Xiaoci Hu, 75, Killed in Sunset Park — NYC’s First Pedestrian Fatality of 2014

This is the crosswalk at Seventh Avenue and 65th Street where Xiaoci Hu, 75, was killed this morning. Photo: Google Maps
The crosswalk at Seventh Avenue and 65th Street where Xiaoci Hu, 75, was killed this morning. Photo: Google Maps

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.

  • Ben Kintisch

    A quick look at this intersection shows a very long crossing distance for pedestrians. Are there countdown signals for pedestrians? Maybe we could put sidewalk extensions at each of the four corners to shorten crossing distances and reduce the likelihood of future tragedies.

  • red_greenlight1

    No summons huh? Meet the new and improved NYPD now with an “Intensive Focus on traffic issues.”

  • JamesR

    It’s literally been 2 days. Come on.

  • red_greenlight1

    Yes but the clock is literally ticking. http://rightofway.org/VisionZeroClock/ And it doesn’t take two days to order cops to write citations or if applicable make arrests for running over pedestrians.

  • oscarfrye

    Worth noting that he was crossing mid-block. The first car did stop to avoid him, but was then rear ended from behind. Considering today’s weather conditions, tough to call this one reckless driving.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/brooklyn/man-75-struck-killed-crossing-street-brooklyn-article-1.1564321

  • BornAgainBicyclist

    How is not slowing for a vehicle stopped in front of you not reckless? How do you not notice what is going on directly in front of you unless you aren’t paying attention?

  • oscarfrye

    How is crossing mid-block in that area not reckless? Step out of your car-hatred for 2 seconds and take into account yesterday’s weather conditions.

  • ollie

    Driving too fast for conditions is reckless. Just because he was crossing mid-block doesn’t mean the driver wasn’t going too fast, following too close, etc. If you’re driving in a busy area in bad conditions, slowing down and allowing greater following distance isn’t just common sense it’s the law.

  • Andrew

    It takes a lot longer than two days to change a culture. Let’s see how things change over time.

  • Andrew

    Perhaps both parties share the blame.

  • BornAgainBicyclist

    I said nothing about the victim but in fact I do believe that drivers have a greater moral responsibility to exercise greater caution because they have greater capacity to cause harm to other road users.

    That’s common sense and elemental civility, not car hatred.

    You appear willing to blame the victim and exonerate a driver who by definition, because she/he did not stop for another vehicle stopped in the roadway, was driving too fast for conditions and not paying sufficient attention given conditions.

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