Friends gathered at a Bronx courthouse last week calling for justice for Abigail Lino, who was one of at least four New York City pedestrians killed by hit-and-run drivers in August.
According to reports, Lino was outside a club in Longwood at around 3 a.m. on August 31 when she and others ran away after a security guard warned that someone at the club had a gun. From the Daily News:
[Lino], of Harlem, began fleeing the area with a group of friends across Bruckner Ave. near Austin Place, witnesses said. But the 24-year-old was halfway across the street when she was hit by the driver of a speeding silver SUV heading south.
Witnesses said Lino’s body was thrown in the air by the callous driver before she came to rest in the center of the street. The driver sped off into the early morning darkness, police said.
“It’s hard to think about … we had just been inside having a good time. It’s really hard to believe,” said Ayalla Ingram, 24, who was walking with Lino moments before the accident.
“The car didn’t even slow down,” Taylor added. “It actually looked like it sped up (after it hit her).”
Lino worked for UPS and was a caregiver for her 20-year-old sister, who has Down Syndrome, and was also raising the young child of an ex, reports said.
Police arrested Leroy Forest, of the Bronx, the day after the crash. According to court records, Forest was charged with leaving the scene of an accident resulting in injury, a Class D felony punishable by up to seven years in jail, and which also allows for no jail time, or probation. Leaving the scene is the sole charge against Forest — he was not charged by District Attorney Robert Johnson for killing Lino.
At least three other city pedestrians, two in Queens and one in Staten Island, were killed by hit-and-run drivers in August, according to crash data compiled by Streetsblog. Two of the motorists were not immediately identified or apprehended. The third crash killed Kyrillos Gendy, 5, who was struck along with his mother and 7-year-old sister in Dongan Hills. The driver in that case was also charged with leaving the scene, but not for causing death or injury.
News 12 reports that a number of Lino’s friends went to the Bronx County Hall of Justice last Friday for Forest’s court appearance. His next court date is scheduled for October 10. Forest is free on $5,000 bail.
This fatal crash occurred in the 41st Precinct. To voice your concerns about neighborhood traffic safety directly to Captain Philip P. Rivera, the commanding officer, go to the next precinct community council meeting. The 41st Precinct council meetings happen at 7 p.m. on the first Thursday of the month at the precinct, 1035 Longwood Avenue. Call 718-542-7964 for information.
The City Council district where Abigail Lino was killed is represented by James Vacca. To encourage Vacca to take action to improve street safety in his district and citywide, contact him at 212-788-7375, firstname.lastname@example.org or @JamesVacca13.