An outlaw committed suicide on Sixth Avenue early Sunday morning. At least that’s how the death of Dan Fellegara was reported by the Post and Daily News.
Fellegara, a construction manager from Baltimore who, according to most accounts, was 29, was crossing Sixth at Watts Street in Soho at around 4:30 a.m. when he fell and was run over by a cab driver. From the News:
“They crossed on the red light,” said the cabbie, who declined to use his name.
“They were running across, but one of the guys fell.”
The driver said he had no time to stop.
“I hit the brake, but I ran over him,” he said. “He ended up under the car. It was really bad.”
Under the headline “Taxi kills jaywalking man in SoHo,” the Post explains: “[Fellegara] was crossing against the light … when he fell in the street and was hit by the oncoming yellow cab, police said.” NYPD told Gothamist the victim was “attempting to evade oncoming traffic” and was “inadvertently struck.” The driver was not charged.
It could be that Fellegara tried to run across Sixth Avenue against the light knowing that vehicles were approaching. But if you want to know how fast the cab driver was going, a factor that could have determined whether Fellegara lived or died, that information is apparently considered irrelevant by NYPD and city media. While questions of right of way are reported and repeated by default in cases like this one, driver speed is almost never mentioned by police in press accounts.
Note that the right of way question is only hammered home when the driver “has the light.” In the thousands of cases where a pedestrian or cyclist has the right of way and is nonetheless injured or killed by an errant driver, the crash is virtually always deemed an “accident” by police and the media. This double standard goes a long way toward explaining why crossing against a light, or crossing mid-block, is considered akin to jumping in front of a train.
This fatal crash occurred in the 1st Precinct. To voice your concerns about neighborhood traffic safety directly to Deputy Inspector Edward J. Winski, the commanding officer, head to the next precinct community council meeting. The 1st Precinct council meetings happen at 6:30 p.m. on the last Thursday of each month at the precinct, 16 Ericsson Place. Call the precinct at 212-334-0640 for information.