Driver Charged Under ROW Law After Killing Teresa Martinelli, 79, in Midtown

Teresa Martinelli was fatally injured by a motorist at Second Avenue and E. 58th Street on July 1.
Teresa Martinelli was fatally injured by a motorist at Second Avenue and E. 58th Street on July 1. Image: Google Maps

A senior hit by a driver in Midtown earlier this month has died. NYPD charged the driver with violating the victim’s right of way.

Teresa Martinelli, 79, was “knocked out of her floral print shoes” when Mieczyslaw Truskowski hit her with a Toyota pick-up truck as she crossed at Second Avenue and E. 58th Street at around 11 a.m. on July 1, the Daily News reported.

“She was breathing but bleeding out of her ears and mouth,” a witness told the News. “Her feet were underneath the truck. One leg was mangled, the other broken. I rushed up to her but didn’t dare move her. I wanted to try to help if I could, but there wasn’t much help to give.”

The location of Truskowski’s truck in a Daily News photo suggests he was turning left from southbound Second onto E. 58th, which is one-way eastbound, when the collision occurred.

Martinelli was transported to New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center in critical condition. The NYPD public information office told Streetsblog she died from her injuries.

Police arrested 63-year-old Truskowski and charged him with failing to yield, according to NYPD.

DOT’s proposed treatment for Second Avenue at E. 58th and E. 59th streets. Image: DOT
DOT’s proposed treatment for Second Avenue at E. 58th and E. 57th streets. Image: DOT

Forty-two people were injured in traffic crashes at Second Avenue and E. 58th from 2009 to 2015, according to city data. Eleven of the victims were pedestrians struck by motorists.

The crash site is located along the gap in the protected bike lane on Second Avenue, which DOT allowed to persist for years. Now the agency is moving forward to close some but not all of the gapnarrowing the crossing distance for pedestrians and adding a pedestrian island at this intersection.

Teresa Martinelli was killed in the 17th Precinct, and in the City Council district represented by Dan Garodnick, who has encouraged NYPD to concentrate on ticketing cyclists on the Upper East Side.

With reporting by David Meyer

  • notsurprised

    Do we have any clarification on when NYPD chooses to apply this law? It seems like this situation is extremely similar to what happened here (in which no charges were filed): http://www.streetsblog.org/2016/07/08/driver-who-killed-senior-in-queens-crosswalk-not-charged-with-a-crime/

  • Brad Aaron

    No.

  • Beth

    This is all so sad. Her husband of more than 60 years lives by himself now.
    She was so full of life, taking a walk that day and her life just ended in a horrible way. No charges. It’s like Terry was worth nothing. This driver will go on living without any remorse for killing someone. This is not right.

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