No Charges and Scant NYPD Information After Driver Kills Senior in Inwood

Sherman Avenue and Academy Street in Inwood, where a motorist killed 68-year-old Jose Melogarib. DOT implemented a road diet with bike lanes on Sherman in 2015, after this Google Maps photo was taken.
Sherman Avenue and Academy Street in Inwood, where a motorist killed 68-year-old Jose Melogarib. DOT implemented a road diet with bike lanes on Sherman in 2015, after this Google Maps photo was taken.

NYPD filed no charges against a motorist who killed a senior in Inwood last month.

Bronx resident Jose Melogarib, 68, was crossing Sherman Avenue at Academy Street at around 5:45 p.m. on January 23 when he was struck by the driver of a Mercedes, causing trauma to his face and body, according to Patch.

Sherman Avenue is a commercial and residential corridor that has one lane for through traffic and a bike lane in each direction, after DOT implemented a road diet in 2015. It’s a neighborhood street with design cues that signal motorists to drive slowly. Yet the driver hit Melogarib with enough force to inflict fatal injuries. He died at Harlem Hospital on January 26.

“The driver … remained at the scene of the collision and has not been arrested,” Patch reported.

The only media coverage we found of this crash were summaries of the police account, published almost word for word by Patch and the Bronx Times. Police said the victim was crossing “mid-block” but provided no details on how fast the driver was going or whether distraction was a factor. It’s typical for NYPD to shield the names of motorists who kill people, but in this case the department apparently also chose not to divulge the driver’s age or gender.

Streetsblog emailed the NYPD public information office for more details on the crash, and asked if any summonses or charges were issued. “Ongoing investigation” was the response.

Last December NYPD opened an online portal that gives access to MV-104 collision reports. As we said then, with a few tweaks the portal could be used to allow retrieval of NYPD crash investigation reports, which the department usually hides from the public, and even victims’ familiesInstead the public only has access to the minimal information NYPD chooses to release.

We contacted the office of Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, who represents the district where the collision occurred. A spokesperson for Rodriguez said he would try to get more information about what happened. We’ll post additional details if we get them.

Officers from the 34th Precinct, where Jose Melogarib was killed, ticketed 351 drivers for speeding in 2016, an average of fewer than one summons per day.

  • EcoAdvocate

    If NYS would allow more funding to go to municipalities for writing traffic tickets, instead of digging their big fat hand into that pot and taking most of the revenue, we would see more municipalities able to run traffic enforcement. Follow the money. It currently costs municipalities money to run traffic enforcement which, though a good investment, is BS because the taxpayers are then footing the bill instead of the guilty, dangerous drivers like Mr/Ms Mercedes driver.

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