NYPD: No ROW Charge for Driver Who Killed Moshe Grun in UWS Crosswalk

A driver turning left fatally struck Moshe Grun as he crossed Broadway at W. 62nd Street, where motorists are required by law to yield to pedestrians. The white arrows represent Grun’s path through the intersection — it is unknown if he was walking east or west — and the red arrow indicates the path of the driver. Image: Google Maps
A driver turning left fatally struck Moshe Grun as he crossed Broadway at W. 62nd Street, where motorists are required by law to yield to pedestrians. The white arrows represent Grun’s path through the intersection — it is unclear if he was walking east or west — and the red arrow indicates the path of the driver. Image: Google Maps

Will NYPD file Right of Way Law charges against a driver who fatally struck Moshe Grun in an Upper West Side crosswalk? A sergeant from the 20th Precinct wouldn’t answer that question, denying Grun had died before deferring to an investigator who was on vacation.

Grun, 59, was crossing Broadway at W. 62nd Street, in the marked crosswalk, when the westbound driver of a commercial van hit him while turning left onto southbound Broadway, according to reports and photos from the scene.

From JP Updates:

FDNY responded to the scene and found Grun trapped under the van. After rescuing him he was transported to St. Luke’s Hospital in cardiac arrest, with serious leg and head injuries.

The crash happened on June 1 at around 7 p.m. Grun died after three days in the hospital, JP Updates reported.

“The man was crossing and the van smashed into him,” a witness told the Daily News.

The News reported that, according to anonymous police sources, Grun was “crossing against the light.” But if the driver had a green light, Grun should have had a walk signal. Photos from the scene show the van in the Broadway crosswalk on the south side of the intersection.

The Post, DNAinfo, and WNBC also reported the crash, and none indicated Grun was violating traffic rules.

The driver was identified as a 38-year-old Brooklyn resident. Though police blamed the victim in the press, as with virtually all traffic crashes that result in injury or death, NYPD withheld the driver’s name.

At a meeting of the Community Board 7 transportation committee last Wednesday, board member Ken Coughlin asked Sgt. Felicia Montgomery about the status of the investigation. “First, she denied that Mr. Grun had in fact died, saying that the precinct had received no word of this,” Coughlin told Streetsblog via email. “When I asked whether the police intended to press charges against the driver, who very clearly failed to yield, she said the Collision Investigation Squad guy in charge, an Inspector Johnson, has gone on vacation.”

As of today, no arrests have been made in connection with the crash, according to the NYPD public information office.

The Right of Way Law, a major component of Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero initiative to reduce traffic deaths, makes it a misdemeanor for drivers to harm pedestrians and cyclists who are following traffic rules. The Daily News recently reported that NYPD and city district attorneys have filed Right of Way Law charges just 31 times since the law took effect last August.

  • Joe R.

    I obviously mean limited access highways only here. Two lane country highways are statistically the most dangerous roads, even at present speed limits.

  • scastro87

    Is there any reason to think more than a handful of motor vehicle on pedestrian incidents every year in the entire country are intentional?

  • scastro87

    Sure plenty are, but it’s possible that they’re not. There are a lot more factors that go into driving in a crowded city than treating a gun with care.

  • scastro87

    That’s wrong. Pedestrian behavior could be easily contributory if not 100%. Walking around NYC as I do every single day, you see pedestrians constantly ignoring traffic singles, walking into traffic while looking at their phones etc. In those cases, it’s possible the driver was also negligent in some way, but it’s not like you can place 100% of the fault on ONLY the driver.

  • scastro87

    It’s certainly possible. I’ve almost gotten run over before because I wasn’t paying attention and walked into the street without paying attention.

  • scastro87

    How can it possibly be that every driver (or nearly every driver) is 100% responsible? You’ve gone the farthest of the many anti-car people here.

  • scastro87

    I’ve long stopped talking about Grun’s specific case and starting talking generally.

  • scastro87

    You don’t believe in following Walk/Don’t walk traffic signals and cross whenever you want? That’s incredibly inconsiderate and dangerous. Good luck to you.

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