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Bensonhurst

Motorists Take the Lives of Human Rights Worker and Senior in Brooklyn

1:40 PM EDT on July 15, 2013

A senior was killed by a motorist in Bensonhurst this weekend, and a Prospect Heights pedestrian who was struck by an alleged drunk driver earlier this month has died from her injuries.

Roxana Gomez

On July 5 at around 12:25 a.m., Roxana Gomez was walking at Flatbush Avenue and St. Marks Avenue when she was hit by a BMW sedan driven by Eric Nesmith, according to witness accounts and the Post. The Post said Nesmith hit Gomez "a split second after the car in front of him swerved around her."

Gomez suffered massive head injuries, and was administered CPR by an emergency room nurse who lives near the scene. She died on July 10.

Gomez, 27, was a Columbia grad student who worked for the human rights org MADRE.

Nesmith, 25, of Newark, was charged with DWI, according to the Post and online court records. The Post reported that Nesmith "admitted to cops he had consumed up to six Coronas at a family gathering" before the crash. His BAC was .126, the Post said.

As of now, Nesmith has not been charged for Gomez's death. A spokesperson for the office of District Attorney Charles Hynes said charges against him could be upgraded this week.

On Saturday at approximately 9:05 p.m., 79-year-old King Fong was struck by a motorist at Bay Parkway near 72nd Street. From the Post:

A 79-year-old woman talking on her cellphone and crossing against the light was fatally struck by a car just one block from her Bensonhurst home, police sources said today.

The driver remained at the scene, and detectives said no criminality was suspected.

When a pedestrian or cyclist is killed by a sober motorist who stays at the scene, NYPD tends to leak only those details that point to the blame-worthiness of the victim. As usual, the Post repeats this information without question, and makes no mention of other possible contributing factors, such as how fast the driver was traveling at the time of the collision.

Older pedestrians suffer disproportionately from traffic violence in NYC, and according to crash data compiled by Streetsblog, Fong was at least the third pedestrian age 60 or older to die in traffic in the 62nd Precinct since last December. You won't find those details reported in the Post either.

To voice your concerns about neighborhood traffic safety directly to Deputy Inspector James Rooney, the commanding officer of the 62nd Precinct, go to the next precinct community council meeting. The 62nd Precinct council meets on the third Tuesday of the month at 7:30 p.m. at the precinct, 1925 Bath Avenue. Call 718-236-2501 for information.

The City Council district where King Fong was killed is represented by David Greenfield. To encourage Greenfield to take action to improve street safety in his district and citywide, contact him at 718-853-2704, dgreenfield@council.nyc.gov or @NYCGreenfield.

Roxana Gomez was killed in the 78th Precinct, on the border of City Council districts represented by Steve Levin and Tish James.

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