Driver Kills Jazmine Marin, 13, Near Ozone Park School; NYPD Blames Victim

A driver hit two teenagers, killing 13-year-old Jazmine Marin, at Cross Bay Boulevard at 149th Avenue in Ozone Park this morning. NYPD filed no charges against the driver and blamed the victims in the press. Image: Google Maps
A driver hit two teenagers, killing 13-year-old Jazmine Marin, at Cross Bay Boulevard at 149th Avenue in Ozone Park this morning. NYPD filed no charges against the driver and blamed the victims in the press. Image: Google Maps

Update: The motorist who killed Marin and injured the second victim was driving an early 1980s Chevrolet El Camino with a racing hood scoop, per a Daily News photo from the scene.

A motorist hit two teenagers near a school in Ozone Park this morning, killing a 13-year-old girl and injuring the second victim.

Jazmine Marin. Photo via Daily News
Jazmine Marin. Photo via Daily News

Jazmine Marin and another girl were walking east across Cross Bay Boulevard at 149th Avenue at around 6:40 a.m. when a 55-year-old man hit them with a Chevrolet sedan, NYPD told Gothamist.

Marin sustained head trauma and died at Jamaica Hospital. The second victim was hospitalized with a leg injury.

Cross Bay Boulevard at 149th Avenue is a wide street designed to facilitate fast driving. A motorist killed 59-year-old pedestrian Francisco Camacho at the intersection in 2012.

The victims of today’s crash were approaching a nearby middle school, but it’s unknown if they were students there.

NYPD withheld the driver’s identity and blamed the children in the press. From the Daily News:

The 55-year-old driver of the sedan remained at the scene. It appeared that he had the green light at the time and that the girls were crossing outside of a crosswalk, police sources said.

No charges were filed. Anonymous police sources told WNBC “no criminality is suspected.”

Jazmine Marin was killed in the 106th Precinct, where officers had ticketed 372 drivers for speeding this year as of September, and in the City Council district represented by Eric Ulrich.

  • Jesse

    You’re not playing anymore?

  • Screanam

    You’re a MOD and you’re insighting that kind of talk on a forum? Nice. Courage has nothing to do with anythiing here. Sometimes the most objective and unabashed facts come out of anonymity.
    Not having to fear some idiot coming to my house because he doesn’t like my opinion, or can’t face facts.
    Why do you think there are “secret ballots” and votiing is confiidentiial?
    I knew the Mom died of cancer. It doesn’t change anything.

  • Steve Dwyer

    That’s never going to work and it’ll be such a pain in the ass people won’t ride bikes any more. Put the crossing guard there. Even know they’re 13 they need the guard. When I was young 1983 1984 it was Pitkin Avenue that was bad. Crossbay needs a guard now, that’s it

  • joyauto

    Let me ask you question. When you became a pedestrian did you have to pass a written test and walk test” Were you given a manual to teach you how to be a safe pedestrian? But as a driver you were expected to pass all those elements. So why are you so demanding of pedestrians when YOU THE DRIVER ARE THE RESPONSIBLE PARTY???

  • joyauto

    Or maybe you should be retrained to look far ahead and scan the road for potential hazards!!

  • joyauto

    Take GNEISS’ advice. The basic speed law has nothing to do with speed limits. Driving 101. You need re-training.

  • joyauto

    WRONG! If you plan on killing people with your vehicle, then you shouldn’t be driving!

  • joyauto

    Accident, my foot! This was a crash and avoidable. But then that would require drivers to concerned more about safety than speed.

  • Miles Bader

    Banning cars would indeed be an effective solution, and if drivers are completely unable to act responsibly (‘Murika!), may be the only one.

  • Miles Bader

    More to the point, WTF is there an eight-lane road near a school…? Or near any human habitation?

  • Vooch

    city streets are for people not hulking death machines. People always have priority in the city. operators of Hulking death machines should always expect people to dart out in front of them and slow down to safe speeds.

    Safe driving speeds where people are present is under 20 MPH.

  • qrt145

    “All the enforcement and safety enhancements in the world aren’t going to change some things.”

    Oh, but they do change lots of things. That’s why cities that take these things seriously have traffic death rates five or more times lower than cities that don’t.

  • ItsEasyBeingGreen

    When it’s easier and quicker to cross the street at a designated crosswalk, people are more likely to use that crosswalk and to cross with the light.

  • JudenChino

    People always say, “but this isn’t Amsterdam,” but what you’re describing comports with my experience actually driving in Amsterdam. When I’m driving in the Centrum — I’m literally crawling in a car at 5mph just praying I don’t hit a pedestrian or someone on a bike. Just head on a swivel being hyper aware [kinda like how you have to be when you ride a bike in nyc].

  • Guest

    Good point. I was in LA last year. It was the weirdest thing. At crosswalks there might not be a car in sight in any direction, a completely dosolate intersection. Yet people will stand on a corner and WAIT for the walk sign. It wasn’t just in the better parts of the city, it was all over. It seemed to be just common practice. I’ll bet that brings the death toll down.

  • qrt145

    Actually, LA does very poorly when it comes to pedestrian safety. I blame it on their car culture, and enforcement against pedestrians is a big part of that. See for example http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-gelinas-traffic-deaths-20140622-story.html :

    “Last year, the [Stockholm] suffered only six traffic deaths, or about 1
    per 150,000 residents. New York had nearly five times that rate, and
    Los Angeles County, with somewhere around 600 traffic fatalities a year,
    had roughly nine times the death rate of Stockholm.”

    In other words, LA with all its harassment of pedestrians is twice as bad as NYC, which doesn’t care much about jaywalking.

  • QueensWatcher

    Do I really need to list all the times that the police and media have reported what happened only for actual witnesses or video to prove that they got it wrong? Yeah it was per the driver. There’s no mention of other witnesses. This is a typical pattern. We see it over and over. And that story of your’s is supposed to prove or demonstrate what exactly? No one ever said people on bikes or walking across the street get it right every time. that’s not the issue. The only thing being said here, is finish the investigation and give us complete facts before assigning blame, which is what I thought you were looking for too. At this point the facts aren’t complete. Saying the girls crossed against the light or in the middle of the street doesn’t complete the analysis. If he couldn’t see those girls on a straight, wide ass road in time to avoid or stop someone needs to question why. Maybe the answer is that the girls really did obliviously run smack into the right front corner of his car. Or maybe he was going so fast and not paying attention that he didn’t simply avoid the girls with a slight turn to the left. My point, the point of the article and other commentators, is that the police and media need to ask those questions, not just declare it was the pedestrians’ fault and leave it at that. They do it all to often.

  • Guest

    “Yeah it was per the driver. There’s no mention of other witnesses.” Wrong according to DN.

    Daily news states “Girls crossed mid-block and driver had green light according police source and witnesses”.

    What else is to investigate? They apparently got witness statements, I would assume they checked his breath and looked for skidmarks. The nearest police security cameras are at Belt Pky and in front of C-Town down towards liberty Ave. The car was an old junker prior to modern computers. If it were a modern car, they could check the drive computer and know exactly how fast he was going.

  • QueensWatcher

    Again, a pedestrian crossing against the light, mid block does not absolve a driver from seeing the pedestrian and either stopping or avoiding if possible. You don’t need cameras. You can determine force of impact, and back that to speed based on damage to vehicle and trauma to bodies. If he applied his brakes, there may be skid marks which can also be used to calculate speed. If the impact happened right by the curb that is a very different story than if the impact happens in the middle of the street – the latter potentially indicating the driver should have seen the girls in time to stop or avoid. There are formulas that you can use to determine where the car was when the girls first stepped in to the street.

    As for cameras, there is a small shopping plaza just before the intersection with 149th. One of those shops is a 24hr Cigar/Beer shop, I can guarantee you they have video cameras – in fact looking at google street view it appears to have 2 exterior cameras under the awning, and there is probably at least 1 inside looking out the front door, which just happens to face towards the intersection. So lets start there.

  • guest

    >>>Again, a pedestrian crossing against the light, mid block does not absolve a driver from seeing the pedestrian and either stopping or
    avoiding if possible.<<<
    Well, with what we have, we have to assume he wasn't breaking any laws.(That whole innocent until proven guilty problem). And as you stated, He does have an obligation to be aware and stop WHEN POSSIBLE. But sometimes it's just not possible.
    If police suspected him of any wrong doing they would have at least slapped him with a failure to yield ticket at the scene. It's an extremely common ticket that would have given them a foot in the door for future charges. It's too late for a traffic stop ticket now. And If they charge him three days later a manslaughter rap, a lawyer could easily get it thrown out.
    I think it was a pretty clear case of just a tragic accident at no fault of the driver.

  • Brad Aaron

    “It’s an extremely common ticket”

    No, it isn’t. Not in fatality cases anyway.

  • Vooch

    the Killer Used a deadly weapon.

  • Alicia

    That’s his goal, of course.

  • Andrew

    So the driver wasn’t speeding

    Source? I haven’t seen any mention of speed in any of the articles. Perhaps I missed it. Given the prevailing high speeds on Cross Bay, I’d suggest that there’s a pretty decent chance the driver was speeding. Has the NYPD bothered to look into the possibility?

    (The 106th Precinct issued less than one speeding ticket per day in September. Not much of a disincentive there.)

    and had a green light.

    So the NYPD has claimed. Perhaps true, perhaps false. There may be evidence that can support or contradict the claim – has the NYPD bothered to look for it?

    (The 106th Precinct issued 3.3 speeding tickets per day in September. Not much of a disincentive there.)

    There are, of course, other laws that apply to drivers. For example, drivers are required to exercise due care to avoid colliding with pedestrians. Was this driver exercising due care? Was he actively watching the roadway for potential hazards, such as approaching pedestrians? If he saw the pedestrians approaching, did he attempt to stop or slow down?

    Add to that, the girls were crossing mid-block against the light.

    Which is it, mid-block or against the light? It can’t be both. You’re so quick to blame the victims that you just accused them of an impossibility.

    In any event, whatever the pedestrians may or may not have done wrong, they have already been severely punished for the crime they may or may not have committed. Rather than immediately absolving the motorist of all possible wrongdoing based on no evidence whatsoever, wouldn’t it make sense to determine whether the motorist’s actions might have contributed to the outcome as well? Perhaps he is also due some sort of penalty.

    Don’t get me wrong, it’s a tragedy when a child is killed. Yet the news articles and local politicians keep hammering away at motorists(the ones with the money). I travel that stretch daily, and it’s not just there and Queens Blvd, it’s all over. I can’t tell you how many times we see pedestrians and cyclists completely oblivious to their environments. Either Eyes glued to their phones and earbuds in their ears, or just plain doing stupid things.

    Pedestrians who do stupid things endanger their own lives. Motorists who do stupid things endanger other people’s lives. Which is why I’m far more concerned with the latter.

    It is, in fact, illegal for motorists to use electronic devices while driving, for this very reason. Yet it is exceedingly commonplace, nonetheless. Funny how you don’t even mention this.

    (The 106th Precinct issued 1.5 tickets per day for cell phone use. Not much of a disincentive there.)

    The new speeding laws, and death statistics should not be brought up in these articles.

    What new speeding laws, and why on earth not?

    And I am shocked that the police pinned the fault on the kids, exactly where it belongs.

    The police routinely absolve the motorist of all wrongdoing and blame the dead or injured victim, often based solely on the testimony of the motorist or his/her passengers.

    It clearly goes against the usual, “find a way to blame the driver” agenda this administration has.

    Which city are you in? It clearly isn’t New York.

    It’s time for pedestriians to start taking responsibility for their own actions.

    @screanam:disqus , I am a pedestrian who takes my safety seriously. Yet I am accosted many times every day by motorists who choose to take liberties with my safety – they speed, they run red lights, they block crosswalks and drive on sidewalks, they roll through stop signs as I’m trying to cross, they make turns without yielding to pedestrians, to name just a few examples. What do you suggest be done about to ensure that I can arrive at my destination safely? Do you think the best approach is to tell me to take responsibility for my own actions? Or perhaps would it make more sense to hold motorists responsible for their actions for a change – to give them a real incentive ($$$) to not speed, to respect red lights, to leave crosswalks and sidewalks clear for pedestrians, to stop at stop signs and wait for pedestrians, to yield to pedestrians while turning, to recognize that their decision to operate a piece of heavy machinery on public streets comes with a weighty responsibility to do no harm with it?

  • Andrew

    The curb isn’t a 20-foot-high wall. One can see pedestrians before they step off the curb. (If one is bothering to look, that is.)

    If 30 mph is too fast for you to drive safely, then 30 mph is too fast for you to drive, regardless of the speed posted on the sign.

  • Andrew

    If you’re not expecting the unexpected, you’re not driving safely, and you should stop driving.

  • Andrew

    Driving is most certainly not easy. It’s a complex task and it comes with an immense responsibility.

    I believe I am a safe driver, but I gave up my car some years ago and stopped driving on a regular basis in large part because, in an urban environment, I found that driving safely is an exhausting task.

    That driving isn’t easy isn’t license for you to do it unsafely.

  • Andrew

    terrible accident.

    It was a crash. I see no reason to assume it was accidental. Most likely, somebody, or multiple people, did something wrong.

    We dont know the facts.

    Bingo. So why is the NYPD so quick to blame the victims and absolve the motorist? How about looking for the facts and holding off on attributing blame until they’re available?

    And here we go again the cops are to blame,

    If the cops are announcing conclusions before even the most cursory of investigations, then the cops deserve a share of the blame.

    the guy in the car is to blame.

    Perhaps he is, perhaps he isn’t. So how about we wait until we find out before jumping to relieve him of all potential responsibility?

    You guys are like a posse from ther 1800s. get a rope hang the guy!

    Let’s start with an investigation first. How does that sound to you?

    It has nothing to do with poor planning.

    That there is a street this wide in an urban area, that pedestrians need to cross, is indeed a failure in planning.

    what planning? theres no money unless we start taxing and licensing bikes for using the roads.

    Wow, I think you just solved the budget crisis!

    (Cyclists, incidentally, already pay taxes to support city streets – the same exact taxes that motorists pay, only they make far less use of them, and they also cause far less damage on them.)

  • Andrew

    Well, with what we have, we have to assume he wasn’t breaking any laws.(That whole innocent until proven guilty problem).

    That means we can’t convict him of a crime. It most certainly doesn’t mean that we can’t investigate or that we have to assume he did nothing wrong.

    And as you stated, He does have an obligation to be aware and stop WHEN POSSIBLE. But sometimes it’s just not possible.

    If it’s not possible to stop, it may still be possible to slow down. Did he slow down?

    Was he driving within the speed limit in the first place? Did he have any distractions, such as cell phones, that might have increased his reaction time?

    If police suspected him of any wrong doing they would have at least slapped him with a failure to yield ticket at the scene.

    Who’s claiming that he failed to yield? I’m claiming that he may have been speeding, he may have been failing to exercise due care, he may have been driving distracted, he may have run a red light. Without further investigation, I can’t say whether any or all of these might apply, so issuing a ticket would have been premature. But I don’t see how this could have resulted from a failure to yield. Care to spell it out?

    It’s an extremely common ticket

    A whopping 12 in all of September 2016!

  • Addie

    As someone who personally knew Jazzy through her father who was raising her by himself, I honestly don’t care about the technicalities of who’s to blame here. It seems like an honest accident, the driver stayed when he could’ve run off, at least he had decency and no doubt feel incredibly guilty. A tragic mistake happened and because of it, an amazing little girl lost her life because of it. That intersection had a reputation for a reason, and being that I know how smart she was I highly doubt she blatantly crossed knowing that it wasn’t her turn to cross. As a grown adult even I struggle with crossing large intersections that have short time spans to cross safely, I wouldn’t expect a 13 year old to be a professional at crossing roads. All I know is my heart is broken and I wish people didnt get so worked up about all the details, they don’t matter at this point. She’s gone, a precious soul was taken and no “fact” is going to change that. Just say your prayers or wish the family and friends strength to get through this and keep it going. All this arguing is for naught…

  • Kathleen Donodeo

    Is the picture attached to the article the intersection where the crash occurred? I would assume so, but I don’t like to take anything for granted. I ask because I’ve seen a few comments that the children crossed mid-block, and a few that they crossed against the light (generally contradictory, unless there is a mid-block traffic signal). Certainly this does not look like mid-block. Then, the article said that they crossed outside the crosswalk. Often, when this is stated by police in pedestrian fatality police reports, the pedestrians are in fact in an “unmarked” crosswalk — in many jurisdictions, the line between two curb ramps is considered a crosswalk whether or not there are lines painted on the road, but many people — including those writing the police reports — are unaware of that fact. So I wonder, were they in fact outside a crosswalk, or in an unmarked crosswalk? And what really bothers me about this entire awful situation….why in the world would there be a signalized intersection across eight lanes near a middle school without a clearly marked crosswalk? Come on, New York, you can do better. My sympathies to the families.

  • Geo

    I am Jazmine’s father and i believe the driver was speeding just because i never saw skid marks on the road since an El Camino never came with ABS brakes due to the technology not available at the time so this tells me there was no attempt to stop the vehicle by the driver. Even if say it can be proven it was my daughter’s fault, drivers have to be alert for pedestrians on a road like Cross bay blvd. wether the vehicle has the green light or not it doesnt give you the right to mow down someone. if he were traveling at a slower rate of speed he could of either swerved around them or wouldnt of killed her. I personally spoke to an eyewitness and my daughter was thrown in the air by the vehicle and it’s reflected on the cars header panel which is made out of fiberglass. Cross bay either needs speed cameras to slow down traffic, a crossing guard, or a mid block traffic light with crosswalk.

  • Vooch

    yes

  • Geo

    Sad part is that DOT had trucks repainting the crosswalk lines at 6am. I have pictures of the trucks the following day after my daughter was struck and killed.

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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; 181 This Year*) Glen Oaks: Edmund Chou, 79, Pedestrian; NYPD: Victim Was Jaywalking; No Charges (News, Post) East New York: Melvina […]