NYPD: No Charges for Driver Who Killed Woman on Brooklyn Sidewalk

This driver jumped the curb, hit a wall, two pedestrians, a livery cab and a tree, killing one person and injuring several others. NYPD filed no charges. Image: WABC
This driver jumped the curb, hit a wall, two pedestrians, a livery cab and a tree, killing one person and injuring several others. NYPD filed no charges. Image: WABC

NYPD filed no charges against a motorist who cut a swath of destruction through East New York, striking two people on a sidewalk and killing one of the victims.

The driver, in a Toyota Camry, was making a left turn at Pennsylvania Avenue and Cozine Avenue at around 10:30 a.m. on July 1 when she mounted the sidewalk, struck a wall, and hit two pedestrians, according to reports. The driver then hit a livery cab and a street tree before coming to a stop half a block away.

From WCBS:

A witness, named Amir, said a female pedestrian was dragged and pinned under the car.

He and other bystanders tried to help her.

“She wasn’t conscious so we weren’t sure if she was alive, we just saw her legs and knew it was bad,” Amir said. “If you see the jack underneath the car, we actually tried to jack the car up and noticed that we were dragging her as we jacked it up so we stopped.”

“The lady was horrified. She was traumatized and in shock,” another witness said.

Marcia Arthurs, 51, later died from severe trauma to her head and body. The second pedestrian, a 59-year-old man, was hospitalized with lacerations to his face. Four others were reported injured.

“The driver remained at the scene and wasn’t charged,” the Daily News reported.

News outlets cited unnamed NYPD sources who said the 29-year-old driver, whose name was not released, “lost control,” but none reported the driver’s speed. Instead, according to WABC, police exonerated the driver because she didn’t commit pre-meditated murder.

It appears she lost control of the car, and authorities do not believe it was intentional.

The crash that killed Marcia Arthurs occurred in the 75th Precinct — where as of June officers had ticketed 261 drivers for speeding in 2015 — and in the City Council district represented by Inez Barron.

  • Someone needs to sit down the NYPD and New York’s district attorneys and explain slowly and carefully the concept of negligence. Sadly, I fear no-one’s going to do it.

  • AlexWithAK

    No one with any power anyway. Despicable.

  • Simon Phearson

    I think it would help to know when, if ever, the NYPD has charged a driver after the driver claimed to have “lost control,” if the driver otherwise was sober and stayed at the scene. Plainly, if this has become a known “get out of jail” free card for drivers that kill, our politicians need to press for reform at the NYPD.

  • WalkingNPR

    I can’t understand why NYPD considers “Lost control” the end of a sentence. It should be the word preceding “because” and followed by an explanation–one that probably involves speeding, distraction, driving in an inappropriate way for weather conditions, or otherwise driving recklessly.

    In short, except in the rarest of circumstances, it should be considered an admission of guilt.

  • Van Lingo Mungo

    Don’t bike on the sidewalk but it’s cool to drive your car onto the sidewalk while killing someone. That’s the story about de Blasio’s New York The Post would run if it had any self-respect.

  • Joe R.

    ‘Lost control” as far as I’m concerned is basically an admission of incompetence. If the police accept it as an excuse, then the next step should be to revoke the person’s license permanently since they just admitted they can’t control a car at relatively slow urban driving speeds.

  • WalkingNPR

    I wonder if someone could get out of a ticket for biking on the sidewalk by saying they “lost control” of their bike and just ended up there…

  • b4daylight

    Double standards.

    If you loose control of your gun you go to jail.

    If you loose control of your kids you go to jail.

    If you loose control of your bills you loose your house.

    SO how does losing the control of a car any different?

  • D’BlahZero

    I wonder… if this story would be any different if one of the injured/killed pedestrians had been NYPD. Nah, never mind.

  • BBnet3000

    just admitted they can’t control a car at relatively slow urban driving speeds

    Either that or they were speeding. Either way they were negligent and now someone else is dead.

  • Joe R.

    If I get a sidewalk cycling ticket I would seriously consider going before the judge with exactly that excuse. I’m sure it would raise eyebrows at the very least. If the judge questioned it, my response would be we seem to let drivers off the hook who kill people on sidewalks because “they lost control”. Can’t you let me off for the same reason, particularly since I didn’t even kill or hurt anyone?

  • djx

    Well, if the drivers hadn’t hit anything, maybe the police would have given a ticket. But considering the damage to the car, why should they pile on? That’d be just rude.

  • djx

    If someone throws a rock through the window of your car, you might “lose control” and it not be your fault.

    If you drive over spikes and a tire explodes, you might “lose control” and it not be your fault.

    If you are going around a corner and the road is covered with oil, you might “lose control” and it not be your fault.

    If another car hits your car, you might “lose control” and it not be your fault.

    If you’re out driving along, and without external stimulus you “lose control” of your car, it’s your fault. You’re either unfit to drive at all, or driving recklessly, or both. And deserve, at a minimum, a ticket and some loss of driving privileges. If you were going fast and/or seriously injure people, you should go to jail.

  • Alexander Vucelic

    possible to still have civil lawsuit ?

  • AlexWithAK

    The REAL insult is that you can actually get a harsher penalty for injuring someone on the sidewalk with a bike than with a car. I don’t recall the exact law and whether it’s city or state, but I know that it is literally considered a worse crime with a bike than with a car. That right there tells you what we’re dealing with.

  • I once had a group of rioting youths pelt my hire car with bottles, smashing out all the side windows, while I was driving in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on a reporting assignment. I kept control of the vehicle.

  • neroden

    Private prosecutions are necessary. It’s obvious the public prosecutors are completely and utterly corrupt.

    We can set up a charitable foundation to start the prosecutions. We’ll have to hire detectives to find out the name of the killers who have their names concealed by the corrupt police. Then we can hire private lawyers to prosecute. This is still legal in New York provided the prosecution isn’t funded or masterminded by the victim or the victim’s family.

    This seems to be the only option, given that NYPD is a corrupt gang intent on protecting people who commit manslaughter.

    I’m quite serious. We’d need some major seed money; I can only contribute a few tens of thousands.

  • neroden

    If I were in that position, I would claim selective enforcement, illegal discrimination under the 14th amendment, and fight the case all the way to the Supreme Court.

  • neroden

    Someone needs to arrest New York’s district attorneys. They know damn well what negligence is — they’re committing it.

  • Joe R.

    So would I.

  • scotty Ø

    how the heck do you drive a care onto a sidewalk, kill someone and not get charged with something? if you want to kill someone, use a car. Odds are you’ll get off

  • ddartley

    Honest question and I’d love to hear honest responses:

    Negligence is such an important legal concept in so many different types of frequent cases that I actually have a hard time believing that NYPD and the DAs really are misunderstanding it so badly. I mean, maybe the law (and whatever it all entails: precedents, statutes, judges’ and prosecutors’ individuality) really is not clearly on “our” side, at least among the population that currently makes up the legal system? Of course I agree with Robert in sematic, ethical, and moral regards, but what about real-life NYC legal analysis? If the best legal minds considered this, would they likely determine that “the law” as it currently lives in NYC is not on our side? I guess I’m asking this because I want to improve things, and I want to figure out if maybe we should narrow the battlefields on which expending time and energy… Any answers available here from people who know, or at least have well-informed opinions?

  • armyvet00

    I am SO tired of the idea that it has to be intentional to hit people, but we don’t also require people intentionally drive correctly and safely. Driving is a CHOICE. How you drive is a CHOICE. What you do is just as important as what you don’t do.

  • armyvet00

    It is essentially lazy investigations, and lazy lack of application of poorly written law.

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