The Weekly Carnage

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Fatal Crashes (19 Killed This Week; 89 Killed This Year)

Injuries, Arrests & Property Damage

Following Up

Animals & Cars

About the Weekly Carnage

  • Steve

    Re: 3-Year-Old Boy From Massachusetts Killed in Hit-and-Run

    Compare the Newsday coverage linked above–the driver got out of the car, saw the bleeding boy, got back in and drove away–with the NYT coverage:

    “A 3-year-old boy was killed in a hit-and-run accident after he got caught in a wheel of a pickup truck in Brooklyn yesterday, the police said. But the driver of the truck, who was taken in for questioning last night, was not charged, according to the police, because he said he did not know that he had hit the child.”

    The Daily news article similarly reports that the police decided to take the driver’s word that he didn’t know he had hit someone. Did the police interview the witness quoted in the Newsday article?

    Even putting aside the issue of hit-and-run, Did the boy get “caught up in the wheel” in the crosswalk or not? Was the driver obeying the speed limit, signaling for his turn, talking on a cell phone or not? Why is the only potential traffic violation suggestive of criminal negligence that the police are interested in whether there was a deliberate, knowing attempt to fell the scene of a killing? Any violation in connection with the killing could serve as a basis for a charge of criminal negligence.

    Imagine taking your three year son on a trip to another city, having this happen, and having to return home, and there is his bed, his toys, all his things, his friends . . . this is the price we are willing to pay so people can cruise around in their “extended pickups” without worrying too much how close they are driving to little kids, or whether they may have hit one?

    And we’ll never know the name of the driver of the pickup, unless we file an FOIL request with the NYPD and wait 5 months for an answer.

  • P

    BTW what are the geographic limits of the ‘Weekly Carnage’?

  • AD

    Funny you should ask, P. I was just thinking I needed to update the “About” page with that information.

    In theory, the geographic limits follow the RPA’s definition of the New York City metropolitan region: New York City, Long Island, seven counties of the lower Hudson Valley, 14 counties in northern New Jersey, and three counties in western Connecticut.

    In practice, I have probably not given due weight to searching for crashes from the outer northern reaches (Sullivan and Ulster Counties, N.Y., and Litchfield County, Conn.). Conversely, from time to time I have included crashes from southern New Jersey or upstate New York that are beyond the region. Some of these have been on purpose if the crash has been particularly noteworthy, and certainly some have been inadvertent, resulting from inability to locate a town while still posting at a reasonable hour.

    Finally, from time to time, people from the region get into crashes elsewhere that generate a lot of news (as recently, when a New York City couple crashed and drowned in North Carolina), and I include those if they make a big enough splash.

    The running fatality totals are in no way meant to be scientific.

  • P

    Thanks, AD.

    You might, however, want to revise the unintentional? pun in that second to last paragraph…

  • AD

    Yikes! You’re right. That was surely unintentional. That should read "if they generate enough interest in the news media."

  • Steve, if you’re saying that the focus on “hit and run” helps get reckless (or just bad) drivers off the hook for actual negligence, I couldn’t agree more. It seems that after a crash, the public wants only two pieces of information: the driver’s BAC and if he left the scene knowing he hit someone. If he passes those tests, it was an accident and we feel sorry for him being involved; otherwise that word is ostentatiously struck out and the jailhouse beckons. I don’t think that’s a very good system for saving lives. Its (subconscious?) purpose is to console the many people whose driving mistakes have been fatal to others, and to allow everyone to continue to cheerfully, carelessly, and often aggressively transport themselves in deadly machines.

  • A heartbreaking article re: 3-y-o boy.

    Isn’t the fact that the driver didn’t know he had hit anyone indicative of a crime? Namely failing to yield to peds in a crosswalk and/or failing to execute due care? In some future fair world, this will equate to manslaughter (at least).

  • Steve

    AD’s methods may be unscientific, but according to the back of my envelope, those in the NYC Metro Region have approximately 30% the risk of being killed by auto as compared to the average resident of the US. Even if you adjust for all the confounding factors, I’m sure a large component of hat reduction reflects lesser use and greater regulation of private motor vehicles in our region. Why (besides auto manufacturer advertising revenues) don’t you ever hear about that in the mainstream press?

  • maria

    How can this little boy been hit.Where was the mother in all of this ..when all of this was happening…. My personal opinion is that the man that hit that little boy had to notice he hit something because even when you hit a cat or something you will fell the bump imagine a human being a little boy i think that he should be incarcerated and the little boy mom needs to be investigated too cause how can this happend right in front of her what was she doing that was so important that she couldnt grab her son….

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