80-Year-Old Pedestrian and MTA Bus Driver Killed in Separate Crashes

Senior Margarita Seda was killed in the middle of the day by a driver making a left turn at at a signalized intersection with marked crosswalks. He was cited for careless driving and failure to yield. Image: Google Maps
Senior Margarita Seda was killed in the middle of the day by a driver making a left turn at a signalized intersection with marked crosswalks. The driver was cited for careless driving and failure to yield. The red arrow represents the movement of the driver and the white arrow the movement of the victim, according to reports. Image: Google Maps

In the last 24 hours, an 80-year-old pedestrian and an MTA bus driver were killed in crashes in Brooklyn and Manhattan.

At around 1:35 p.m. Tuesday, Margarita Seda was struck by the driver of a GMC vehicle as she crossed Grand Street at Graham Avenue in Williamsburg, according to WCBS and the Daily News. WCBS reported that Seda was crossing Grand north to south when the driver, traveling north on Graham, struck her while making a left turn onto Grand. Seda suffered head injuries and died at Bellevue Hospital.

The unnamed motorist was summonsed for careless driving and failure to yield to a pedestrian.

Grand Street and Graham Avenue are two-lane streets that meet at a signalized intersection, and there is strong evidence that the victim was in the crosswalk and had a walk signal, based on published reports and the fact that NYPD cited the driver. If it occurred as described, yesterday’s crash appears nearly identical to the one that killed Maude Savage, the 72-year-old who was hit by an unlicensed driver last November while crossing with the signal at Sutter and Euclid Avenues in East New York. The man who killed Savage was charged criminally, but only because he was driving without a license.

This type of crash is not rare. At least 30 NYC pedestrians and cyclists have been killed by turning motorists since January 2013, and for the most part the drivers were breaking the law by failing to yield. As we wrote after Savage’s death, that this deadly behavior does not apparently meet the standard of criminal negligence is a sign that New York’s criminal justice system is failing to hold drivers accountable for killing law-abiding pedestrians.

The crash that killed Margarita Seda occurred in the City Council district represented by Antonio Reynoso, and in the 90th Precinct, where in 2013 local officers cited 35 drivers for failing to yield to pedestrians, and wrote 311 speeding tickets.

The driver of a stolen truck crashed into an MTA bus, killing the bus driver and injuring three others, including a food vendor who was on the sidewalk at Seventh Avenue and W. 14th Street. Photo: Daily News
The driver of a stolen truck crashed into an MTA bus, killing the bus driver and injuring three others, including a food vendor who was on the sidewalk at Seventh Avenue and W. 14th Street. Photo: Daily News

At approximately 5:30 this morning, the driver of a stolen box truck slammed into an M14 bus at Seventh Avenue and W. 14th Street, sending both vehicles onto the sidewalk and into scaffolding above a subway entrance.

According to the Daily News and the Times, bus driver William Pena died at the scene, and two people on the bus and a food vendor were injured, two critically. The driver of the box truck had minor injuries and was arrested. From the News:

“It was a big noise. My cousin was inside the food cart,” said Ehmad Shehata, 29, who was also slinging food nearby and rushed to the accident scene.

[Ashraf] Marei, a father of five who lives in Astoria, suffered burns on his body after the cart’s water line spewed steaming water onto his body, Shehata said.

“He was screaming,” his cousin said. “Hot water burned his body.”

The News reported that the truck driver was being chased by police, but the MTA press office had no knowledge that NYPD was involved. The Times said the driver of the truck hit a cab and a three-wheeled scooter before hitting the bus, and that no one was injured in those collisions.

  • Eric McClure

    Killing a pedestrian crossing with the light and right of way in a left-turn, failure-to-yield crash should be a felony might a hefty jail sentence. It’s not an “accident.” It’s gross negligence.

  • KillMoto

    Here’s a rule-of-two for the driver of the stolen box truck:
    “Felony Murder”.

  • com63

    I see you guys saw my post about the daily news arrows in “Today’s Headlines” 🙂 Keep up the good work! It is always good to try to reconstruct accidents based on news reports since it makes the negligence so obvious.

  • Kevin Love

    In almost every modern country except the USA, it is criminal negligence and punished appropriately. For example, here is the law in Canada, where the criminals who killed Mr. Penna and Mrs. Seda would now be looking at 14 years in jail.

    Note that there is no requirement for a judge or jury to be a mind reader; the word “intent” does not appear in the law. Nor is there any requirement for a judge or jury to be amateur clergymen and assess the criminal’s level of wickedness or moral character. From:

    http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Canadian_Criminal_Sentencing/Offences/Dangerous_Operation_of_a_Motor_Vehicle

    “Dangerous operation of motor vehicles, vessels and aircraft
    249. (1) Every one commits an offence who operates

    (a) a motor vehicle in a manner that is dangerous to the public, having regard to all the circumstances, including the nature, condition and use of the place at which the motor vehicle is being operated and the amount of traffic that at the time is or might reasonably be expected to be at that place;

    …Snip of bits dealing with boats and aircraft…

    (4) Every one who commits an offence under subsection (1) and thereby causes the death of any other person is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years.”

  • Alex

    Mrs. Seda was my grandmother and she was a good hearted person and did not deserve this from this idiot driver.

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The Weekly Carnage

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The Weekly Carnage is a Friday round-up of motor vehicle violence across the five boroughs. For more on the origins and purpose of this column, please read About the Weekly Carnage. Fatal Crashes (5 Killed This Week; 26 This Year; 1 Driver Charged*) Williamsburg: Margarita Seda, 80, Struck by Turning Driver on Grand Street; No Charges (Streetsblog) East New […]

The Weekly Carnage

|
The Weekly Carnage is a Friday round-up of motor vehicle violence across the five boroughs. For more on the origins and purpose of this column, please read About the Weekly Carnage. Fatal Crashes (7 Killed This Week; 139 This Year*) East Elmhurst: Melania Ward, 55, Killed by MTA Bus Driver on Astoria Blvd.; No Charges (Streetsblog) UWS: Cydney […]