Manuel Verdesoto at Least Thirteenth Senior Killed in NYC Traffic in 2013

A man struck by a driver in the southeast Bronx on Wednesday was at least the thirteenth senior killed in city traffic this year.

Manuel Verdesoto, 82, was struck by Nabaali Cletus as Verdesoto crossed White Plains Road at Watson Avenue at around 7:20 p.m., according to reports.

Verdesoto died at Jacobi Hospital. A photo from the scene indicates that he was thrown into the windshield with tremendous force.

Deputy Inspector Russell J. Green is the commanding officer of the 43rd Precinct, where at least six pedestrians have died in traffic since January 2012, and where officers ticket a driver for speeding once every two days.

Police said Cletus, 46, had a fake New York State photo ID and no drivers license. He was charged with possession of a forged instrument and driving without a license. Cletus was not charged for killing Verdesoto.

The crash occurred in the City Council district represented by Annabel Palma, and in the 43rd Precinct. At least four pedestrians died in this district and precinct in 2012, according to crash data compiled by Streetsblog, and Verdesoto is at least the second pedestrian killed there this year. Some council districts and precincts saw more pedestrian and cyclist fatalities, but six is among the highest death tolls since January 2012. Among the victims are another senior, Roberto Baez, and a 2-year-old boy.

The 43rd Precinct issued 161 speeding tickets in 2012, an average of one every two days.

To voice your concerns about neighborhood traffic safety directly to Deputy Inspector Russell J. Green, the commanding officer of the 43rd Precinct, go to the next precinct community council meeting. The 43rd Precinct council meetings happen at 8 p.m. on the first Wednesday of the month at the precinct, 900 Fteley Avenue. Call 718-542-6325 for information.

To encourage Palma to take action to improve street safety in her district and citywide, contact her at 718-792-1140 or

  • Anonymous

    Wow. That driver should be jailed. We really have inept legal system.

  • Anonymous

    It would be good, in cases where drivers do not have a license, to identify whether they are undocumented immigrants or not. What it means to not have a license — and what policy implications it has — is so different when someone can’t get a license vs. had their license revoked or failed a test.

    I imagine that information is rarely going to be available (it isn’t here, though the presence of a fake ID suggests that Cletus may be undocumented), but it’s worth having in the back of one’s head.

  • Bronxite

    The 43rd Precinct has done a great job fighting crime. However, speeders and reckless drivers are a major problem in this community. The 43rd Precinct area is divided up by the Bruckner Expressway and Bronx River Parkway. White Plains Rd in particular is really bad (especially one block south of this fatal accident on White Plains Red/Bruckner Blvd, last year the site of a high profile traffic death) thanks to auto-centric Bruckner Plaza. We could really use a Slow Zone and aggressive traffic enforcement by the NYPD.