NYPD: “No Criminality” When Drivers Collide, Kill Woman on Bronx Sidewalk

NYPD says no laws were broken when two motorists collided and one drove onto the sidewalk, killing Sheniqua Silva and injuring two other people as they waited for a bus. Image: WPIX
NYPD says no laws were broken when two motorists collided and one drove onto the sidewalk, killing Sheniqua Silva and injuring two other people as they waited for a bus. Image: WPIX

For the second time in less than a week, colliding motorists killed a person standing on a New York City sidewalk and NYPD filed no charges.

On Monday afternoon the driver of a Coca-Cola truck struck a passenger car before hitting a group of people who were waiting for a bus in Port Morris, killing 37-year-old Sheniqua Silva and injuring two other pedestrians. NYPD made no arrests after the crash and had no updates on the investigation today. Police “don’t believe there is any criminality on the part of the truck driver,” according to WNBC.

Sheniqua Silva. Image via WNBC
Sheniqua Silva. Image via WNBC

The crash occurred near the Bruckner Expressway at around 3:20 p.m. From the Times:

The fatal chain of events started on Bruckner Boulevard, the service road below the expressway, the police said. According to a preliminary investigation, a 52-year-old woman driving a 2013 Nissan S.U.V. crossed two lanes and cut in front of the truck to make a right turn on East 138th Street. Officials said the truck then struck the car before losing control.

Officials said the truck was driven by a 35-year-old man, but they did not release his name. A police spokesman said it appeared that no crime had been committed, but added that the investigation was continuing.

The truck came to a stop after hitting a building. Silva, who had just finished a shift at a nearby bakery, died at the scene. Reports said she had five children, all teenage boys. “She was always worried about our sons,” her husband, Orlando Silva, told the Daily News. “She worked hard and cared about them only.”

A witness told WNBC Silva “didn’t have time to run. All you see was the truck zooming, it hit her, it hit her hard and she rolled.” Both drivers and two passengers were hospitalized and the front of the cab of the truck was destroyed, signs of a high-speed collision. “The truck went up on the sidewalk like a bullet,” another witness told the Daily News.

Bruckner Boulevard is 12 lanes wide at the E. 138th Street intersection. DOT’s Vision Zero View shows a concentration of injuries to motor vehicle occupants in the area. Locals told the Times and WNBC that motorists make it a dangerous place to walk. The 40th Precinct issues around two speeding tickets a day.

New York City drivers have killed at least nine people on sidewalks and inside buildings in 2015, according to crash data compiled by Streetsblog. Last week Meena Mahabir was killed and her 2-year-old niece critically injured by a driver at a bus stop in Queens. Two weeks ago an Uber driver hit four kids and a mother on a Bronx sidewalk. NYPD and city district attorneys filed no charges related to causing injury or death in any of those cases.

  • Alexander Vucelic

    Bratton and Trottenberg both bear significant responsibility for these atrocities

  • bob88

    What’s the speed limit?

  • Reader

    When a mother is mowed down on the sidewalk, de Blasio should speak up not only as the mayor, but as a father. But as the mayor, if he isn’t going to work faster to change the physical layout of the streets, then he needs to work harder to change the culture. He should order CIS to take another look here.

  • WalkingNPR

    “New York City drivers have killed at least nine people on sidewalks and inside buildings in 2015”

    Can we agree that this sentence is insane? And the only thing that’s more insane is that most New Yorkers won’t think twice about it? Just the cost of moving cars…nothing to be done here…

  • nanter

    Don’t forget the mayor. I heard him on the news yesterday talking about how terrible it was that Utley slid into Tejada breaking his leg and how we’re not going to stand for it. THAT’S what he talks about with the media, not the ongoing daily slaughter of innocent people in this city.

  • Jonathan R

    Excellent point! Thank you for making it.

  • steely

    Chase Utley Is ‘Guilty as Sin’ of Tejada Tackle, De Blasio Says via @Dnainfo http://dnain.fo/1VOu3Vu

  • AnoNYC

    East 138th Street and Bruckner Blvd is planned for reconfiguration as part of the South Bronx Greenway. It’s unfortunate that changes could not have come sooner but I do hope that this most recent collision encourages the DOT to aggressively calm traffic at this location.

    The existing conditions are unacceptable.

  • Azar Hadi

    Sudden unintended acceleration is very common in cars today. Toyota/Lexus are number one follow by ford. Honda and Nissan have admitted to unintended acceleration. Driver must have admitted that he had no control over his car when suddenly accelerated..

  • Joe R.

    Yeah, you do. Car & Driver did a test back in the 1980s or 1990s where they were able to use the brake to overpower the engine in every single car they tried. In fact, they have a more recent version of this test ( http://www.caranddriver.com/features/how-to-deal-with-unintended-acceleration ). The solution is to mash the brake the second the engine starts revving up, apply the parking brake, turn off the ignition, and also try to throw the car into reverse. The latter will destroy the transmission but that’s exactly the point. With no connection between the engine and wheels the car will go nowhere. The engine will just rev up until it destroys itself.

    I also find it hard to believe this is as widespread an issue as you make it out to be. If it is, then every car with the problem should be confiscated and destroyed.

    Car makers should also be sued for putting much too powerful engines in their cars. The vast majority of drivers are incapable of dealing with that kind of power, plus the resulting very rapid speed increases which happen if the accelerator gets stuck. We should limit power-to-weight ratios with legislation (and also retrofit every existing vehicle on the road to comply with these limits). Again, if stuck accelerators are as big a problem as you say, then limiting acceleration when this happens seems a really prudent thing to do.

  • Alexander Vucelic

    Turn off ignition

    throw car into neutral

    there are many solutions to unintended acceleration

  • neroden

    So are they going to prosecute the driver of the car who cut across two lanes in front of the truck? Apparetnly not?

    It is objectively unreasonable to claim that “it appeared that no crime had been committed”. No reasonable person could claim that. At the very least, the SUV driver was committing “failure to exercise due care”.

    The police spokesman is therefore guilty of lying to the public, and by refusing to do their part in the criminal justice system, they are participating in a conspiracy to commit manslaughter. Who is going to arrest these criminals with badges? Someone needs to do it. They’re armed and dangerous, but they need to be put away.

  • neroden

    Bratton is guilty of conspiracy after the fact to commit every one of these manslaughters and should be serving a life sentence in prison by now.

    However, I’m a merciful person. I’d settle for firing him for cause and replacing him with a real policeman.

    The Mayor appoints the police commissioner. The buck stops at the mayor’s desk.


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