More Arterial Carnage: Driver Seriously Injures Woman on Atlantic [Updated]

A driver hit a woman as she crossed the street at Atlantic Avenue and Washington Avenue today.

Update: A witness to this crash contacted Streetsblog. His account has been added to the post.

A motorist seriously injured a pedestrian on Atlantic Avenue at Washington Avenue in Brooklyn this morning.

A witness, who didn’t want his name published, told Streetsblog he was crossing Atlantic with several other pedestrians when the crash occurred. “There’s a silver Audi, and he’s waiting. And as we’re in the middle of the street, he just turns, and he starts — he just sped up. Pushed his foot down on the gas. Just barely missed me, and the lady next to me. The lady in front of us, about three or four feet ahead, she got hit. I couldn’t believe it.”

“As he’s approaching I’m thinking he would stop, ’cause he sees several pedestrians in the walkway,” the witness said. “But he just floored it. And there was a number of other people behind us, and a lady with a baby in front of that lady who got hit.”

“There was another guy, and he and I were of the same opinion,” he said. “This guy needed to be carted away in handcuffs, I thought.”

The witness said NYPD took his name and contact information, but only for insurance purposes. He said police on the scene did not ask him what he saw. “I was shocked, because they said they don’t take statements. ‘The insurance company will be contacting you, and they’ll be getting everyone’s side.'”

“She flew onto the windshield and was thrown onto the ground,” said a Streetsblog reader who came upon the scene after the crash and sent us these photos. “She was taken to the hospital on a stretcher.”

The crash occurred around 8:18 a.m., according to FDNY. The victim was taken to Kings County Hospital in serious condition. A Fire Department spokesperson said her injuries were not thought to be life-threatening when she was transported.

Photos of the car show damage to the windshield near the A pillar on the driver’s side. The victim was aided by several passersby.

As is usually the case with incidents that don’t immediately result in death, NYPD had no information on the crash.

“The driver got away with a mere ticket,” said our source. “Witnesses said the driver sped up and should be arrested.”

The victim was transported to the hospital in serious condition.
The victim was transported to the hospital in serious condition.

“Also,” our source said, “neighbors in this area have been pleading with the DOT and NYPD for months to make this intersection safer and there’s been no change.”

Officers at the 88th Precinct, where the crash occurred, have issued just 158 speeding summonses in 2014, according to the most recent NYPD summons data, and have ticketed 89 drivers for failing to yield to pedestrians.

Motorists injured five pedestrians and four cyclists at Atlantic and Washington this year as of October, according to the DOT Vision Zero map. Atlantic is among NYC’s widest and most dangerous class of streets, known as arterials, which comprise 15 percent of city roadways but account for 60 percent of pedestrian fatalities, according to DOT. Transportation Alternatives has repeatedly urged Mayor de Blasio to concentrate traffic safety efforts on arterial streets.

A sign taped to a pole at the intersection of Atlantic and Washington, where the city launched the “Arterial Slow Zone” program, encourages pedestrians to “report close calls” to DOT and “request immediate safety improvements.”

Advocates have urged Mayor de Blasio to take action to improve safety on arterial corridor such as Atlantic, which account for most pedestrian fatalities.
Advocates have urged Mayor de Blasio to take action to improve safety on arterial corridors such as Atlantic, which account for most NYC pedestrian fatalities. All contact info tabs were ripped from the bottom of this flyer.
  • Omykiss

    Nothing to see here, accidents happen…unless of course you’re on a bike: http://www.boweryboogie.com/2014/11/ticket-tackling-nypd-pulls-cyclists-canal-street/

    #myNYPD

  • J

    DeBlasio/Bratton Vision Zero = zero investigations of crashes, zero responsibility for motorists, zero change

  • Robert Wright

    This sounds at least partially deliberate, or at least a case of reckless negligence. Even if one accepts (which I don’t) that “accidents happen,” this sounds far more like an assault. Why on earth wouldn’t the cops be interested in that? If the driver had done the same with a gun, they’d have been interested. If the driver had driven at pedestrians shouting, say, islamist slogans, there’d have been no question of his being arrested. Why are such assaults so readily tolerated?

  • r

    Zero comment from the Mayor. Two teens killed this week, and nothing at all. No statement from City Hall.

  • M to the I

    This is frustrating and this should be posted in the news section. The lights are timed there to penalize cyclists. Not only do you have to wait for a long light at Chrystie & Canal but then you have to wait for another long light to go across Canal onto the bridge path. This is why so many cyclists don’t use the bike path on Canal and why so many go through the light to get on the bridge when there are no cars coming. They harm noone.

    Honestly, whoever designed that entrance/exit to the Manhattan Bridge down there sucks. From Chrystie St you have to ride down and then back up a hill when they could have put the entrance to the bridge path right at Chrystie and Canal to make things more accessible. Of course, that might inconvenience cars a little so we have a cement wall instead. boo hoo.

    But yeah, this is the discrepancy. The NYPD probably gave this driver a pat on the back and apologized to them for having to experience the trauma of hitting someone with their car.

  • Reader

    This is NYC right now. Had this man been in an Elmo costume and accosted a tourist for a dollar after taking a picture, he’d be in jail right now.

    But he aggressively assaulted a person with a car and intimidated several others, so no biggie.

    Vision Zero, everyone. It’s pretty much just a lousy slogan.

  • alexblac

    To think there was a woman with a baby in the same bunch.

    Simply bizarre that the driver isn’t even arrested.

  • No no, its entirely normal. Murder or attempted murder are only crimes when the weapon is not a car.

  • Ser Ponce

    “he’s waiting. And as we’re in the middle of the street, he just turns, and he starts — he just sped up. ”

    This is confusing. The peds were crossing Atlantic, so was the driver turning from Washington onto Atlantic?

  • Alex

    Oh but then you couldn’t have that handy right turn slip lane there. You GOTTA have that slip lane or it might slow down the cars a few seconds. Geeze.

  • J

    Indeed. #wheresDeBlasio?

  • WalkingNPR

    Why take witness statements when you have the driver there to tell you how the pedestrian was outside the crosswalk, jumped out of nowhere, darted in front of his vehicle, and is totally at-fault?

  • BBnet3000

    Wow. The most pointless place for a bike to sit at a red light in New York City.

    It’s also set up to be extremely awkward to make a right onto Canal from the bridge (toward Allen). Its easier to do it when you have a red than to wait for every pedestrian to clear on a green.

  • Kevin Love

    Except when the motorist gives NYPD officers injuries so minor that they are immediately released from hospital. Then the car driver gets charged with Attempted Murder. See:

    http://nypost.com/2012/08/22/driver-held-in-cop-hit/

    The NYPD attitude is simple: the law exists to protect them, not us peasants.

  • ladywithababy

    I am the “lady with a baby” who was a few feet ahead of the woman who was hit. Everything in the other witness’ account is accurate. It seemed like the driver waited for me and my daughter to cross and then floored it right behind us. We were still in the crosswalk when I heard a very loud thud and turned around to see the woman flying off of his hood. There is absolutely no way a child would have survived this high-speed hit. Is that what it will take to get a left turn light or traffic cop (some sort of improvement) to this intersection? I dreaded going through this intersection again tonight in the dark with my daughter and son. As unsafe as this intersection is, there are no safer alternatives nearby. Grand does not even have a crosswalk.

    I have contacted DOT about this intersection in the past. Apparently they are working on it, but the timeline is unacceptable. There needs to be a temporary plan in place.

  • SteveVaccaro

    Unbelievable. These cops think it’s all about insurance, they have no understanding that they have a law enforcement role with respect to a crash like this. I hear a lot of the training and information cops get about crashes is insurance industry stuff about preventing insurance fraud.

  • ladywithababy

    Exactly. Even when I called to give a statement (as they were not taking witness statements at the scene) I was told that maybe insurance will call me but unless the driver flees or the pedestrian dies, it is not investigated by NYPD.

  • ws

    I was there this morning. I am in touch with the NYPD and pushing them to investigate this. It would be good to connect with you. Can you please email me at walkslower at gmail dot com?

  • ws

    Everyone should contact the office of DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg and tell her to improve safety at this intersection immediately. The Brooklyn Borough DOT office has dropped the ball on this and someone needs to be held accountable. Trottenberg’s number is 212-839-6400.

  • ws

    Contact Inspector Dennis Fulton at the NYPD and demand an investigation. You can reach him by calling 646-610-5000 and asking for the Bureau of Transportation.

  • ralph

    “Carted away in handcuffs?” Are you joking? He was in a motor vehicle. That means license to do anything you want. Even if you kill a little girl who has the right of way and the entire thing is on camera, the worst that can happen to you is you have to spend a couple of hours of your precious time showing up in traffic court to have the $150 fine promptly dismissed. The NYPD surely would have just sent him on his merry way if that pesky pedestrian hadn’t damaged his Audi windshield with her head.

  • ws

    Does anyone know the woman who was hit or how to contact her? I have evidence that she can use in lawsuits against the driver and the City. I can be contacted at walkslower at gmail dot com

  • ws

    I was there. That is exactly what happened. The police were only interested in the driver’s story.

  • Ser Ponce

    I’m still not quite getting it. Based on the pictures and the descriptions, it sounds like you and the victim were on Washington, crossing Atlantic with a green light on the east side of the intersection, and the perp was southbound on washington, waiting to turn left onto Atlantic (I.e. eastbound). Is this correct?

  • CC1

    This is classic “road rage”. Scum like this need to be taken off the road by any means necessary. They behave like sociopaths with no regard for others. The NYPD, DMV and City Government enable them by their inaction and indifference. The time has come for street protests. This is what 1000 cyclist “die-in” looks like. The 2nd image is from Ferguson but could just as well represent victims of traffic violence. Images like this are more powerful than words and draw people who feel hopeless and apathethic into the fight. We have all these groups working with government and that’s great but we need street actions in tandem to push for more immediate and meaningful change.

  • ladywithababy

    Yes, making left from Washington on Atlantic. Pedestrians still had right of way/time on clock.

  • ladywithababy

    Yes, that’s correct. We were walking from the cathedral building toward the carwash, on Washington, crossing Atlantic.

  • ladywithababy

    Update: A Lt. from 77th just contacted me for my statement, so perhaps the other witnesses will be contacted, too. They wanted my statement in order to improve safety/make changes at the intersection, not to charge the driver.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “These cops think it’s all about insurance.”

    That’s exactly the way they thought about robbery and burglary back in the day. Come down the prescient and fill out the form, and you can get money from your insurance.

    That changed.

  • WalkingNPR

    Agreed. Let’s do it.

  • neroden

    The license plate number should be released and the driver’s name and address should be determined from this. Someone needs to inform the DA and the grand jury who to charge.

    And it seems that the NYPD is engaged in a cover-up, so it’s up to the witnesses and the media and the public to work on justice.

    So, who’s the killer in the silver Audi? I await crowdsourcing.

  • neroden

    The actions of the motorist appear to be, at best, reckless endangerment, and at worst, deliberate murder. With multiple witnesses. What will it take to get the DA to prosecute?

  • neroden

    The Brooklyn DA needs to prosecute. And frankly, if the NYPD won’t help, the DA needs to prosecute the police officers for corruption.

  • neroden

    Way too many cops approve of assaults. They commit assaults routinely — haven’t you been reading the news? 🙁

    I think the best hope is the Brooklyn DA. This may be egregious enough that he’ll start to go after the killer motorist — maybe even after the corrupt cops.

  • ws

    The license plate number is GBE 7722

  • ralph

    There is a law called Driver Privacy Protection Act, and according to my reading of it, it’s permissible to find and publish the name and address of the driver. This law was passed to prevent stalkers and rapists from tracking someone down after seeing their license plate. Now you need a reason to look up driver info by license plate, and doing research for an article on a traffic crash is an acceptable reason (general curiosity or sexual attraction are not acceptable reasons). What’s not allowed is contacting the driver, i.e. going to his home and knocking on his door. Anyone with a private investigator license has access to the database, and you simply need to go through one of them and pay a small fee.

  • CC1

    Maybe this could be organized with the help of rightofway.org?

    Right of Way

  • Ser Ponce

    Thanks for clarifying.

    Did you or any of the other witnesses get names / badge numbers for the cops?

  • P Heights Resident

    Wow, the comments read like an angry mob ready to burn any witch at the stake. Get the drivers name and address and do what? I missed this accident by about 5 mins when I was walking my children to school and definitely had a freak out moment thinking that this could have been much worse if children were involved. I am also frustrated by the amount of time the DOT and Community Boards are taking to approve changes here. Yes, that’s right, changes are awaiting community board approval from CB 2 and 8 which are residents of the area…so it’s not just a DOT hold up it’s also residents of our community. But, the issue should not be to instantly blame and hang the driver here…the issue is a poorly planned intersection that should have been changed years ago. Looking at the comments, it looks like everyone wants to demonize this guy but did anyone talk to him? I did! He’s a physician and was pretty horrified and upset that he normally helps people and here he ended up hurting someone. Basically he said that he was trying to make the turn in this difficult intersection and was waiting for a group to pass, when they did he went through and he said he did not see the woman at all due to the angle and possibly the sunlight that he was looking right into as he made the turn. Whether or not he ‘floored’ it is for the witnesses and cops to figure out, but what would be great is to have the amount of people adding to commentary to actually show up to one of the DOT or community Board meetings and help get this intersection changed, I am a pedestrian, cyclist and driver so looking at all perspectives and if you ever drove through this intersection, you’d agree that it is crazy on all levels…unfortunately for pedestrians it leaves us very exposed and vulnerable. Instead of demonizing this guy and making ourselves feel good by claiming he’s a scourge on society, perhaps we should put some positive energy into volunteering some time and pushing for the city and community boards to make a change quickly.

  • ladywithababy

    Well put. I agree and will make a better effort to attend meetings. I think what is most frustrating about this is the realization that city-wide these incidents are not investigated. It doesn’t seem to matter if there are witnesses or not. Aggressive and purposefully intimidating drivers, whether or not that describes this driver, get a pass. But, your point is clear and I’ll be at more meetings.

  • Ser Ponce

    “he said he did not see the woman at all”

    Failure to exercise due care.

    “I didn’t see her” is a confession, not an excuse.

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