James Oddo Calls for Wider Roads Hours After SI Traffic Violence Claims Life

A UPS worker who lost a leg when a Staten Island driver slammed into him in April has died. NYPD and Staten Island prosecutors issued no summonses and filed no criminal charges in the case.

Tom Ryan. Photo via SI Advance
Tom Ryan. Photo via SI Advance

Tom Ryan, 52, was unloading packages from his truck at 2044 Hylan Boulevard on the morning of April 6 when a driver hit him with a Toyota sedan, according to the Staten Island Advance. NYPD told the Advance the driver was in the left, northbound lane and “tried to avoid hitting a pedestrian who crossed in front of his vehicle.”

The driver lost control of his vehicle and it swerved into the right lane, striking and pinning Ryan against the back of the UPS truck, police said.

Ryan, of Bayonne, died this week, the Advance reported.

The impact from the crash severed one of his legs, causing him to bleed profusely and go into cardiac arrest. He slipped into a coma due to the loss of oxygen to his brain, and never regained consciousness, his wife [Elise Ryan] said.

“He had an anoxic brain injury — that was more of his injury than even the leg,” the grieving wife explained.

The driver who killed Ryan was not identified. Despite indications that driver speed contributed to the crash — and was likely the difference between whether Ryan lived or died — no charges were filed by police, former district attorney Dan Donovan, or acting DA Daniel Master Jr., who took office in May, after Donovan was elected to Congress.

The crash that killed Tom Ryan occurred in the 122nd Precinct — where as of July local officers had ticketed 1,180 drivers for speeding in 2015 — and in the City Council district represented by Steve Matteo.

According to DOT, while overall NYC pedestrian deaths have dropped by nearly 50 percent in the last 30 years, the number of people killed by drivers while walking in Staten Island has not declined. But making streets safer is not a priority for Staten Island electeds.

Matteo has one of the worst records in the council on safe streets legislation. He was one of four council members, along with former Staten Island rep Vincent Ignizio, to vote against lowering the city speed limit. Matteo has said he believes speed cameras are a revenue scam.

When he was on the council, Matteo’s predecessor James Oddo, who is now borough president, called for requiring an environmental review for new bike lanes. Hours after news broke of Tom Ryan’s death, Oddo took to Twitter to brag about upcoming road widenings and call for more such projects on Staten Island.

  • Mark Walker

    You can’t cure traffic violence with wider roads any more than you can cure alcoholism with more booze.

  • Honestly, I don’t know what to do about some people. They don’t believe science on street safety. They believe that government legislation is evil, and that tickets are solely (not even partially, but as the SOLE reason) for city revenue. They don’t believe the law is there to protect people. And somehow they ignore the tens of thousands dead on the roads. How do you get through to people like this. Do they actually have to be run over themselves before they can comprehend that someone else’s behaviour can impact them in ways that a lawsuit can’t fix?

  • nanter

    I don’t think it has anything to do with their beliefs on street safety. I think they simply don’t care, and a certain number of pedestrian deaths is just the cost of doing business, and certainly shouldn’t hamper any efforts to increase motoring speeds.

  • Morris Zapp

    It’s hard to distinguish the genuinely stupid from the evil. But when it comes to Oddo, Matteo and Ignizio I would bet on the former.

  • Larry Littlefield

    So when I hear Staten Islanders whine about their lack of mass transit. Sorry, other people are people, if lesser people than you, so you can’t just have everything and leave others with nothing. And your elected officials have made the choice for you.

  • Miles Bader

    Er, well, death cures all ills… ><

  • neroden

    NYPD and Acting DA Daniel Master continue to engage in a criminal conspiracy to kill pedestrians. At some point these conspirators need to be arrested.

  • Drivin’ Here!

    What a solid guy! A man who deeply cares for his motoring constituents and is willing to make big sacrifices (of them) to help their plight for wider, faster roads. Let’s all give him the acknowledgement he deserves. Step aside, Trump!

  • Alexander Vucelic

    and property Owner’s in SI Wonder why their values are stagnating compared to pedestrian & cycle Friendly areas of the city ?

    New Yorkers are Voting with their feet for safe streets

  • Drivin’ Here!

    Why won’t those lesser people get cars and become proper human beings?


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