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.
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.