Margaret King, 81, Killed by Staten Island Driver Making a Left Turn

An 81-year-old woman was fatally struck by a driver while crossing a Staten Island street last week.

Photo via Staten Island Advance

Margaret King was in a crosswalk at the intersection of Forest and Livermore Avenues in Port Richmond Center at around noon on Wednesday, October 3, when the driver of a Nissan crashed into her while attempting a left turn, according to the Advance. She died the next day.

NYPD told the Advance that the driver, whose name was not released, was cited for failure to yield. King’s daughter Peggy Saladis said she was told that the driver tested negative for alcohol and “didn’t appear to have been using his phone.” Police said the motorist who killed King “may have been distracted by another vehicle making a turn,” according to Saladis.

“She was crossing with the light, in the crosswalk, and a person was making a left turn out of Boston Market, and he hit her and ran her over,” said Saladis. “They said it was just a pure accident. I just don’t get it because that intersection is so wide open, clear. It was a clear day at 12 noon. And my mom was wearing a pink and cornflower blue jacket. It just doesn’t make any sense to us.”

“I just want to understand what happened.”

New York City pedestrians and cyclists are routinely killed by inattentive drivers in a hurry to make a turn. While DOT continues to install pedestrian countdown clocks, which do nothing to prevent such crashes, leading pedestrian intervals and split-phase signals are in short supply. Exclusive crossing time is especially beneficial to the elderly, the physically disabled and others who take longer to cross the street.

This fatal crash occurred in the 120th Precinct. To voice your concerns about neighborhood traffic safety directly to Deputy Inspector John Sprague, the commanding officer, go to the next precinct community council meeting. The 120th Precinct council meetings happen at 7 p.m. on the last Wednesday of the month at the precinct, 78 Richmond Terrace. Call the precinct at 718-876-8505 for information.

The City Council district where Margaret King was killed is represented by Deborah Rose. To encourage Rose to take action to improve street safety in her district and citywide, contact her at 212-788-6972 or DROSE@Council.nyc.gov.

  • There is something scary about something like this happening with a driver claiming to have not seen where they were going. Peggy Saladis has a good point – it doesn’t make sense at all, not because there’s any reason to think the driver was lying about this being unintentional, but because drivers shouldn’t be driving where they’re not looking. Our fellow citizens tolerate that sort of thing as run-of-the-mill, and we MUST change that perception.

  • “And my mom was wearing a pink and cornflower blue jacket. It just doesn’t make any sense to us.”

    There’s an NYCDOT-installed sign on my block scolding pedestrian ladies for wearing black in New York City, of all places. It is *probably* the most backwards and ignorant sign currently posted on Earth.

    But even when pedestrians do every single thing they are told by the government—from crossing in a crosswalk with the light to wearing bright clothing—we are still run over and killed with no real investigation and no legal process followed afterwards. So what next? It’s hard to believe that sternly talking down to pedestrians for a century has not stopped us from being killed by motorists who are literally not looking where they are speeding, but that tactic failed. Maybe the DOT should take its own advice and stop being “jerks” to the street users it lets down the most.

  • Here’s that awful sign. What does the DOT that designed, produced, and installed this piece of victim-blaming propaganda say to King and others killed in “pure accidents” while following their instructions to a tee?

  • Anonymous

    I disagree that encouraging defensive practices somehow equates to blaming the victim.

    Consider as an analogy the often-repeated advice by the NYPD: “don’t leave valuables unattended”. Does it mean that if you leave your laptop unattended and someone steals it it’s your fault? No, it’s still the thief’s fault. It’s just that, in the real world, where there happen to be thieves, you can reduce your chances of having your laptop stolen by not leaving it unattended. Of course, defensive practices don’t always work: you can still be mugged at gunpoint and your laptop be stolen anyway, just like you can be killed by a driver even if you cross carefully and try to make yourself visible.

  • Anonymous

    To Nathan and qrt45:
    It’s the fault of the cops & court system – the NYPD + DAs + judges – and not the DOT, at fault here.  The issue is an Enforcement failure, partly an Education failure, and not an Engineering failure.

    DOT’s mandate is primarily Engineering, and partly Education.  Yes, the DOT posted that sign telling pedestrians to be visible on the street, in its education role.  But DOT has no legal authority or responsibility to Enforce traffic law, no mandate to investigate or prosecute following crashes. 

    All DOT can do is “investigate” the crash to determine what changes or improvements can be made to prevent similar crashes in the future.  These changes will primarily be engineering – crosswalk markings, traffic islands, even Road Diets making major changes in lane allocations; and education – handouts to those nanny suggestion signs.  DOT can even “suggest” changes in the law and how laws are enforced.  But DOT has not control on what laws the Legislature & City Council pass, and no control over how the NYPD and DAs enforce the laws. 

    DOT asked the NYPD for help with an enforcement and education program targeted towards cyclists.  What DOT and cyclists got from Ray Kelly was Enforcement From Hell.  The cops are issuing tickets for things that were not illegal, writing “easy” tickets to meet quotas and harass cyclists, and aggressively ignoring some obvious crash reduction – life saving laws, such as the requirement to use bike lights at night.

    The sad fact is that both pedestrians and cyclists can be doing everything right, and the driver was effectively brain dead (as this case in SI), yet the NYPD reliably calls these assault crashes “accidents”, refuses aid and assistance to the victim and their family, and lets the driver drive off to do it again, and again. Things are so bad that some cops will threaten to arrest the cyclist or pedestrian if they try to write down the name and badge number of the responding cops.  (a true event)

    Your outrage is warranted, but misplaced. 
    It’s the NYPD, District Attorneys and court judges that are failing us.

  • Anonymous

    Brownstone2, I agree with everything you wrote, but I’d add one more thing. Even when the DA prosecutes a case, the jury can still “fail us”, because the jury can also buy the theory that it was “just an accident”. That’s “democracy at work”, meaning that even if we had perfect police and DAs and judges, we’d still have to persuade the public at large that these crashes are unacceptable.

  • AdamDZ

    Hey Vacca and others, perhaps you could focus on this REAL problem here as opposed on the delivery cyclists, eh? What, too much work or something?

  • Matt Campo

    When failure to yield results in the death of a pedestrian, how is that not considered vehicular manslaughter?

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