Hit-and-Run Driver Not Charged in Death of Queens Pedestrian Mosa Khatun

A hit-and-run driver who fatally struck a woman in Jamaica last night will not be charged with a crime, according to NYPD.

Police say the driver who killed Mosa Khatun returned after leaving the scene, but did not know she had hit someone. No charges were filed. Photo: Daily News
NYPD says the driver who killed Mosa Khatun returned after leaving the scene, but did not know she had hit someone. No charges were filed. Photo: Daily News

Mosa Khatun, 38, was struck by the driver of a Nissan SUV at the corner of Highland Avenue and 169th Street at around 10:20 p.m., according to NYPD and the Daily News:

Emergency responders rushed to the scene and found the woman on the pavement with traumatic injuries to her body, officials said.

She was taken to Queens General Hospital in critical condition, but died there a short time later, officials said.

The News reported that the driver left the scene and “returned about an hour later to talk with police.” An NYPD spokesperson confirmed this account, and said the motorist, whose name is being withheld by the department, “Wasn’t aware she’d hit someone.”

It is not clear why the driver returned to the crash site if she did not know a crash occurred. Nevertheless, while NYPD issued summonses for careless driving and failure to yield to a pedestrian, police filed no charges for leaving the scene. As of this morning, approximately 12 hours after Mosa Khatun was killed, NYPD had concluded its investigation.

Leaving the scene of an injury crash is a class D felony in New York State, punishable by up to seven years in jail. Yet drivers in New York City routinely escape penalty simply by claiming they “didn’t see” their deceased victims. As in this case, rather than allowing the justice system to determine innocence or guilt, police and prosecutors often decline to pursue charges.

According to Transportation Alternatives, of some 300 investigations conducted by the NYPD Collision Investigation Squad in 2012, around 60 involved hit-and-run drivers, and just 15 of those investigations resulted in arrest. In December the City Council passed legislation requiring NYPD to post quarterly reports on hit-and-run crashes that result in “critical” injury.

Khatun was at least the third pedestrian killed in New York City traffic since Bill Bratton succeeded Ray Kelly as NYPD commissioner. No drivers are known to have been charged for those deaths.

This fatal crash occurred in the 107th Precinct, which does not have much interest in enforcing laws that make it safer to walk and bike. To voice your concerns about neighborhood traffic safety directly to Captain Frederick Grover, the commanding officer, go to the next precinct community council meeting. The 107th Precinct council meetings happen at 8 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of the month at the precinct, 71-01 Parsons Boulevard. Call 718-969-5973 for information.

The City Council district where Mosa Khatun was killed is represented by Rory Lancman. To encourage Lancman to take action to improve street safety in his district and citywide, contact him at 212-788-6956 or on Twitter.

  • anon

    What happened to Bratton taking traffic violence seriously? It’s not NYPD’s job to serve as judge and jury.

  • Hart Noecker

    He lied.

  • StepUpAndSaySomething

    So far he and Bill are just talk. Let’s see if they have any backbone. I’m disappointed so far, but will give them some time to get their stuff together. If they prove to be as corrupt as the rest, we need to send them packing.

    Progressives have leaned with Obama, that just because the right guy gets elected (out of the few options) that doesn’t mean he will do the right thing (drones, NSA, Manning, etc.). Bill’s own supporters need to keep pushing hard for change. Our work is only starting with his taking office.

  • anon

    She killed someone with her car. At the very least, her license should be suspended until it can be shown that she isn’t a danger when behind the wheel. Probably impound the car too, make sure she doesn’t use it.

    Going after her for speeding off though? Meh. She panicked, realized what she did was wrong, and came back in less than an hour. Not enough time for drugs or alcohol to vacate her system. Unless you think she’s taking the fall for a drunk friend or something, I’d let this slide. It doesn’t seem nearly as bad as actually killing someone.

  • JamesR

    when operating a 3,000lb+ vehicle, an incident resulting from ‘not seeing something’ should NEVER be an excuse. EVER. How would we all react if an airline pilot ‘didn’t see something’ and collided with another aircraft, or botched a landing, etc? There would be outrage, NTSB investigations, etc. The onus must always be on the pilot/driver to be spatially aware of what they and their vehicle are doing at any given moment in time. Why does the law fail to reflect this?

  • Brad Aaron

    A motorist who hits a person is often in the best position to summon help or render aid. Many times the driver is the only person who is conscious at the scene.

    This is one reason why leaving someone to die in the street is a felony. It’s also usually the only charge issued for hit-and-run fatalities, if any charge is issued at all.

    Letting these gruesome deaths “slide” is a good way to ensure they keep happening.

  • Reader

    Come on. It’s January 6th.

  • anon

    Should injuring someone and then leaving them to die in the streets be seen as so much worse a crime then killing them with your car in the first place?

  • Brad Aaron

    No, it shouldn’t be. But the remedy is to criminalize killing with vehicles, period, not lighten up on fatal hit-and-runs.

  • Brad Aaron

    On the other hand, some (including yours truly) gave Cy Vance a grace period of six months or more. That was a mistake.

  • Tell that to the family of the victim.

  • P Chetram

    This driver should have been charged with murder. Why the hell the left the scene and then return an hour later. She took an innocent live there and she claim she didn’t realize she hit someone. How can you not realize you hit someone? If the driver was paying attention to the road then maybe she could of avoid this . She is be charger. The victim could of been me , you, your child , mother , spouse , etc.

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