Truck Driver Backs Over, Kills Pedestrian on UES; NYPD: “No Criminality”

Photo: DNAinfo/Jennifer Glickel

A dump truck driver hit and killed a 21-year-old man on the Upper East Side this morning at 6:06 a.m. The driver was traveling north on Madison Avenue when he realized he had passed his destination near 81st Street, according to the NYPD. He then put the truck in reverse, said police, and began to back up. The truck then hit the victim, who was crossing Madison, and killed him.

According to a report on DNAinfo, the pedestrian was in the crosswalk when the truck driver backed into him and dragged him for thirty feet before stopping. All this took place across the street from an elementary school.

DNAinfo reports that a summons may be issued, but the police apparently do not intend to file charges. The NYPD told Streetsblog that “no criminality is suspected at this time.”

The recently enacted Elle’s Law was passed in order to keep drivers who recklessly endanger and injure pedestrians from getting back behind the wheel. Three-year-old Elle Vandenberghe was left severely brain-damaged last year when an Upper East Side driver spotted a parking space and backed up through the crosswalk where the toddler was walking. In addition to using Elle’s Law or filing a steeper charge like criminal negligence, another option for police and prosecutors would be to charge the driver with careless driving under Hayley and Diego’s Law, which also passed this year in an attempt to hold drivers accountable for injuring pedestrians or cyclists. We have a call in with Manhattan DA Cy Vance’s office to see if he’ll use the legal tools at his disposal.

  • he passed away . 🙁

  • There is no reason pedestrians can’t participate in current “Critical Mass” events (i.e. a dozen cyclists followed by 2 dozen NYPD), or start there own using the same format, minus the bicycles. Just set the time and the place. I’d suggest the First and Last Friday’s of the month at Union Square North or on the second Friday (THIS WEEK!!!) at Grand Army Plaza, all gathering at 7pm. On 2 out of these 3 occasions you will have the opportunity to ask NYPD hierarchy to enforce laws and investigate automotive homicide.

    It is time for direct action. See you in a few hours at the meeting!

  • Excellent work, A. Scott #49. I will make some calls myself today, and maybe let Senator Kruger and CM Garodnick know how I feel via twitter as well.

    Joe R. #50–three is a 13 year-old Bicycle Master Plan that provides some of the planning you’re asking for, and has guided the installation of the bike lanes over the years to a certain estent. But as we’re all learning, the buildout of the bike network is heavily influenced by local politics, not just urban planning and design principles.

    The East Side Bikeway is a perfect example–the plan was to run the facility from 125th Street, near the Third Avenue Bridge to the Bronx, all the way down to Houston (with excellent connections from there on Chrystie and Forsyth to the Williamsburg and Manhattan Bridges). But then Deputy Mayor Goldsmith arrived to ask that critical question: what “ancillary byproduct problems” could the bike lanes cause if extended all the way to 125th Street?

    So now we’ve got a Bikeway to nowhere, that dumps travelers at 34th Street into some of the most intense, dangerous MV traffic in all of NYC, Midtown East. In fact, the route is even more piecemeal and dangerous that before, because DoT took out the Greenway and other signage on First and Second Avenues from 55th to 37th Streets warning motorists to watch for cyclists when it installed the SBS service in midtown, and never replaced it.

  • Ian Turner

    Mellow, NYC pedestrians already have their own Critical Mass. It meets in Midtown Manhattan every weekday.

  • This one is really unbelievable. Backing up into a crosswalk is legal now? I have lived all over the country, in many cites and have never seen drivers get away with murder like they do in NYC. WTF?


Drivers Kill Four Pedestrians in Six Days, Two Flee Scene

Four pedestrians have lost their lives on New York City streets since Thursday. Two of the crashes were hit-and-runs and a third killed a four-year-old child. A cyclist is also in critical condition after a man who wasn’t licensed to operate the tractor trailer he was driving struck her on a Bushwick street Friday morning. […]