NYC Motorists Killed Three Pedestrians on City Sidewalks Today

Three pedestrians were killed on NYC sidewalks today in two separate crashes. Just before 7:30 a.m. on Queens Boulevard in Elmhurst, a 22-year-old man driving a new Camaro ran over and killed two men on the sidewalk, and just before 1 p.m., a woman was killed on an East Harlem corner after a taxi driver struck a box truck, which careened onto the sidewalk. So far, no charges have been filed, though witnesses say the Queens Boulevard driver was speeding and the East Harlem cabbie ran a red light, according to reports.

The driver of a yellow 2014 Chevrolet Camaro was heading westbound on Queens Boulevard when he crashed into two parked vehicles at Van Loon Street before jumping the curb and striking a phone booth, a lamp post, and two pedestrians — Man Chit Cheng, 59, and Muang Lin, 41 — who died at Elmhurst Hospital, according to FDNY.

Cheng, identified by the Post as Min Tin Cheng, was walking to work at a nearby construction site. He is survived by a wife and four grown children.

The driver, who has not been identified by police, was also transported to Elmhurst Hospital with minor injuries and is now in police custody on two outstanding warrants for failure to appear in court to face previous unspecified charges. The Collision Investigation Squad is investigating, and as of yet no charges have been filed relating to this crash. According to Gothamist, witnesses say the driver was speeding and crashed when he attempted to brake.

“The driver must’ve been speeding,” Council Member Danny Dromm told Streetsblog, adding that while speeding enforcement in the precinct has increased dramatically over last year, it’s not enough. “It’s going to take a while for it to sink in for drivers,” he said. “When people find out where speed cams or red light cams are, drivers take note and obey the law.” Dromm urged NYPD to take the investigation of these two men’s deaths seriously, and pointed to a march scheduled for tomorrow evening in his district to protest pedestrian deaths in Jackson Heights. “This is something that we can’t fool around with anymore,” he said. “We have to change people’s mentality on this. This is totally unacceptable.”

The crash occurred in the 110th Precinct, which issued 198 speeding tickets in September, the latest month for which information is available. Through the end of September, the precinct had issued 2,243 speeding tickets so far this year [PDF]. To voice your concerns about neighborhood traffic safety directly to Deputy Inspector Ronald D. Leyson, the commanding officer, go to the next precinct community council meeting. The 110th Precinct council meetings happen at 7:00 p.m. on the third Monday of the month at the Flander’s Field VFW Post #150, 51-11 108th Street. Call 718-476-9311 for information.

At 12:51 p.m., a taxi driver traveling westbound on East 102nd Street crashed into a box truck traveling southbound on Park Avenue, sending the truck into the southwest corner of the intersection, where it struck Olga Rivera, 65, who was standing on the sidewalk. She was pronounced dead at Mount Sinai Hospital.

As many as four other people were taken to Mount Sinai and Weill Cornell Medical Center, including the driver of the taxi and his two passengers. FDNY says three were in critical condition, and one was classified as serious. NYPD said the agency does not believe any of the injuries are life-threatening. According to WCBS and WPIX, police are looking into whether the cabbie ran a red light, but NYPD would only say that CIS is investigating and no charges have been filed.

“This corridor along the Park Avenue viaduct is a critical area of concern in my district for pedestrian safety,” Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito said in a statement, adding that she will soon be following up with DOT on pedestrian safety changes she suggested for Park Avenue earlier this year.

The crash occurred in the 23rd Precinct, which issued only 39 speeding tickets so far this year through the end of September. The precinct issued 35 tickets for red-light running in September, and a total of 277 this year as of October 1 [PDF]. To voice your concerns about neighborhood traffic safety directly to Captain Eric Pagan, the commanding officer, go to the next precinct community council meeting. The 23rd Precinct council meetings happen at 6:00 p.m. on the third Thursday of the month at the 23rd Precinct, 164 East 102nd Street. Call 212-860-6411 for information.

Last week, three pedestrians were killed by curb-jumping drivers in Fort GreeneWakefield, and Mott Haven. Charges have been filed in two of those cases, but NYPD has declined to charge the driver who, according to witnesses, ran a stop sign before killing a Mott Haven senior.

  • Eric McClure

    Mayor de Blasio’s first act on January 1 needs to be the release of a detailed plan for achieving Vision Zero. The carnage on our streets needs to stop.

  • Reader

    Not only that, but he needs to get out there and forcefully declare that these tragedies must stop. If three New Yorkers were killed by guns in one day, you can be sure he’d issue a statement.

  • QueensWatcher

    The 110th is actually one of the few Precincts in the City that is making at least some effort to ticket speeding motorists, but even then, the design of Queens Blvd, which has more in common with a highway than a street running through densely populated residential areas and shopping districts [The super busy Queens Center Mall is just a couple blocks form this crash site] virtually guarantees that drivers will continue to speed and take lives. There is a whole toolkit of design ideas that can be implemented along the Boulevard to slows cars down, provide more pedestrians space, more green space and make traffic patterns more predictable. We can stop these deaths, but there is a lack of will by DOT and the City to do what is needed. Please call and write to your elected officials and the DOT today and ask them to redesign Queens Blvd.

  • Guest

    It’s time to aggressively redesign our streets. Citywide.

    Come on De Blasio, how many more New Yorkers need to die?

  • Eric McClure

    Make it four. Reports in recently of a pedestrian struck and killed at Hylan Boulevard and Bay Street on Staten Island. It’s a pandemic.

  • And yet the tactics don’t change. In Woodside we saw three cyclists get red light tickets (a t-interesection) on Sklilman Avenue in Queens today by the park. Yes, they did it. They deserve the tickets. But you’ll never see NYPD write tickets there to drivers. And will any of these motorists that mounted a curb even get a ticket for anything?

  • Joseph

    can u share a link for the fourth death?

  • Eric McClure

    Joseph, turns out it was not a fatality, though the police scanner reported it as such last night: http://www.streetsblog.org/2013/11/12/senior-critically-injured-by-driver-on-hylan-boulevard-last-night/.

    Doesn’t sound good, though.

  • SaintMarx

    Agreed. “Calming” street design is necessary. That may include speed bumps and adjusting the timing of lights, etc.

    And the obvious: proper enforcement. That includes ticketing, but revocation of licenses as well for reckless drivers.

  • Canonchet

    Twice in the past five years I’ve been hit by a motor vehicle while cycling in a marked NYC bike lane, collisions which sent me to the emergency room in an ambulance, and which were witnessed by passing pedestrians who volunteered to wait and give statements to the police officers summoned to the scene that I was in the bike lane obeying all traffic rules and the driver of the vehicle drove at speed into the lane and was wholly at fault. In neither case would the officer even agree to take the statements of these willing witnesses. Nor were any traffic tickets issued against the driver. The most recent of these cases was ten days ago, Nov. 2nd, on the off-road Hudson River Greenway bike path, when I was hit head-on by a “New York On-Board” bus making an illegal crossing against the light into the Pier 83 parking lot from the West Side Highway.

  • donaldhump

    It’s similar to when business owners get fines for having some litter in front of their stores…. but the people who throw the litter on the ground never get a ticket. The city always does what is easiest to make money.

  • donaldhump

    The mayor needs to stop worrying about what we eat, but more about how safe we are just walking on the sidewalks in the city.

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