Driver Kills 80-Year-Old in Midtown Precinct That Barely Enforces Speeding

W. 57th Street at Seventh Avenue, where a driver hit and killed 80-year-old Richard Headley. Image: Google Maps
W. 57th Street at Seventh Avenue, where a driver hit and killed 80-year-old Richard Headley. Image: Google Maps

A motorist killed an 80-year-old man walking in a Midtown police precinct that rarely enforces the speed limit. NYPD and District Attorney Cy Vance filed no charges.

Richard Headley was crossing W. 57th Street at Seventh Avenue at around 8 p.m. Sunday when a 23-year-old man, driving eastbound on W. 57th, hit him with an Audi sedan, Gothamist reported.

Inspector John B. Hart, CO of the Midtown North Precinct. Precinct officers ticket a motorist for speeding about once a day, on average.
Inspector John B. Hart, CO of the Midtown North Precinct. Precinct officers ticket a motorist for speeding about once a day, on average.

Anonymous “police and sources” told the Daily News the octogenarian “was not in the crosswalk when he was struck.” As usual, the actions of the motorist who took the victim’s life — how fast he was driving, if he was distracted, how he failed to avoid striking an 80-year-old in the street in front of him — were not addressed.

Headley died in the hospital on Monday. The driver who killed him was not charged criminally and did not receive a traffic ticket.

Headley was killed in the Midtown North/18th Precinct, where officers ticketed 80 drivers for speeding this year as of March. The precinct issued just 183 speeding summonses in 2015.

Motorists have killed at least three people walking in the Midtown North Precinct since last August, according to crash data compiled by Streetsblog. Crash data mapped by the city show Midtown North ranks among the worst precincts in terms of density of traffic injuries.

If you’d like to voice your concerns about traffic violence to Inspector John B. Hart, commanding officer of Midtown North, the precinct community council meets on the third Tuesday of the month at 7:00 p.m. at the station house, 306 W. 54th Street. Call 212-767-8447 for information.

Richard Headley was killed in the City Council district represented by Dan Garodnick.

  • Oh come on, we all know 80 year olds are known for darting into traffic. They are known for moving so quickly after all.

  • Jeffrey Baker
  • Jason

    You’ve got it all wrong. It’s their fault for moving so slowly that it confuses drivers into thinking that they must be looking at someone moving faster than they actually are.

  • vnm

    “the actions of the motorist who took the victim’s life — how fast he was driving, if he was distracted, how he failed to avoid striking an 80-year-old in the street in front of him — were not addressed.”

    This got me thinking. When news reporters are writing about motor vehicle fatalities, it seems like their first question must be: Was the pedestrian in the crosswalk? They might follow up with: Was the driver drunk? The questions they actually should be asking are: 1) What did the driver do to avoid hitting the pedestrian? 2) Why didn’t those measures work? 3) Was the driver speeding or distracted?

    What can be done to help shift the mindset of news reporters to get them to focus on the actions of the person operating the multi-ton lethal vehicle, and not on the person who isn’t available to speak for themselves?

  • walks bikes drives

    Had the pedestrian been in the crosswalk, police would have issued the mandatory $10 fine, but since the pedestrian was 30 feet from the crosswalk, the driver who plowed into him with enough force to send him flying 32 feet was told to have a good day.

  • Vooch

    the victim was hit while in crosswalk the speeding killer driver Knocked & Dragged the victim Out of crosswalk

  • So it would seem that where the victim was hit plays a critical role in whether motorist is charged after all.
    “Cabbie Faces Right of Way Charges for Critically Injuring Midtown Pedestrian,” May 18, 2015: ” [Cabby was charged with failure to exercise due care and failure to yield to a pedestrian, misdemeanor charges under the city’s Right of Way Law. His hack license was “immediately suspended” under Cooper’s Law, the Taxi and Limousine Commission told Streetsblog…..”

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