In Memoriam

When the book is written on the fight for traffic justice in New York City, an entire chapter might well be devoted to 2012.

This was the year when Commissioner Ray Kelly’s NYPD revealed to the City Council that only a handful of officers are assigned to investigate serious traffic crashes. The public learned that, per department policy, the majority of crashes are handled by precinct cops who are trained and authorized to fill in boxes on a form, and nothing more, effectively denying the possibility of justice to thousands who suffer life-altering injuries at the hands of motorists each year. That this policy is in violation of state law apparently mattered not at all to the police commissioner, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, or Albany.

In 2012, victims whose lives were ended by reckless drivers ranged in age from 2 to 92. Two small boys were fatally struck as their horrified and helpless parents looked on. A high school football player with college prospects was run over by two drivers while riding his bike. A veteran UPS man on his regular rounds was crushed to death on a sidewalk. A grandmother of 22 who survived Auschwitz was killed by a driver in pursuit of a parking spot.

It was a landmark year for institutional failure. A spike in traffic fatalities coincided with a marked drop in NYPD enforcement. Criminal cases against killer motorists were wrecked by policeprosecutorsjudges, and juries. Standing on a city street corner, the U.S. secretary of transportation wrongly blamed most pedestrians for their own deaths. The National Guard contributed to the toll wrought by Hurricane Sandy. NYC DOT admonished pedestrians to look out for careless drivers, yet made a mockery of that advice by refusing to own up to a DOT driver’s alleged responsibility for a fatal crash.

Because it must, the story continues. Some day the City Council will take up the proposed Crash Investigation Reform Act, which among other measures would form a task force charged with assessing NYPD crash investigation practices and recommending reforms. In the meantime, individual acts of vehicular violence have gained the attention of council members. Though results have been mixed, the city press corps is finally acknowledging the dangers of unsafe streets and virtually non-existent enforcement. Attorneys are advancing the cause of traffic justice in civil courts. Everyday citizens press on for improvements that are known to make neighborhoods safer to walk, bike and, yes, drive.

Here is our accounting of New York pedestrians and cyclists known to have lost their lives in traffic in 2012. In the comments, please share remembrances of those named here, and the names and stories of those we missed.

Roman Alavez, Lizardo Aldama, Clara Almazo, Rubin Baum
  • Dawn Affoumani, 42, Pedestrian, Killed in the Bronx; Hit-and-Run (Post)
  • Roman Alavez, 26, Pedestrian, Killed in Manhattan; “No Criminality Suspected” (DNA)
  • Lizardo Aldama, 89, Pedestrian, Killed in Queens; Driver Sentenced to Probation (Streetsblog)
  • Clara Almazo, 56, Pedestrian, Killed in Staten Island; Driver Charged With Leaving Scene (Post)
  • Ken Baker, 26, Pedestrian, Killed in Manhattan; Driver Not Charged (Streetsblog)
  • Amjad Barakat, 33, Pedestrian, Killed in Brooklyn; Hit-and-Run (Post, Bay Ridge Journal)
  • Rubin Baum, 80, Pedestrian, Killed in Manhattan; “No Criminality Suspected” (Streetsblog)
  • Maleka Begum, 54, Pedestrian, Killed in Queens; Driver Not Charged [NICE Bus] (Streetsblog)
Maleka Begum, Emma Blumstein, Roxana Sorina Buta, Terence Connor

  • Maria Beria, 30, Pedestrian, Killed in Queens; Hit-and-Run (Streetsblog)
  • Emma Blumstein, 24, Cyclist, Killed in Brooklyn; “No Criminality Suspected” (Gothamist)
  • William Boney, 49, Pedestrian, Killed in Brooklyn; Driver Charged With Manslaughter (Streetsblog)
  • Roxana Sorina Buta, 21, Pedestrian, Killed in Manhattan; Hit-and-Run, No Known Charges [NYC DOT] (Streetsblog)
  • Francisco Camacho, 59, Pedestrian, Killed in Queens; “No Criminality Suspected” (DNA)
  • Shaquille Cochrane, 18, Cyclist, Killed in Manhattan; “No Criminality Suspected” [Yellow Cab] (Streetsblog)
  • Terence Connor, 24, Cyclist, Killed in Brooklyn; Hit-and-Run (News)
  • John Cook, 34, Pedestrian, Killed in Brooklyn; Hit-and-Run (News)
Tchaka Cooke, Raoul De La Cruz, Sorel Depas-Medina, Colleen Mallon Dizeo
  • Tchaka Cooke, 39, Cyclist, Killed in Queens; “No Criminality Suspected” (Streetsblog)
  • Ignacio Cubano, 69, Pedestrian, Killed in the Bronx; “No Criminality Suspected” (Streetsblog)
  • Chenugor Dao, 60, Pedestrian, Killed in Brooklyn; “No Criminality Suspected” (Streetsblog)
  • Raoul De La Cruz, 35, Pedestrian, Killed in Brooklyn; One Driver Charged With Leaving Scene, One Driver Not Charged (Streetsblog)
  • Sorel Depas-Medina, 70, Pedestrian, Killed in Manhattan; No Known Charges (Streetsblog)
  • Colleen Mallon Dizeo, 48, Pedestrian, Killed in Staten Island; No Known Charges (Advance)
  • Dante Dominguez, 45, Pedestrian, Killed in Queens; Hit-and-Run (Streetsblog)
  • Suying Du, 56, Pedestrian, Killed in Staten Island; “No Criminality Suspected” (Streetsblog)
Jessica Dworkin, Jermaine Elliott, David Ellis, Dan Fellegara
  • Jessica Dworkin, 58, Pedestrian, Killed in Manhattan; Driver Summonsed for Failure to Yield, Careless Driving (Streetsblog)
  • Jermaine Elliott, 26, Pedestrian, Killed in the Bronx; Hit-and-Run (Streetsblog)
  • David Ellis, 18, Cyclist, Killed in the Bronx; Hit-and-Run (Streetsblog)
  • Luis Enriquez, 62, Killed in Manhattan; No Known Charges (Streetsblog)
  • Victor Felix, 57, Pedestrian, Killed in Manhattan; Driver Charged With DWI (Streetsblog)
  • Dan Fellegara, 29, Pedestrian, Killed in Manhattan; “No Criminality Suspected” [Yellow Cab] (Streetsblog)
  • Victor Florio, 76, Pedestrian, Killed in Queens; Driver Charged With Leaving Scene (Streetsblog)
  • Donna Fountain, 38, Pedestrian, Killed in Brooklyn; Hit-and-Run (Gothamist)
  • Noah Foxman, 58, Pedestrian, Killed in Brooklyn; One Hit-and-Run, One Driver Not Charged (Bklyn Daily)
  • Kwok Fu, 82, Pedestrian, Killed in Manhattan; No Known Charges [National Guard] (Streetsblog)
  • Amanda Garcia, 21, Pedestrian, Killed in the Bronx; Hit-and-Run (Streetsblog)
Henry Garcia, Thackoo Hargobin, Christopher Hutchinson, Jean Jeanniot
  • Henry Garcia, 13, Cyclist, Killed in Brooklyn; Hit-and-Run (Streetsblog)
  • Mary Gater, 60, Pedestrian, Killed in Queens; Driver Not Charged (Streetsblog)
  • Ghana Ghalley, 24, Pedestrian, Killed in the Bronx; Driver Summonsed for Failure to Yield, Failure to Exercise Due Care (Streetsblog)
  • Mireya Gomez, 50, Cyclist, Killed in Queens; “No Criminality Suspected” (Streetsblog)
  • Willie Gonzalez, 25, Pedestrian, Killed in Manhattan; No Known Charges [MTA Bus] (DNA)
  • Peter Guastamacchia, 53, Pedestrian, Killed in Manhattan; Hit-and-Run (DNA)
  • Thackoo Hargobin, 52, Killed in Queens; Driver Not Charged [School Bus] (Streetsblog)
  • Frankie Hernandez, 17, Pedestrian, Killed in the Bronx; Driver Charged With Manslaughter (News)
  • Gabriel Hernandez, 24, Pedestrian, Killed in Queens; Driver Charged With Manslaughter [Livery Cab] (Post)
  • Lepoldo Hernandez, 57, Pedestrian, Killed in Brooklyn; “No Criminality Suspected” (Streetsblog)
  • Roger Hernandez, 37, Cyclist, Killed in Queens; Driver Charged With Manslaughter (Sunnyside Post)
  • Christopher Hutchinson, 39, Pedestrian, Killed in Brooklyn; Driver Charged With Manslaughter (Streetsblog)
  • Jean Jeanniot, 71, Pedestrian, Killed in Brooklyn; One Hit-and-Run, One No Known Charges (News)
  • Davonte Jeffers, 14, Pedestrian, Killed in Brooklyn; Driver Sentenced to Six Months (Streetsblog)
Meilan Jin, Gitzella Katz, Ibrahim Kebe, Timothy Keith
  • Meilan Jin, 22, Pedestrian, Killed in Queens; No Known Charges [MTA Bus] (Post)
  • Gitzella Katz, 92, Pedestrian, Killed in Brooklyn; “No Criminality Suspected” (Streetsblog)
  • Ebrahim Kebe, 4, Pedestrian, Killed in the Bronx; Driver Not Charged (Streetsblog)
  • Timothy Keith, 5, Pedestrian, Killed in Brooklyn; Driver Not Charged [Yellow Cab] (Streetsblog)
Margaret King, Alexander Martinez, Daniel Martinez, Margaret Myers
  • Margaret King, 81, Pedestrian, Killed in Staten Island; Driver Summonsed for Failure to Yield (Streetsblog)
  • Kyle Larson, 20, Killed in Manhattan; “No Criminality Suspected” (Streetsblog)
  • Aileen Martinez, 33, Pedestrian, Killed in Manhattan; “No Criminality Suspected” [MTA Bus] (Streetsblog)
  • Alexander Martinez, 37, Cyclist, Killed in Queens; Hit-and-Run (Streetsblog)
  • Daniel Martinez, 27, Cyclist, Killed in Manhattan; “No Criminality Suspected” (DNA)
  • Sheena Mathew, 38, Pedestrian, Killed in Queens; Hit-and-Run (Streetsblog)
  • Justin Murray, 49, Pedestrian, Killed in Queens; Driver Not Charged (Post)
  • Margaret Myers, 69, Pedestrian, Killed in Brooklyn; Driver Charged With Manslaughter (Streetsblog)
Joseph Nelson, James Neverson, Tamon Robinson, Kevin Rodriguez
  • Joseph Nelson, 54, Cyclist, Killed in the Bronx; No Known Charges (Streetsblog)
  • James Neverson, 63, Pedestrian, Killed in Brooklyn; “No Criminality Suspected” (Streetsblog)
  • Gargano Nicoletta, 76, Pedestrian, Killed in Brooklyn; “No Criminality Suspected” (Streetsblog)
  • David Oliveras, 18, Cyclist, Killed in the Bronx; “No Criminality Suspected” (Streetsblog)
  • Pietro Palumbo, 76, Pedestrian, Killed in Manhattan; “No Criminality Suspected” (Streetsblog)
  • Leighton Parnham, 19, Pedestrian, Killed in Brooklyn; Driver Not Charged [Livery Cab] (New York Shitty)
  • Phyllis Pitt, 64, Pedestrian, Killed in Brooklyn; “No Criminality Suspected” (Streetsblog)
  • Julian Ramos, 17, Pedestrian, Killed in the Bronx; Hit-and-Run (Post Blotter)
  • Lori Renchan, Pedestrian, Killed in Manhattan; Driver Not Charged (Streetsblog)
  • Juan Rivera-Quintana, 42, Pedestrian, Killed in the Bronx; Driver Charged With Manslaughter (Streetsblog)
  • Tamon Robinson, 27, Pedestrian, Killed in the Bronx; No Known Charges [NYPD] (Streetsblog)
  • Isabel Rodriguez, 88, Pedestrian, Killed in Brooklyn; Driver Charged With Leaving Scene (Post)
  • Kevin Rodriguez, 3, Pedestrian, Killed in Brooklyn; Driver Not Charged [Ambulette] (Streetsblog)
Mike Rogalle, Juanita Rosario, Dashane Santana, Alberto Serrano
  • Mike Rogalle, 58, Pedestrian, Killed in Manhattan; “No Criminality Suspected” (Streetsblog)
  • Daniel Rosado, 40, Pedestrian, Killed in Brooklyn; No Known Charges (Streetsblog)
  • Luis Rosado, 75, Pedestrian, Killed in Manhattan; Hit-and-Run [Livery Cab] (Post)
  • Juanita Rosario, 59, Pedestrian, Killed in Manhattan; No Known Charges (News)
  • Luis Ruiz, 81, Pedestrian, Killed in Brooklyn; One Hit-and-Run, One Driver Not Charged (Streetsblog)
  • Ramon Russel, 37, Cyclist, Killed in Queens; “No Criminality Suspected” (Post)
  • Abraham Samet, 68, Pedestrian, Killed in Brooklyn; No Known Charges (Streetsblog)
  • Dashane Santana, 12, Pedestrian, Killed in Manhattan; Driver Not Charged (Post)
  • Andrew Schoonover, 31, Pedestrian, Killed in Manhattan; “No Criminality Suspected” [City Sanitation] (Streetsblog)
  • Alberto Serrano, 31, Pedestrian, Killed in Brooklyn; Driver Charged With Manslaughter (Streetsblog)
  • Shirley Shea, 78, Pedestrian, Killed in Manhattan; Driver Not Charged (Streetsblog)
Rohan Singh, Jusheem Thorne, Ronald Tillman, Amos Veloz, Pelagia Zingatan
  • Rohan Singh, 47, Pedestrian, Killed in Queens; Hit-and-Run (Times Ledger)
  • Ronald Sinvil, 36, Pedestrian, Killed in Brooklyn; Driver Not Charged [City Sanitation] (Streetsblog)
  • Arnold Slater, 75, Pedestrian, Killed in Manhattan; Hit-and-Run (Villager)
  • Lori Stevens, 70, Pedestrian, Killed in Manhattan; No Known Charges [Yellow Cab] (Streetsblog)
  • Jason Tavarez, 24, Pedestrian, Killed in the Bronx; Driver Charged With Manslaughter (DNA)
  • Jusheem Thorne, 25, Pedestrian, Killed in Brooklyn; Hit-and-Run (Streetsblog)
  • Ronald Tillman, 29, Cyclist, Killed in Staten Island; Hit-and-Run (Post)
  • Miguel Torres, 11, Pedestrian, Killed in Queens; Hit-and-Run, Driver Not Charged (Streetsblog)
  • Maria Tripp, 47, Pedestrian, Killed in Brooklyn; “No Criminality Suspected” [Secret Service] (Streetsblog)
  • Amos Veloz, 21, Pedestrian, Killed in Manhattan; “No Criminality Suspected” [MTA Bus] (News)
  • Priscilla Wells, 56, Killed in Brooklyn While Riding Mobility Scooter; Driver Not Charged (News)
  • Jason Williams, 23, Pedestrian, Killed in Brooklyn; Hit-and-Run (Streetsblog)
  • Pelagia Zingatan, 65, Pedestrian, Killed in Manhattan; “No Criminality Suspected” [Yellow Cab] (Streetsblog)
  • Unidentified Pedestrian, Killed Dec. 26, 2011 in the Bronx; Hit-and-Run (NY1)
  • Unidentified Pedestrian, 67, Killed Feb. 13 in Brooklyn; “No Criminality Suspected” (DNA)
  • Unidentified Pedestrian, 40, Killed Feb. 29 in Queens; Driver Not Charged (DNA)
  • Unidentified Pedestrian, 65, Killed March 8 in Queens; Hit-and-Run (DNA)
  • Unidentified Pedestrian, 2, Killed March 27 in the Bronx; “No Criminality Suspected” (Streetsblog)
  • Unidentified Cyclist, Killed April 4 in Queens; “No Criminality Suspected” [Livery Cab] (Streetsblog)
  • Unidentified Pedestrian, 75, Killed April 25 in Brooklyn; “No Criminality Suspected” (Streetsblog)
  • Unidentified Pedestrian, 23, Killed May 4 in Manhattan; “No Criminality Suspected” (Gothamist)
  • Unidentified Pedestrian, 75, Killed May 8 in Manhattan; “No Criminality Suspected” (Streetsblog)
  • Unidentified Pedestrian, 20, Killed May 28 in Brooklyn; “No Criminality” (Streetsblog)
  • Unidentified Cyclist, Killed July 19 in Brooklyn; Hit-and-Run (News)
  • Unidentified Cyclist, Killed August 26 in Brooklyn; “No Criminality Suspected” (Streetsblog)
  • Unidentified Pedestrian, Killed Oct. 21 in Brooklyn; Hit-and-Run (Streetsblog)
  • Unidentified Pedestrian, Killed Oct. 26 in Brooklyn; No Known Charges (DNA)
  • Unidentified Pedestrian, 78, Killed Dec. 18 in Brooklyn; “No Criminality Suspected” [School Bus] (Streetsblog)
  • Unidentified Pedestrian, 31, Killed Dec. 19 in Queens; Hit-and-Run (Streetsblog)
  • Eric McClure

    Thanks for keeping vigil, Streetsblog. The list is sobering, and it’s shocking that 16 victims didn’t even warrant identification by the authorities or mainstream media.

  • mike

    When will the NYPD and too many other big city PDs start realizing that whether you’re injured or killed by a driver or by a person with a gun, the result is the same? Do your job and give each victim their due process, otherwise the crimes will continue.

  • SteveVaccaro

    Thanks, Brad–really well done. It is so very difficult to write about this subject with intensity, without losing it. 

  • Ecoagile1

    The trains are heading for Treblinka, Dachau, . . . And . . .

    Unfortunately and horrIfically, this completely ignores the faceless millions and possibly billions that will die during climate change if it is not brought under under control mainly because you are one of the climate silent echo chambers ignoring it; and the dire environmental devastation caused by transportation systems based on cars.

  • Kevin Giant

    Mike,

    The NYPD is fully aware of the lethal threat posed by motor vehicles when it is NYPD officers who are threatened.  For example, Streetsblog reported on August 22, 2012, that an SUV driver who hit NYPD officers was charged with Attempted Murder.  None of the NYPD officers was killed or seriously injured.  But Attempted Murder charges were laid.

    Looks like it is only when one of us peasants is threatened, killed or injured by a car driver that NYPD turns a blind eye. 

  • KeNYC2030

    NYPD = New York’s Protector of Drivers

  • Komanoff

    @KeNYC2030:disqus

  • Anonymous

    @KeNYC2030:disqus : Amen.

    Streetsblog’s coverage of traffic violence and injustice in NYC — and Brad’s in particular — leave me nearly speechless.

    We’ve got a 10-month mayoral campaign to publicize/dramatize NYPD coddling of killer drivers and get the candidates to commit publicly to a 180 from Ray Kelly’s regime. Let’s do it!

  • Anonymous

    Each year, I copy this list and share it.  Sure enough, since this year’s “In Memoriam” was posted, at least one more has been killed with no criminality suspected: http://newyork.newsday.com/news/new-york/nypd-id-s-pedestrian-killed-by-bus-1.4378907

  • Susanklot

    My mother died on December 7, 2012 of injuries sustained from being hit by a school bus.  The driver ran over her foot and dragged her under the wheel.  She suffered in a hospital for 10 months before she died..  She was in good health and had many more years to live with her husband, children and grand children.  She is gone forever because a careless  bus driver was in a hurry to get home after finishing work.  We cannot allow this bloodshed to continue.  God bless  all who have lost someone dear to this kind of manslaughter.

  • Anonymous

    “The essence of civilization is that you can walk down the street without having to look over your shoulder,” Bloomberg said this week re this year’s record low homicide rate.  Is he blind to all the innocent faces and names above?  When will he and our elected officials insist that the NYPD properly enforce moving violations and investigate crashes, and our DA’s prosecute these vehicular homicides that happen every day ON our streets?  If even a fraction of the one hundred plus deaths listed above were properly classified as homicides, these officials would no longer be bragging about a record-setting year.

  • Anonymous

    Ms. Klot:  I am very sorry to learn about what happened to your mother.  May I ask, did the incident occur within New York City?  And was the driver charged with anything?  I ask because of my small efforts (like Streetsblog’s great efforts) to compile information that will further the cause of pedestrian safety in NYC.

  • Peter Meitzler

    Thank you for preparing this list. 

  • Susanklot

    ddartley:
    My mother, whose name was Shirley Shea, was 78 years old and lived in Manhattan.  She was struck by a privately owned school bus while crossing 67th St. at Columbus Avenue on February 17, 2012.    She had the light and the bus was making a right (legal) turn onto 67th St.  The bus driver claims to have never seen her.  I don’t think the police charged him with anything.  I think the licensing and training of school bus drivers needs to be re-examined; they are among the most reckless drivers I have ever observed. They frequently speed through my community in Brooklyn after they have dropped off their passengers.  Thank you for asking about my mother and for your efforts to improve NYC streets. 

  • Susanklot

    ddartley:
    My mother, whose name was Shirley Shea, was 78 years old and lived in Manhattan.  She was struck by a privately owned school bus while crossing 67th St. at Columbus Avenue on February 17, 2012.    She had the light and the bus was making a right (legal) turn onto 67th St.  The bus driver claims to have never seen her.  I don’t think the police charged him with anything.  I think the licensing and training of school bus drivers needs to be re-examined; they are among the most reckless drivers I have ever observed. They frequently speed through my community in Brooklyn after they have dropped off their passengers.  Thank you for asking about my mother and for your efforts to improve NYC streets. 

  • Susanklot

    ddartley:
    My mother, whose name was Shirley Shea, was 78 years old and lived in Manhattan.  She was struck by a privately owned school bus while crossing 67th St. at Columbus Avenue on February 17, 2012.    She had the light and the bus was making a right (legal) turn onto 67th St.  The bus driver claims to have never seen her.  I don’t think the police charged him with anything.  I think the licensing and training of school bus drivers needs to be re-examined; they are among the most reckless drivers I have ever observed. They frequently speed through my community in Brooklyn after they have dropped off their passengers.  Thank you for asking about my mother and for your efforts to improve NYC streets. 

  • Susanklot

    ddartley:
    My mother, whose name was Shirley Shea, was 78 years old and lived in Manhattan.  She was struck by a privately owned school bus while crossing 67th St. at Columbus Avenue on February 17, 2012.    She had the light and the bus was making a right (legal) turn onto 67th St.  The bus driver claims to have never seen her.  I don’t think the police charged him with anything.  I think the licensing and training of school bus drivers needs to be re-examined; they are among the most reckless drivers I have ever observed. They frequently speed through my community in Brooklyn after they have dropped off their passengers.  Thank you for asking about my mother and for your efforts to improve NYC streets. 

  • Bill Orme

    A valuable public service  – deserves much wider circulation. Like all too many New York bikers and pedestrians, I could have been one of these statistics myself on several unnerving occasions, including one that sent me bloodied  and unconscious in an ambulance to the emergency room but did not even merit a ticket to the driver of the van that smashed into me in a Brooklyn bike lane, much less a subsequent police investigation. TA’s tireless and effective work in raising awareness and demanding action about this intolerable NYPD policy is greatly appreciated. All 2013 mayoral candidates should be pressed to put on record their commitment to changing this policy immediately.

  • Cberthet

    how deeply upsetting. It’ s you  and it’s me, it is our children, our parents , our teacher , or parents .. Brad, thank you for this .. What can we do ! how much is a full page in the new york times? Should we all lie down in front of city hall? There has to be a way to shake this city out of its blind insanity

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