street in Williamsburg by a motorist who left the scene.

Matthew Von Ohlen

Matthew von Ohlen

Prosecutors say that in the early morning hours of July 2, 56-year-old Juan Maldonado ran a red light, swerved into the bike lane, and crashed into von Ohlen on Grand near Graham Avenue, dragging him 10 to 20 feet before driving away, according to the Village Voice.

Von Ohlen, 35, was a co-founder of Bikestock, which operates bike repair vending machines. He was reportedly headed home to Ridgewood after a bartending shift in Manhattan when he was killed.

Investigators located the vehicle, a black Chevrolet Camaro, a few days after the crash, but NYPD said nothing else publicly about the case until yesterday. Police told Gothamist DNA evidence “has linked both von Ohlen and Maldonado to the Camaro.”

“A young man who was an active member of Brooklyn’s biking community lost his life because a speeding driver struck him in a designated bike lane and sped away,” said acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez in a statement. “This was not an accident, but rather a reckless act for which we intend to hold this defendant accountable.”

Maldonado was charged with assault, manslaughter, leaving the scene, and weapons possession — all felonies — as well as speeding, reckless driving, careless driving, and violating the victim’s right of way, according to court records. The top charge, assault in the first degree, is a class B felony with penalties ranging from five to 25 years in prison.

In the immediate aftermath of the crash, police said video evidence seemed to indicate the driver struck von Ohlen intentionally. The assault charge may suggest prosecutors will argue Maldonado acted with intent.

DNAinfo reported that on the day before von Ohlen was killed, Maldonado was fired from his job as a truck driver for a lumber company, in part because he repeatedly came to work intoxicated.

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Unlicensed Van Driver Kills Infant in Stroller on Astoria Boulevard [Updated]

A van driver backing out of a driveway on Astoria Boulevard struck and killed an eight-month-old boy in a stroller at around 10 a.m. this morning.

Navraj Raju

Navraj Raju

The crash happened at 92-20 Astoria Boulevard, according to NYPD, on a block that is saturated with curb cuts. The infant’s mother was pushing him on the sidewalk when the driver reversed into the stroller. The child was pronounced dead at Elmhurst Hospital Center.

The driver was unlicensed, according to NYPD. Charges are pending but have yet to be filed. NYPD policy is to withhold the name of the driver until charges have been filed.

This fatal crash happened in the 115th Precinct. If you’re concerned about traffic safety in the neighborhood, you can speak to commanding officer Michele Irizarry at the precinct community council, which meets on the third Tuesday of every month.

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