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Driver Kills Jazmine Marin, 13, Near Ozone Park School; NYPD Blames Victim

A driver hit two teenagers, killing 13-year-old Jazmine Marin, at Cross Bay Boulevard at 149th Avenue in Ozone Park this morning. NYPD filed no charges against the driver and blamed the victims in the press. Image: Google Maps

A driver hit two teenagers, killing 13-year-old Jazmine Marin, at Cross Bay Boulevard at 149th Avenue in Ozone Park this morning. NYPD filed no charges against the driver and blamed the victims in the press. Image: Google Maps

Update: The motorist who killed Marin and injured the second victim was driving an early 1980s Chevrolet El Camino with a racing hood scoop, per a Daily News photo from the scene.

A motorist hit two teenagers near a school in Ozone Park this morning, killing a 13-year-old girl and injuring the second victim.

Jazmine Marin. Photo via Daily News

Jazmine Marin. Photo via Daily News

Jazmine Marin and another girl were walking east across Cross Bay Boulevard at 149th Avenue at around 6:40 a.m. when a 55-year-old man hit them with a Chevrolet sedan, NYPD told Gothamist.

Marin sustained head trauma and died at Jamaica Hospital. The second victim was hospitalized with a leg injury.

Cross Bay Boulevard at 149th Avenue is a wide street designed to facilitate fast driving. A motorist killed 59-year-old pedestrian Francisco Camacho at the intersection in 2012.

The victims of today’s crash were approaching a nearby middle school, but it’s unknown if they were students there.

NYPD withheld the driver’s identity and blamed the children in the press. From the Daily News:

The 55-year-old driver of the sedan remained at the scene. It appeared that he had the green light at the time and that the girls were crossing outside of a crosswalk, police sources said.

No charges were filed. Anonymous police sources told WNBC “no criminality is suspected.”

Jazmine Marin was killed in the 106th Precinct, where officers had ticketed 372 drivers for speeding this year as of September, and in the City Council district represented by Eric Ulrich.

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Driver Who Killed 3 People on Bronx Sidewalk Charged With Manslaughter

Nyanna Aquil, left, her grandfather Louis Perez, and Kristian Leka were killed in the Bronx by a curb-jumping driver last Halloween. Bronx DA Darcel Clark charged Howard Unger with multiple counts of manslaughter, assault, and homicide for the crash.

Nyanna Aquil, left, her grandfather Louis Perez, and Kristian Leka were killed in the Bronx by a curb-jumping driver last Halloween. Bronx DA Darcel Clark charged Howard Unger with multiple counts of manslaughter, assault, and homicide for the crash.

District Attorney Darcel Clark filed manslaughter and homicide charges against a motorist who fatally struck three people, including a child, on a Bronx sidewalk last year.

Howard Unger was indicted this week on three counts of manslaughter, three counts of assault, three counts of homicide, one count of misdemeanor reckless endangerment, and one misdemeanor count of falsifying records, according to court records.

Unger, 53, of the Bronx, hit several vehicles before driving a Dodge sedan over the curb on Morris Park Avenue near Bogart Avenue on the afternoon of October 31, 2015.

Unger crashed into a group of people who were out trick-or-treating, killing 10-year-old Nyanna Aquil; her grandfather, 65-year-old Louis Perez; and Kristian Leka, 24, who pushed others out of Unger’s path.

Aquil’s younger sisters, ages 3 and 8, were injured, as were Leka’s 9-year-old sister and his fiancé, according to the Times and DNAinfo.

Prosecutors say Unger is epileptic and “had not been taking medication as prescribed before the crash,” DNAinfo reported.

Image: WCBS

Image: WCBS

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NYPD: No Charges for School Bus Driver Who Killed Woman in Bronx Crosswalk

A school bus driver struck and killed Carmen Puello in a crosswalk in University Heights. The white line indicates the path of the victim — it’s unknown which direction she was walking — and the red arrow indicates the approximate path of the driver, according to NYPD. Police filed no charges. Image: Google Maps

A school bus driver struck and killed Carmen Puello in a crosswalk in University Heights. The white line indicates the path of the victim — it’s unknown which direction she was walking — and the red arrow indicates the approximate path of the driver, according to NYPD. Police filed no charges. Image: Google Maps

A school bus driver killed a woman in a crosswalk in University Heights last week. NYPD filed no charges.

Carmen Puello, 43, was crossing Sedgwick Avenue at West Fordham Road at around 12:30 last Friday afternoon when the driver, eastbound in the center lane of West Fordham, struck her while turning right onto Sedgwick, NYPD told WCBS.

Carmen Puello at left. Photo via WCBS

Carmen Puello at left. Photo via WCBS

“He passed the light and when he passed the light, he realized he was supposed to make a right turn,” said a witness. “By the time he got past the yellow, he zoomed across and she was already in the intersection and he hit her.”

The bus driver hit Puello “with the front of his vehicle, knocking her to the ground,” NYPD crash investigators told WNBC. “The driver subsequently ran her over and left her lying on the roadway.”

Puello was pronounced dead at Saint Barnabas Hospital.

Sedgwick Avenue at West Fordham Road is a wide intersection with concrete medians in the crosswalks. Between 2009 and 2015, 107 people were injured in crashes at the intersection, according to city crash data. A majority — 74 — were motor vehicle occupants, a sign of collisions occurring at high speeds.

Motorists injured 33 people walking and biking at Sedgwick and West Fordham between 2009 and 2015, and injured four pedestrians there this year as of August.

Adhering to protocol when police don’t file charges, NYPD did not release the bus driver’s name to the press, identifying him or her only as being 47 years old. We called NYPD this afternoon for an update, and to ask who had the right of way, but the department’s public information office had no knowledge of the crash.

The crash that killed Carmen Puello occurred in the 52nd Precinct, and in the City Council district represented by Fernando Cabrera.

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Off-Duty NYPD Cop Who Killed SI Pedestrian Found Guilty of Homicide

Off-duty NYPD cop Joseph McClean hit William Hemphill with an SUV in Staten Island in 2013. He was convicted of homicide and leaving the scene. Image: WABC via Staten Island Advance

Off-duty NYPD cop Joseph McClean hit William Hemphill with an SUV in Staten Island in 2013. He was convicted of homicide and leaving the scene. Image: WABC via Staten Island Advance

An off-duty NYPD officer was found guilty at trial last week for the hit-and-run killing of a pedestrian in the Mariners Harbor section of Staten Island.

William Hemphill, 51, was crossing Richmond Terrace, near Simonson Avenue, to get food before work at about 6:18 a.m. on October 4, 2013, when Joseph McClean struck him at a high rate of speed with a Ford SUV, the Advance reported.

Prosecutors said the collision severed Hemphill’s spinal cord, broke 14 of his ribs and both of his legs. McClean, who according to prosecutors had spent the previous night drinking at a bar, left the scene.

The crash occurred six hours after McClean ended his shift at the 121st Precinct, the Daily News reported.

“The guy hit him so hard he landed a block away. He hit him and he kept on going,” the bodega’s owner told the News.

McClean was charged with felony leaving the scene, homicide, and driving while ability impaired. In court, McClean’s attorney put the victim on trial, arguing that Hemphill had prescription drugs and cocaine in his system, and therefore caused the collision.

From the Advance:

“How do we know whether the alcohol made any difference? It wouldn’t have,” said [Attorney Howard] Tanner, who addressed jurors for more than two hours. “It is the greatest fear of all of us. Someone running out into the street and we have no chance [to avoid hitting them]. It’s not criminal. … This was a tragic accident. All the stars aligned in the wrong way.”

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A Trucker Ran Over a Cyclist, So the 84th Precinct Ticketed Cyclists

Hours after a truck driver ran over a cyclist at Jay and Tillary streets yesterday, officers from the 84th Precinct were out ticketing cyclists.

Streetsblog reader Paul Vogel, a.k.a. @D00rZ0ne, tweeted photos of officers ticketing people on bikes during the evening rush at the intersection, where a driver in what appeared to be an oversized rig critically injured a 35-year-old man Tuesday morning.

As we wrote yesterday, it is illegal to operate a tractor-trailer carrying boxed or other loose cargo on New York City streets if the total truck length exceeds 55 feet. NYPD did not ticket or charge the driver.

As of August, the 84th Precinct had cited just nine drivers for truck route violations in all of 2016, giving trucking companies carte blanche to put people in danger while breaking city traffic laws.

We called the 84th Precinct this morning. Both officers we spoke with said they didn’t know anything about yesterday’s collision or whether precinct officers were enforcing truck regulations after the crash.

If you’d like to speak with Deputy Inspector Sergio Centa, commanding officer of the 84th Precinct, about street safety and traffic enforcement, the precinct community council meets on the third Tuesday of the month at 6:30 p.m. Call 718-875-6850 for location information.

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Drivers Have Killed Seven People in Bike-Obsessed 19th Precinct in 2016

mcpherson-kallos

19th Precinct CO Deputy Inspector Clint McPherson and City Council Member Ben Kallos

Blanca Pagan, the senior who was struck last Friday by a driver who failed to yield, was at least the seventh pedestrian killed by a motorist this year in the 19th Precinct, on the Upper East Side. Deputy Inspector Clint McPherson, the precinct’s commanding officer, has prioritized ticketing people on bikes, with encouragement from local City Council members Ben Kallos and Dan Garodnick.

Pagan, 73, was in the crosswalk at York Avenue and E. 89th Street at around 3 p.m. when Pjerin Gjerji hit her with a Chevrolet van while turning right from York onto 89th, NYPD told Gothamist. Police charged Gjerji, 48, with failure to yield to a pedestrian and failure to exercise due care.

Pagan, who lived nearby, was a retired nurse who came to NYC from Puerto Rico when she was a child, the Daily News reported. She died less than three weeks after a motorist struck and killed Lee Strong while backing into a crosswalk at Third Avenue and E. 71st Street, also in the 19th Precinct.

City crash data show the 19th Precinct has a high rate of traffic injuries compared to other precincts. Motorists have killed at least 13 people walking in the 19th Precinct in the last 24 months, according to data compiled by Streetsblog.

The crash that killed Blanca Pagan occurred in Kallos’s City Council district. To hear McPherson and Kallos tell it, cyclists are the 19th Precinct’s most pressing traffic hazard.

McPherson was named the precinct CO this year after his predecessor, Deputy Inspector James M. Grant, was identified as a target of an NYPD corruption investigation. “From what I understand, bikes are a big problem,” McPherson said at a precinct community council meeting, not long after taking over for Grant — who himself concentrated on bike crackdowns as motorists killed people in crosswalks.

“One of the top complaints I get in the district is about bikes,” Kallos told Our Town after a bike ticket blitz earlier this year, which according to Our Town was conducted in collaboration with Kallos and Garodnick.

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Truck Driver Severely Injures Cyclist in Downtown Brooklyn

A semi truck driver ran over a cyclist at the corner of Jay and Tillary streets in Downtown Brooklyn this morning.

The crash happened at around 7:15. NYPD told Streetsblog the truck driver was turning right from Tillary onto Jay when the collision occurred, but photos from the scene show the truck stopped while turning right from northbound Jay onto Tillary.

The victim, a 35-year-old man, sustained trauma to his left leg and was transported to New York Methodist Hospital in critical condition, NYPD said.

The victim suffered a “massive head wound,” according to the Daily News:

As cops investigated, the mangled bike remained lodged under the truck’s cabin, just paces away from a pool of blood and the victim’s helmet.

The driver was not ticketed or arrested. The NYPD spokesperson we talked with said the crash “looks like an accident.” The investigation is ongoing, the spokesperson said.

Jay Street and Tillary Street are local truck routes. However, trucks longer than 55 feet are allowed on surface streets only if the load is “non-divisible,” such as construction beams, and the driver has a permit. It is illegal to operate a tractor-trailer carrying boxed or other loose cargo on New York City streets if the total truck length exceeds 55 feet.

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MTA Bus Driver Kills Anna Colon, 73, on the Lower East Side

An MTA bus driver struck and killed Anna Colon on East Houston Street this morning. The white arrow indicates the direction the victim was walking and the red arrow indicates the approximate path of the driver. Image: Google Maps

An MTA bus driver struck and killed Anna Colon on East Houston Street this morning. The white arrow indicates the direction the victim was walking and the red arrow indicates the approximate path of the driver. Image: Google Maps

An MTA bus driver killed a senior on the Lower East Side this morning.

Anna Colon, 73, was crossing East Houston Street north to south at around 9:50 a.m. when the driver, who was also southbound, hit her while turning left from Avenue D onto East Houston, according to NYPD.

“[The light] was about to turn red when she was crossing the street,” a witness told the Daily News. “The bus was turning and it ran her over. The bus dragged her body for a few feet.”

Anna Colon. Photo via DNAinfo

Anna Colon. Photo via DNAinfo

Colon died at the scene. The NYPD public information office had no details on who had the right of way. A police spokesperson said the investigation was ongoing.

East Houston at Avenue D is a wide two-way street with concrete medians in the crosswalks. Drivers injured 15 people walking at the intersection between 2009 and 2015, and had injured one other person there this year as of August, according to city crash data.

Another witness told the News that speeding, inattentive bus drivers are a hazard in the area.

“I feel afraid every time I cross that corner. I hold my breath and keep an eye out for a bus,” said local resident Rosalind Collazo. “The buses go fast and don’t stop. It’s not the buses, the cars go fast too. They do U-turns when they are not supposed to.”

Today’s crash was the first pedestrian fatality caused by an MTA bus driver in 2016, according to crash data compiled by Streetsblog.

The Amalgamated Transit Union says wide A pillars and poorly-designed mirrors on U.S. buses impede driver vision. The ATU has called for a design fix to reduce the number of pedestrians struck by bus drivers.

Anna Colon was killed in the 9th Precinct, where officers ticket an average of one motorist a day for failing to yield, and in the City Council district represented by Rosie Mendez.

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NYC Motorists Injured 1,322 Pedestrians and Cyclists in August, and Killed 15

Dominick Lamboy, Delman Maldonado, Michael Schenkman, and Israel Turicos

Dominick Lamboy, Delman Maldonado, Michael Schenkman, and Israel Turicos

Twenty-three people died in New York City traffic in August, and 5,358 were injured, according to City Hall’s Vision Zero View crash data map.

City Hall reported 98 pedestrians and cyclists killed by city motorists through August of this year, and 9,700 injured, compared to 92 deaths and 9,157 injuries in the same period in 2015.

Citywide, 13 pedestrians and two cyclists were fatally struck by drivers in August. Among the victims were Delman Maldonado, Israel Turicos, Angel Sagardia, Martin Smith, Dominick Lamboy, Derrick Belton, George Mamales, Michael Schenkman, Gen Zhan, Ralph Fino, and Arline Smeal.

Motorists killed at least three seniors in August: George Mamales, 85; Michael Schenkman, 78; and Arline Smeal, 80.

Across the city, 758 pedestrians and 564 cyclists were reported hurt in collisions with motor vehicles. Per NYPD policy, few of these crashes were investigated by trained officers.

Of 11 fatal crashes on surface streets reported by Streetsblog and other outlets, no motorists were known to have been charged for causing a death. Based on NYPD and media accounts, at least six victims were likely walking or cycling with the right of way when they were struck.

Martin Smith, George Mamales, and Gen Zhan were all hit at intersections by drivers turning left. NYPD applied the city’s Right of Way Law in none of those cases.

Arline Smeal was fatally struck in Astoria when an unattended van rolled onto the sidewalk. Michael Schenkman was struck while riding his bike on Northern Boulevard by a motorist traveling at a high rate of speed. NYPD filed no charges and issued no summonses for either crash.

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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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