No Right-of-Way Charge for Cab Driver Who Killed Senior in UES Crosswalk

An unidentified cab driver fatally struck 76-year-old Amelia Sterental in an Upper East Side crosswalk. NYPD and Cy Vance filed no charges. Image: WABC
An unidentified cab driver fatally struck 76-year-old Amelia Sterental in an Upper East Side crosswalk. NYPD and Manhattan DA Cy Vance filed no charges. Image: WABC

A yellow cab driver fatally struck a senior in an Upper East Side crosswalk Saturday, and no charges were filed by NYPD or Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance. The crash occurred in the 19th Precinct, where as of March officers had issued just 10 speeding tickets in 2015.

At around 2:43 p.m. Amelia Sterental, 76, was walking north across 60th Street when the cab driver hit her with a Ford SUV while turning left from Madison Avenue, according to NYPD and published reports.

From the Daily News:

The Miami woman was thrown over the taxi and ended up crumpled on the road in front of high-end clothing stores like Barneys and Calvin Klein, witnesses said.

“It smashed her and she went airborne and went over the back (of the car),” said Frank Semmel, 39, a retired New Jersey policeman.

“A street vendor who didn’t give his name said the cabby had ‘made a fast turn’ before he struck the unidentified woman in the crosswalk,” the Post reported.

“I heard screeching of the brakes,” another witness told the Post. “People started screaming. I turned around and there was a woman on the floor.”

Sterental, who lived in Bal Harbour, Florida, died at New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, NYPD told Streetsblog.

Police and press accounts of the crash suggest Sterental was crossing with the right of way and the cab driver was traveling at an unsafe speed. But as of this morning, NYPD and Vance had filed no charges against the driver, whose name was withheld by police.

Cab drivers turn onto 60th Street from left turn lane on Madison Avenue. Image: Google Maps
Cab drivers turn onto 60th Street from left turn lane on Madison Avenue. Image: Google Maps

The Daily News reported that the cab driver’s TLC license was suspended, but unless he is charged and convicted of an offense, such as violating the Right of Way Law, the suspension will in all likelihood be temporary.

“People who live and work in the neighborhood [said] that cabs generally zoom through the area trying to beat the lights,” WINS reported. “‘The cabs drive like maniacs over here,’ one man said.”

Drivers of vehicles licensed by the Taxi and Limousine Commission have killed at least five pedestrians since March, according to crash data compiled by Streetsblog.

According to WNYC, city drivers killed 17 pedestrians and three cyclists while making left turns in 2014. In March, Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg told the City Council DOT engineering solutions are limited. “You can’t create a special turning lane and a special signal in every intersection for left turns,” Trottenberg said.

Amelia Sterental was killed in the City Council district represented by Dan Garodnick, and in Manhattan Community Board District 8.

Drivers hit at least two other seniors over the weekend, according to reports. Early Sunday morning a motorist fatally struck an unidentified woman on Fourth Avenue at 25th Street in Sunset Park when the driver “lurched out of his lane to avoid a second car that had just cut him off,” the Daily News reported. No charges were filed.

Hours later, at 6:15 a.m., a speeding driver seriously injured a man on Sixth Avenue near W. 25th Street in Manhattan, the Daily News said.

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Manhattan DA Cy Vance Fields Another Challenge to the Right of Way Law

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@CBS @CNN @nypost Car flip 36th and Madison pic.twitter.com/SrEGhjLSwi — Justin Kundrat (@JustinKundrat) February 29, 2016 A livery cab driver who killed a senior in a Manhattan crosswalk last winter is challenging the constitutionality of the Right of Way Law. District Attorney Cy Vance filed a response defending the statute. At around 8:30 on the morning of […]