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To NYPD, Anyone Outside a Car Is Asking for It

12:31 PM EST on February 4, 2009

pslope1.jpgThe following is an eyewitness account from a tipster who came upon the aftermath of Monday's driver-pedestrian collision on Carroll Street and Eighth Avenue in Park Slope. The victim, a 57-year-old man, was in critical condition Monday afternoon, and police have no new information as of this writing. NYPD would not release a name. At the time, our tipster was told the victim had died shortly after the collision.

I came upon the scene around 11:30, and it was still taped off. There was an SUV parked haphazardly on the corner, and its windshield had obviously seen the impact of a human head. I thought it must have been a cyclist: the hood was creased, showing the ascent to the windshield, and the glass had a perfectly concave depression where the head hit.

I asked a detective taking pictures if a cyclist had been hit, and he said no. Then a youngish couple walked over to the car. You could tell by their attitude that they were somehow involved. I asked them, "Is everybody okay?" The man wouldn't make eye contact, and the woman gave me a frozen, tight smile and walked on. I soon learned they were the driver and passenger, and I was told that an old man was hit by them in the intersection. Now, how fast do you have to be going to hit a stationary object that it nearly goes through your windshield? (There was, in fact, an open crescent in the glass.)

I hung around and tried to figure out how it happened. The investigation seemed pretty involved; many 78th Precinct cops and detectives. I asked a beat cop there if the driver would be charged with homicide. "The only way is if the driver is intoxicated," he said. I made a disapproving snort. Then he said out of nowhere, "You see the cyclists around here? They all run red lights all the time. Run right through them."

What I didn't say was, "What the fuck does that have to do with vehicular manslaughter?"

Other than NY1 coverage from Monday, Streetsblog can find no media reports of this collision. If anyone knows of others, please link from comments.

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