No Charges for Driver Who Killed Sheepshead Bay Woman in Crosswalk

The red arrow indicates the approximate path of Carol Carboni, and the white arrow indicates the approximate path of the 33-year-old driver who killed her in the crosswalk at Avenue Z and Nostrand Avenue. Photo: Google Maps
The white arrow indicates the approximate path of Carol Carboni, and the red arrow indicates the approximate path of the 33-year-old driver who killed her in the crosswalk at Avenue Z and Nostrand Avenue. Photo: Google Maps

NYPD has not filed charges against the driver who killed a Sheepshead Bay woman in the crosswalk just blocks from her home yesterday afternoon.

Carol Carboni, 52, was crossing Nostrand Avenue from west to east at 3:35 p.m. yesterday when the driver of a 2013 Infiniti sedan, making a left turn from eastbound Avenue Z to northbound Nostrand, struck the rear right side of her mobility scooter with his front passenger-side bumper. Carboni fell off the scooter and suffered severe head trauma, NYPD said. She was taken to Lutheran Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.

This case seems to be a likely candidate for Right of Way charges against the driver. The fact that Carboni was in the crosswalk and the driver was making a left turn at the same time indicate that Carboni likely had the right of way.

NYPD told Streetsblog this morning that it did not have information available about what the traffic signals indicated or who had the right of way at the time of the crash. The Collision Investigation Squad continues to investigate the crash, NYPD said, and no charges have been filed against the 33-year-old Brooklyn resident who was behind the wheel.

In the year since the Right of Way Law took effect, NYPD has rarely charged drivers who strike pedestrians or cyclists with the right of way.

“My condolences go out to the Carboni family on this tragic accident,” said Council Member Chaim Deutsch, who represents the area where the crash occurred. “Every intersection is dangerous from vehicles who are turning. They have to slow down and make sure there is no one crossing the street who has the right of way.”

I asked Deutsch if he thought the Right of Way Law should be considered in this case. “I’m not an investigator. The police department is investigating that,” he said. “Motorists need to be careful when they drive. Pedestrians, although you have the right of way, we all need to be more careful crossing the streets and be more on the defensive side.”

Five people were killed or seriously injured at the corner of Nostrand and Avenue Z from 2007 to 2011, making it one of the 20 most dangerous intersections for pedestrians in the city, according to DOT [PDF].

The area near the intersection also has a deadly history. In July 2009, a livery cab driver struck and killed an 85-year-old woman crossing Nostrand just south of the intersection with Avenue Z. In March 2010, the driver of an out-of-service MTA bus struck and killed a 59-year-old woman at Avenue Z and Haring Street, a short block east of Nostrand.

There have been 10 crashes and four pedestrian injuries so far this year at the intersection where Carboni was killed, according to data NYPD gave Deutsch.

The intersection has signs reminding turning drivers to yield to pedestrians, countdown clocks, and “LOOK!” markings for pedestrians in the crosswalk. DOT has also studied, but not installed, a fence along the Nostrand Avenue median to block people from crossing at undesignated locations, as well as a signalized midblock crosswalk on Nostrand. Rush hour bus lanes were added to Nostrand in 2013. There have been no recent changes to redesign the wide lanes on Avenue Z or the narrow median on Nostrand.

The crash occurred within the 61st Precinct, which has issued 313 citations for failure to yield to a pedestrian, 82 citations for improper turning, and 269 citations for speeding through the end of July this year [PDF].

To voice your concerns about traffic safety to Captain Winston M. Faison, commanding officer of the 61st Precinct, attend its next community council meeting, scheduled for September 9 at 7:30 p.m. at Yeshivat Darche Eres, 2533 Coney Island Avenue.

  • armyvet00

    He struck her after she passed in front of his car, meaning he certainly did not “not see her”. This is one of the CLEAREST cases of driving in an unsafe manner I have ever seen. The law must change. There needs to be at least manslaughter charge for exactly this.

  • Boeings+Bikes

    “Pedestrians, although you have the right of way, we all need to be more careful crossing the streets and be more on the defensive side.”

    How is someone crossing in the crosswalk, with a walk signal, in her mobility chair, supposed to cross MORE DEFENSIVELY? Maybe Councilmember Deutsch can answer that for us, so his mobility-impaired constituents can hear it from him directly? I think what he’s really saying here is, “move along, there’s nothing we can do about these deaths, every now and then one of our neighbors is going to be picked-off.”

  • Jesse

    “Every intersection is dangerous from vehicles who are turning. They have to slow down and make sure there is no one crossing the street who has the right of way.

    Though I doubt it was intentional, this reveals the bias at work: it’s ok to kill someone if they don’t have the right of way. Essentially, the penalty for jaywalking is death and the driver has a right to enforce vigilante justice.

  • st4rchy

    Friends of mine living in Autralia and Europe find it shocking that drivers who kill and maim pedestrians and cyclists aren’t charged regardless. Right of way should not be that much of a consideration.

  • st4rchy

    This is outrageous. The driver should face the consequences of not showing proper care. This is vehicular manslaughter. How many laws do we have to add to the books? It is shameful to me that a Right-of-Way law is even needed, though it sorely is, and more deeply shameful that it is so rarely invoked.

  • Rather than putting the onus on victims to protect themselves against cars that are effectively weapons, Deutsch should be placing the blame on traffic engineers and DOT and demanding to know why they’ve designed such a dangerous junction and what they plan to do to fix it.

    Traffic engineers in other countries can design much safer systems, why can not ours?

  • Does Chaim Deutsch represent the citizens who elected him or the traffic engineers and others who’ve allowed these things to happen?

  • Brian Howald

    Why is the NYPD concerned with the traffic signal indications?

    Either the victim was jaywalking and the perp was running a red light, putting him in the blame, or she was crossing with the light while he was making a left turn, in which case he would have to wait for her to pass.

    Either the perp was more wrong or completely wrong. Why doesn’t this compel charges?

  • armyvet00

    Two wrongs make an “eh”.

  • KeNYC2030

    Since Bratton can’t seem to keep pedestrians safe, maybe he should rip out the streets.

  • rao

    What, no one from the NYPD said “They both had the right of way” yet?

  • Eric McClure

    Some people think this would be more acceptable if the driver were behind the wheel of a bus or cab…

  • AlexWithAK

    The notion is that the street is the domain of cars and that crossing the street is a privilege. Any slight infraction by a pedestrian that leads to their being hit puts the onus entirely on them. Of course, it’s a complete double standard. When drivers plow onto sidewalks they are rarely punished, even when they hit people. So cars have domain of the streets and if they run up onto pedestrians’ domain well it’s just an accident. It’s lose/lose for pedestrians.

  • Max Power

    There’s a pedestrian refuge island there – in the DOT and NYPD’s view, is it legal for someone to leave a pedestrian refuge island once the “don’t walk” signal starts flashing? Maybe that’s the tortured logic of them to let them not charge the driver.

  • Bernard Finucane

    This is horrible. Nobody cares.

  • JoshNY

    Disgusting.

  • chekpeds

    this is enough !Opafiets below is right : 5 pedestrians could still be alive if DOT had installed a split phase signal. Why not point that out? this is a first tenet of Vison Zero: engineer the roads to prevent mistakes Installing split phase signals at the most dangerous intersections ( left turns on two way streets) is the most effective way to reduce deaths and it is not even expensive to do !..we cannot continue to beat on NYPD for justice – which is good but does not bring people back to life, when DOT is not doing its job to prevent deaths in the first place – … DOT is our friend – so it is very important we tell them the truth…

  • Added this to our database of dangerous intersections. http://www.badintersections.com

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