Just after 6:45 a.m. yesterday, Xiaoci Hu, 75, of Sunset Park was walking south along the east side of Seventh Avenue when he was struck and killed in a two-car crash while crossing 65th Street. The intersection is wide, with multiple lanes in each direction, and is a busy route for drivers coming to and from the Gowanus Expressway.
Police say a 54-year-old man driving a gray Toyota Camry eastbound on 65th Street with the traffic signal slowed to allow Hu to cross, but was rear-ended by a 52-year-old man driving a red Jeep Cherokee. The Camry lurched forward, striking Hu. He was taken to Lutheran Medical Center in serious condition, but pronounced dead on arrival.
Alcohol or other impaired driving does not appear to be a factor in the crash, though NYPD would not say whether speeding or distracted driving were involved. Both drivers stayed on the scene, and there have been so summonses issued or charges filed as a result of the crash.
This is the first pedestrian fatality of 2014, but not the first traffic fatality of the new year: One person was killed in a crash on the Long Island Expressway at the Queens-Nassau County border early yesterday morning. On Wednesday, an SUV passenger was killed in an early-morning crash on the LIE in Queens. Hours later, a Staten Island man was killed behind the wheel by a hit-and-run driver.
The crash that killed Xiaoci Hu occurred in the 68th Precinct. To voice your concerns about neighborhood traffic safety directly to Deputy Inspector Richard G. DiBlasio, the precinct’s commanding officer, go to the next community council meeting. The 68th Precinct council meetings happen at 7:00 p.m. on the third Tuesday of the month at the precinct, 333 65th Street. Call the precinct at 718-439-4229 for information.
The City Council district where Xiaoci Hu was killed is represented by Carlos Menchaca, who was endorsed by StreetsPAC and elected to the council in November. To encourage Menchaca to take action to improve street safety in his district and citywide, contact him at 212-788-7768 or @cmenchaca.