Two More Killed on Hylan Boulevard — Who Will Act to Stop the Carnage?

Update: Mayor de Blasio tweeted that he has instructed NYPD to increase enforcement on Hylan Boulevard and has directed DOT to “pursue safety fixes.” We’ve asked the mayor’s office for details.

Motorists killed two people last night in separate crashes on Hylan Boulevard — the third and fourth fatalities on the street this year.

Steven Turetsky was crossing Hylan at Bay Street at around 7:30 p.m. when a driver hit him with a Honda compact, reports said.

Shannon Lies had two young daughters and was expecting a son when a driver killed her just after she left a shift at one of her two jobs. Photo via Staten Island Advance
Shannon Lies had two young daughters and was expecting a son when a driver killed her just after she left a shift at one of her two jobs. Photo via Staten Island Advance

From the Advance:

The 73-year-old driver was traveling southbound on Bay Street in the left lane, police said. He approached the intersection at Hylan Boulevard at the same time Turetsky was crossing Bay Street, from west to east, outside the crosswalk, according to police.

As the vehicle approached the intersection, Turetsky walked out into the path of the car and was struck by the front bumper, police said.

Witness and co-worker Tony Thomas told the Advance Turetsky “flew in the air” upon impact, an indication that the driver was traveling at a high speed. “I was standing on the other side of the street … and before I could tell him to look out … the car hit him,” Thomas said.

Turetsky, 61, died at Staten Island University Hospital, according to the Daily News.

At approximately 11 p.m., a 54-year-old woman driving a Mercury sedan hit 31-year-old Shannon Lies as she crossed Hylan Boulevard at Arden Avenue. Reports said Lies, who had two small children and was six months pregnant, was struck after leaving work at a nearby restaurant.

The Advance reports:

She was killed outside the diner when a sedan slammed into her as she was crossing Hylan Boulevard to get to a bus stop, according to police. The driver, a 54-year-old woman, struck Lies as she approached the intersection of Arden Avenue, police said.

“She walked out, said goodbye to me and walked across the street to catch a bus … and got hit,” Salvatore said, noting he had worked with the victim for about two years. “She was a very nice person,” he added.

A co-worker told the Daily News Lies had two jobs and “always came in early to try to make extra money for her kids.”

Police filed no charges and issued no summonses in either crash. The NYPD public information office had no details on driver speeds and withheld their names. Police said the driver who killed Turetsky was not intoxicated.

Locations where motorists have killed people walking and biking on Hylan Boulevard in 2015.
Locations where motorists have killed people walking and biking on Hylan Boulevard in 2015.

Coverage of Monday’s carnage by the Daily News, WPIX, and WCBS concentrated almost solely on the victims’ actions, with the drivers barely mentioned. No reports that we could find questioned how fast the drivers were going or how they failed to avoid striking people in the street in front of them.

NYPD told us investigations into both crashes remained open, but hours after Turetsky was killed WPIX reported that the driver “was not at fault.”

In April a speeding driver hit Tom Ryan as he was unloading packages from his UPS truck on Hylan Boulevard. Ryan died in September. Weeks after his death Alexa Cioffi and Briana Emanuele were hit by a detached boat trailer as they rode bikes on Hylan, killing Cioffi and injuring Emanuele. No charges were filed in either case.

According to DOT’s Vision Zero View, many people injured on Hylan Boulevard in recent years were motor vehicle occupants, a sign of crashes occurring at high speeds. Redesigning the street with narrower rights of way for motor vehicles could reduce speeding on Hylan and make the street safer for all users. So could the addition of speed enforcement cameras.

The crashes that killed Steven Turetsky and Shannon Lies occurred in the City Council district represented by Debi Rose and the district vacated by Vincent Ignizio, respectively. Staten Island electeds tend to reflexively oppose anything they perceive as a potential cause of motorist inconvenience, including bike lanesspeed enforcement, and lower speed limits. For the most part Staten Island council members don’t support Vision Zero legislation. While pedestrian deaths have declined in other boroughs, Staten Island streets are as dangerous for walking as they were 30 years ago.

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The Weekly Carnage

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The Weekly Carnage is a Friday round-up of motor vehicle violence across the five boroughs. For more on the origins and purpose of this column, please read About the Weekly Carnage. Fatal Crashes (6 Killed This Week, 21 This Year*, 1 Driver Charged**) East New York: Isaak Trakhtenberg, 83, Struck Crossing Pennsylvania Avenue; No Charges (News) South Jamaica: Marco Orellana, […]