A woman was struck and killed by a driver who jumped the curb and drove across a field near the Bronx Botanical Garden last weekend.
Sook-Ja Kim, 63, was in a wide grassy median that serves as a park area on Mosholu Parkway near Bainbridge Avenue when she was hit from behind by a motorist at around 3:45 p.m. on Sunday, March 17.
NYPD told the media that the driver, a 22-year-old man whose name was not released, had a seizure and “lost control” of the Honda sedan he was driving.
“I saw the car cross the highway and driving in the wrong direction. He was going like 100 miles-per-hour, yes. The guy was sick or something was wrong with the young driver,” said witness Marcelino Hernandez to the Norwood News, which published a thorough account of the crash.
The story says that on Saturday “a large group of children” played football on the field where Kim was struck.
“I cross here all the time with my kids,” Hernandez said about the area of the parkway at Bainbridge Avenue. “It’s not safe, you’re not suppose to play there. Nobody should be there. This roadway is very dangerous.”
Having learned that there was speculation that the driver had an epileptic seizure, Hernandez said he felt new laws should be created for drivers who take medication when they shouldn’t, or drivers who don’t take medication when they should.
Sook-Ja Kim was at least the third NYC pedestrian killed by a curb-jumping motorist in the last month. Martha Atwater was struck outside a shop in Cobble Hill by a driver who police said had a diabetic seizure. An unidentified woman was hit on a sidewalk in Kips Bay after two drivers collided on Third Avenue. No charges were filed for either of those deaths.
Curb-jumping drivers have recently inflicted serious injuries upon seniors in Manhattan and Queens. The driver who severed the foot of the 83-year-old Queens victim was charged only with leaving the scene, while no charges were filed against the driver who slammed into Dr. Mansoor Day, 90, as he walked in front of Saks Fifth Avenue.
This fatal crash occurred in the 52nd Precinct. To voice your concerns about neighborhood traffic safety directly to Deputy Inspector Joseph Dowling, the commanding officer, go to the next precinct community council meeting. The 52nd Precinct council meetings happen at 7 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of the month at Sirvam Gardens, 323 E. 198th Street. Call 718-220-5824 for information.
The City Council district where Sook-Ja Kim was killed is represented by Oliver Koppell. To encourage Koppell to take action to improve street safety in his district and citywide, contact him at 212-788-7080.