DOT: Drivers Injured 1,536 Pedestrians and Cyclists in October, and Killed 19

Nyanna Aquil, Sheniqua Silva, Louis Perez, Kristian Leka, and Shannon Lies
Nyanna Aquil, Sheniqua Silva, Louis Perez, Kristian Leka, and Shannon Lies

Twenty-five people died in New York City traffic in October, and 5,009 were injured, according to DOT’s Vision Zero View crash data map.

As of the end of October, DOT reported 113 pedestrians and cyclists killed by city motorists this year, and 12,042 injured, compared to 132 deaths and 12,267 injuries for the same period in 2014.

Citywide, at least 18 pedestrians and one cyclist were fatally struck by drivers last month. Among the victims were Mariano Contreras, Steven Turetsky, Vispi Mukajam, Shannon Lies, Meena Mahabir, Sheniqua Silva, Latiesha Ramsey, Kyler Hailey, Anna Rodriguez, Guy Ryff, Joseph Ciresi, Janet Peters, Nyanna Aquil, Louis Perez, Kristian Leka, and unidentified male and unidentified female pedestrians in Brooklyn.

Motorists killed at least one child and three seniors in October: Nyanna Aquil, 10; Joseph Ciresi, 82; and the unnamed female pedestrian in Brooklyn, who was 92.

Across the city, 1,106 pedestrians and 430 cyclists were reported hurt in collisions with motor vehicles. Per NYPD policy, few of these crashes were investigated by trained officers.

Of 15 fatal crashes on surface streets reported by Streetsblog and other outlets in October, one motorist was known to have been charged for causing a death.

Mariano Contreras was killed by a hit-and-run driver who was not immediately caught or identified. Meena Mahabir was killed, her 2-year-old niece was critically injured, and the child’s mother was hospitalized when a motorist ran a red light, collided with another vehicle, and hit the victims on a Richmond Hill sidewalk. The driver was not charged or ticketed. NYPD said “no criminality was suspected” after Sheniqua Silva was killed and two others were hurt when drivers collided and a Coca-Cola truck hit them on the sidewalk as they waited for a bus in Port Morris. A motorist hit Nyanna Aquil, Louis Perez, and Kristian Leka on a Bronx sidewalk while the victims were out trick-or-treating on Halloween. The driver was not charged. Latiesha Ramsey was pushing a laundry cart across a street in Bedford-Stuyvesant when the light changed and a truck driver hit the gas and ran her over. NYPD blamed Ramsey for the crash. Cyclist Anna Rodriguez was hit by a truck driver who was charged with manslaughter after he tested positive for cocaine. Vispi Mukajam and the unidentified 92-year-old woman were killed in Queens and Brooklyn, respectively, by drivers making turns. No charges were filed for either crash.

Historically, nearly half of motorists who kill a New York City pedestrian or cyclist do not receive so much as a citation for careless driving.

In three cases, immediately after a pedestrian was killed, police exonerated the driver by telling the press the victim was not in a crosswalk or was crossing against the signal.

Six motor vehicle occupants died in the city in October, according to DOT, and 3,473 were injured.

  • wlexxx

    shame of the nation.. kill peds and cyclists for free in nyc,,,…

  • How to get away with murder in NYC – hit someone with a car

  • Allez Rouleur

    113 cyclists and pedestrians killed in TEN months?! That’s insane. Why is this situation not discussed come election time? Why aren’t politicians asked to explain our lax traffic laws and enforcement? What other professional license requires you to take a few hours of tests at 16 or 17 or 18…and then you are licensed for life to pilot a deadly machine? It’s crazy. Why do we give such rights to motorists above all others? I hate American car culture.

  • ahwr

    113 cyclists and pedestrians killed in TEN months?! That’s insane. Why is this situation not discussed come election time?

    To put it in perspective, look at the chart on page 2 listing some causes of Disability Adjusted Life – Years (DALYs), which measures the number of years lost to a given disease as a result of loss of life (YLL) or disability (YLD).

    If it’s wrong to blame a pedestrian or cyclist who wasn’t careful enough to keep themselves safe, you’d have a hard time arguing that the victims of the other conditions listed are to blame for their death or suffering. How much political and financial capital are devoted to the issues ahead of MV collisions on that list? Not nearly enough, and few here would want traffic carnage to receive attention proportionate to the damage it causes. Traffic carnage receives disproportionate attention for the death and suffering it inflicts relative to many others on that list. Why? For the same reason it receives less attention than less meaningful issues, like making sure the FDR drive is smooth. The irrationality in public priorities doesn’t hurt you as much as you think.

  • Andrew

    Wait, why don’t I see lightning strikes on that list?

    To address your point – what makes motor vehicle collisions nearly unique on that list is that, in the context of pedestrian and cyclist fatalities, they are most often caused by somebody else’s irresponsible choices.

    Aside from homicide (which fits into the same category), the other items are all unfortunate natural phenomena or are caused by the victim’s own irresponsible choices. Controlling nature is hard, and I leave it to people much smarter than I to figure out how to improve that situation. And one could make the case (I don’t entirely agree with it, but it has an element of truth) that people are entitled to take whatever risks they like with their own health, although society should certainly educate them so that they can make an informed decision. But whatever right one has to make irresponsible choices ends as soon as those irresponsible choices threaten somebody else’s health. And we’ve already figured out, fundamentally, how to persuade people to avoid making irresponsible choices that threaten other people’s health – it’s called law enforcement, and it’s why we have a police department.

    I have no clue how to make even the slightest dent in most items on that list, but I have a very good idea of how to make a significant cut in motor vehicle injuries and fatalities.

  • ahwr

    The ped safety plan a few years ago said ~20% of ped KSI crashes were at signalized intersections crossing against the light. ~26% were not at intersections. Few midblock crosswalks, so in most of those the pedestrian had a legal obligation to yield to traffic. Of the rest where the pedestrian was less likely to have done anything illegal, how many of those crashes could have been avoided if the pedestrian was more careful? All the close calls I have walking and biking have involved me not being defensive. Sure, there are the occasional crashes where a driver jumps the curb and injures or kills someone on the sidewalk. But most crashes could be avoided if one party had been more careful. Walking around the risk can be drastically reduced, though of course not eliminated, if you do what’s possible to take care of yourself. You think walking around you should be able to make a mistake, be a little careless, without dying or being severely injured? I’m with you.

    But I also think someone who has a severe mental illness, someone who did no more to deserve their fate than a pedestrian struck while trick or treating on the sidewalk, should have treatment options available to them to improve their quality of life, and even to save their life. In some cases that cost should be borne out of general tax revenue. Sometimes it will be be a little more hidden. Before the ACA was passed many insurance plans severely limited mental health benefits. Therapists and hospitals aren’t cheap. Access to care has improved, but many in need do not have access to quality care.

    And that if someone makes a series of mistakes that leaves them addicted to alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs, that they are not necessarily more deserving of suffering and death than a pedestrian who doesn’t take care crossing the street. Have sex without a condom, or reuse a needle and contract HIV? What if they asked their partner or the person they got the needle from if it was safe, so that another person played a role in their eventual suffering and death? How are those mistakes materially different from stepping into the crosswalk with the light without looking first to see if it’s safe? Is there some objective difference? Are those mistakes worse than crossing with the light without looking, but as bad as crossing jaywalking? Even worse than that? Or are you playing the role of the proverbial motorist who doesn’t understand why any pedestrian would ever cross at the corner with the light after looking both ways to make sure it’s safe, and blames them for whatever happens if they don’t behave perfectly?

    If someone grows up with abusive parents and poor schooling and is unable to rehabilitate themselves on their own are they less deserving of assistance and protection than a pedestrian who crosses away from the light because the nearest crosswalk is too far away?

    If you know little of preventable suffering apart from that caused by traffic violence, consider yourself fortunate. There is a great deal that can be done to reduce suffering and death of those who are victims of something other than traffic violence. And they are victims. Helping them should be a high priority for the city. But it isn’t, because those in power, and those who vote, are disproportionately unlikely to know that suffering personally. It becomes an issue without urgency. In much the same way those same people are more likely to drive, and less likely to sympathize with those who do not.

  • Andrew

    I don’t disagree with anything you say here.

    What angers me about traffic violence in particular is that much of the solution is possibly obvious to all, yet we still can’t manage to pull it off.

  • One reason many cyclists are injured is that the DOT and FHWA lets Billionaire Contractors ignore safety standards. My Profile Pic shows an example of how street light posts were placed in the middle of a sidewalk on a busy four lane road which has no bike lane. I live in Florida, but this is a nationwide safety concern.
    The Pedestrians Lives Matter Campaign
    – vision impaired disabled veteran


Driver Who Killed 3 People on Bronx Sidewalk Charged With Manslaughter

District Attorney Darcel Clark filed manslaughter and homicide charges against a motorist who fatally struck three people, including a child, on a Bronx sidewalk last year. Howard Unger was indicted this week on three counts of manslaughter, three counts of assault, three counts of homicide, one count of misdemeanor reckless endangerment, and one misdemeanor count of falsifying records, […]

In Memoriam

As of this writing New York City is on track to break the record for the lowest number of pedestrians killed by motorists in a year. The current low mark of 132 139 deaths was set in 2014, the first year of Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero initiative. Assuming the official numbers bear it out, the de Blasio […]