Crucial Details Missing in NYPD Account of Crash That Killed Theauther Love

Eastern Parkway where it intersects Bergen Street in Brownsville. Image: Google Street View

On Friday morning, a traffic enforcement agent driving a marked NYPD vehicle struck and killed the Reverend Theauther Love, 87, as he was walking across Eastern Parkway in Brownsville. Police failed to notify the victim’s family this weekend, according to friends and relatives. But NYPD did issue their standard exculpatory response when the driver in a fatal crash is sober and stays at the scene — “no criminality is suspected” — even though they have yet to disclose details like the driver’s speed and who had the right of way at the time of the collision.

Theauther Love. Photo: New York Post

Love, a WWII vet, walked several miles a day in the neighborhood. His widow, Annie Love, told the Post that he was struck during his regular morning walk after taking out the trash. His son Andrew is calling for police to investigate whether the driver was speeding at the time.

NYPD’s public information office told Streetsblog this morning that the TEA was driving westbound on Eastern Parkway between Bergen and Dean when he struck Love, who was walking north to south across Eastern Parkway. No charges are pending against the driver. The police spokesman had no further information about the collision, other than that the investigation is open.

The police’s preliminary finding of “no criminality” clearly covers only a narrow range of driver culpability — he didn’t intentionally run down the victim, he wasn’t intoxicated, and he stayed at the scene. But this glosses over a range of other possible factors that may have contributed to the crash that killed Theauther Love. Was the driver careless or reckless behind the wheel? Was he speeding, texting, or running a light? We don’t know. Perhaps the investigation will clear up those questions, but judging from the overall pattern of police withholding information about specific traffic crashes, NYPD won’t disclose the answers willingly.

  • Staggering

    This shit is unreal. What’s even more unreal is how little NYC’s press and political class seems to care.

    Maybe what we need here is for Senator Schumer and friends to engage a litigation firm like Gibson Dunn to go after the NYPD’s lax and irresponsible treatment of killer drivers.

    Then, if nothing else, at least we’d get a couple of Michael Grynbaum stories on the issue over at the NYT. He seems pretty happy to pick up Seniors for Safety press releases.

  • moocow

    It’s true, where are Seniors for Safety? Still fighting the undangerous PPW? Here’s a senior, a WWII vet, actually dead, killed by car, not almost rundown by a cyclist. If Seniors for Safety were actually real, they should be stepping up now.

  • Anonymous

    Speaking of seniors: just 10 days earlier, a woman in her 80s crossing East 65th Street in Manhattan was struck and killed by the driver of a tow truck who was turning left from Fifth Avenue. Streetsblog covered it: http://bit.ly/rGRz2e. This was one of the comments:

    The victim was my spunky, extraordinarily capable grandmother — the most cautious and enthusiastic pedestrian I know. She was on her way to her weekly volunteer work. I share and appreciate your outrage.

    So far as I know, none of the major newspapers devoted any ink to that fatality.

  • dporpentine

    I feel so terrible for the family here. There’s just absolutely no chance they’ll get anything resembling justice. The NYPD won’t acknowledge wrongdoing on the part of the TEA–won’t, indeed, release any information about the event at all, I’m sure. They’ll fight any civil suit tooth and nail, lying up, down, left, right, and center and with complete impunity.

    And the media will ignore it since it was an “accident.” It was caused by the gods only. Changing how we design our streets or trying to put an end to New York’s brutal road culture–particularly the cavalier attitudes of NYPD drivers–just isn’t possible.

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