Is the Truck Driver Who Killed Roxana Sorina Buta Still Behind the Wheel?

NYC DOT has not responded to Streetsblog queries concerning the death of Roxana Sorina Buta, the woman allegedly struck and killed by a DOT truck driver in a hit-and-run crash near Union Square.

Roxana Sorina Buta. Photo via DNAinfo

On May 24 at approximately 1:30 a.m., Buta was walking across Broadway at 14th Street, in the crosswalk and with the light, when the driver of a dump truck made a right turn, ran her over and kept going, according to reports.

Buta, an aspiring actress who came to the U.S. from Romania at age 11, was on her way home to East Harlem from the restaurant where she worked. She was 21.

In early June, it was reported that the killer had been identified. At that time, Joseph Tacopina, the attorney hired by Buta’s family, said police had confirmed that the driver worked for DOT. No charges or traffic citations were issued, according to a lawsuit filed by Buta’s mother, which claims that her death resulted from negligence on the part of the driver, the city, DOT, the Department of Design and Construction and Mack Trucks.

“Upon information and belief, the driver fled the scene and is free to continue driving New York City dump trucks recklessly,” reads the lawsuit.

In late October, Streetsblog emailed DOT for confirmation that the driver who killed Buta was an agency employee, and if so, whether the driver continues to operate DOT vehicles on the job. We followed up with a second email this week. DOT has yet to reply.

It’s a characteristic outrage that NYPD and Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance would decline to pursue charges against a hit-and-run killer. But it would be disappointing, to say the least, if an agency that has done so much to make streets safer is allowing the person who killed Ms. Buta to continue to endanger lives.

  • Adam Anon

    Oh, but hopefully they’ll curb the exploding use of those horrible eBikes!

  • Guest

    DOT needs to lead by example. They should suspend the driver with pay pending a full investigation or until the completion of the legal process. If he’s employed through a contractor they should call on the contractor to do the same.

  • $105000 salary for a killer, no wonder NY City is cesspool

  • jimmy

    its not easy driving an “ff” truck, 50,000 pounds through manhattan traffic back and forth to queens to get loaded, on top of that you dont realize dot employees are underpaid for 8 years as a assistant highway repairer, dodging tractor trailers on the bqe / cross bronx, exposed to cancerous fumes from asphalt and diesel fumes, worked like a slave i shovel 8+tons of asphalt a night. we are paid prevailing wages only after 8 years of service. so listen say what you want but even if the city contracted out paving and milling operations local 731 union workers get paid more than us. its a shame what happened to the poor woman i dont think it would its fair to judge his or other highway repairers salary in any way


Buta Lawsuit: No Charges or Summonses for Manhattan Hit-and-Run Death

A Department of Transportation truck driver who killed 21-year-old Manhattan pedestrian Roxana Sorina Buta was not issued a summons or charged for leaving the scene, and could be behind the wheel today, according to a lawsuit filed by the Buta family. Cristina Oprea, Buta’s mother, claims that Buta’s death resulted from negligence on the part of […]

NYPD: No Video of Driver Who Killed Roxana Sorina Buta

The woman killed by a hit-and-run truck driver at Union Square last week has been identified as Roxana Sorina Buta. Last Thursday at approximately 1:30 a.m., Buta, 21, was walking east across Broadway at 14th Street, in the crosswalk and with the light, when an eastbound dump truck driver made a right turn and ran her […]