Maria Tripp Killed by Driver on Atlantic Avenue, No Charges Filed

A Brooklyn woman was killed Thursday by a driver trying to make a light on Atlantic Avenue, according to reports.

The driver who killed Maria Tripp jumped a curb after the collision, with enough force to blow out two tires. He was not charged. Photo: DNAinfo

At approximately 4:48 p.m., Maria Tripp was crossing Atlantic at Ralph Avenue with five other people, including her daughter and nephew, when she was hit by the driver of a Chevrolet Impala. The driver was identified as a Secret Service agent.

The Daily News account reads as if the agent’s car was operating of its own accord:

When they spotted the vehicle heading west and trying to make it across Ralph Ave. before the light changed, the nephew pulled the girl out of harm’s way but Tripp did not escape, witnesses said.

Patch reports that “Tripp realized she might not make the light at which time she decided to try turn around and try to run back to the sidewalk and was then struck by a car.” A witness told the News that the driver “got out, stood over her and said, ‘I’m on the job, I’m on the job.’”

As with the April 29 crash that killed Dan Fellegara, in this case we have a motorist fatally striking an adult pedestrian (not a “darting” child) while driving straight ahead. Unlike Fellegara, Tripp was killed in broad daylight while walking with a crowd of people. Reports and pictures from the scene indicate that the driver was moving with such speed that he jumped a curb after impact, blowing out two tires. A witness told the News that the victim was thrown high into the air.

The Post says that Tripp, 47, was a custodian with the Parks Department. She was pronounced dead at Interfaith Hospital.

Despite indications of excessive speed, no criminality was suspected, according to NYPD.

Maria Tripp was at least the twelfth pedestrian or cyclist killed in the city in the last 30 days, and the 33rd known New York pedestrian or cyclist fatality of 2012. According to the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, Atlantic Avenue, one of the city’s most dangerous streets, was the site of seven fatal pedestrian crashes between 2008 and 2010.

  • Anonymous

    Has anyone done a systematic study of the rate of vehicular injury and death caused by law-enforcement officers (whether on- or off-duty) compared to the general population? Anecdotally, based on the crashes reported by Streetsblog, it would appear to be disproportionately high.

  • Ben from Bed Stuy

    Where in the NYPD patrolman’s handbook does it state, “Upon assessing a vehicular accident involving a motorist killing a pedestrian, declare the driver innocent to the press.” Can you imagine the outcry if someone got murdered by any other deadly weapon than a car (gun/knife/bludgeon) and the Detective shows up and tells the press, “No criminality is suspected.”

  • @qrt145:disqus Funny you should mention it. I was just thinking about how that data needs to be compiled and analyzed to the extent possible.

  • Eric McClure

    “Tripp was crossing to the south side of Atlantic Ave. with her 12-year-old daughter and 19-year-old nephew, apparently against the light, family and witnesses said.”

    When someone sees a car about to kill a pedestrian, do their eyes really dart to the light to see whether it’s green or not?  I’m not saying the driver didn’t have the light, but we need more details.  For instance, a driver behind the one who struck the victim would probably be in the best position to tell whether the driver had run a red light.  And are there surveillance cameras that might have captured what happened?  We know the NYPD hasn’t analyzed the vehicles black box, though that should be standard protocol (are you listening, lawmakers?)  for any crash resulting in death or serious injury.

  • Anonymous

    @qrt145:disqus @BenFried:disqus I’m convinced that for NYPD-related folks, the number of people they *kill* is off-the-charts high. If you extend it to people employed by the government at any level (meaning, garbage truck drivers, Secret Service, firemen), there’s no way that it isn’t in the stratosphere, provided that you allow for it to be on-duty or off-duty–as I think a study should, since to me this is about a sense of privilege relative to the population at large. And that sense of privilege (seen also in parking) comes whether you happen to be on the clock or not.

  • chuck

    Is this the 84th or 88th Precinct? 

  • Anonymous

    This isn’t the first time a Treasury/Secret Service agent has gotten away with murder.
    Two years ago Joel Loudon Murphy killed Aileen McKay-Dalton in Fort Greene.

  • Mike

    Neither.  It’s on the border between the 73, 77, and 81.

  • bill b

    Drivers like to speed on Atlantic Ave. either to reach downtown Brooklyn or to drive out east to the Conduit blvd/ave. Years ago I drove along the Atlantic ave its is one of my  least  favorite roadways in Brooklyn . Please drivers slow down! slow down ! People cross  this ave . 


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