DOT: 1,445 Pedestrians and Cyclists Injured, 16 Killed in December [Updated]

Ovidio Jaramillo, Thomas Violante, Victoria Nicodemus, and Thomas Kirby
Ovidio Jaramillo, Thomas Violante, Victoria Nicodemus, and Thomas Kirby

Editors’ note: This post was edited after publication to include updated information pertaining to the crash that killed Brooklyn pedestrian Eleonora Shulkin.

Twenty-three people died in New York City traffic in December, and 4,657 were injured, according to the DOT Vision Zero View crash data map.

As of the end of December, DOT reported 149 pedestrians and cyclists killed by city motorists in 2015, and 14,888 injured, compared to 159 deaths and 14,967 injuries in 2014.

Citywide, at least 16 pedestrians were fatally struck by drivers last month. Among the victims were Victoria Nicodemus, Thomas Kirby, Ovidio Jaramillo, Ramnauth Mahabir, Eleonora Shulkin, Thomas Violante, Giovanna Livolsi, Suhuyn Park, and an unnamed female pedestrian in Brooklyn.

[Update: NYPD identified the unnamed female pedestrian as Mary Dagnese, 77.]

Motorists killed at least four seniors in December: Ramnauth Mahabir, 73; Thomas Violante, 72; Giovanna Livolsi, 76; and the unnamed Brooklyn pedestrian, whose age was reported as 77.

DOT reported no cyclist deaths in December.

Across the city, 1,152 pedestrians and 293 cyclists were reported hurt in collisions with motor vehicles. Per NYPD policy, few of these crashes were investigated by trained officers.

Of nine fatal crashes on surface streets reported by Streetsblog and other outlets, no motorists were known to have been charged criminally for causing a death. Based on NYPD and media accounts, at least four victims were likely walking or cycling with the right of way when they were struck, but police and district attorneys are known to have applied the city’s Right of Way Law in only one of those crashes.

The Daily News reported that MTA bus driver Wayne Alman was charged under the Right of Way Law, code Section 19-190, for striking Eleonora Shulkin in a crosswalk in Sheepshead Bay. However, court records indicate Alman was cited for two traffic infractions under Section 19-190, but was not charged with a misdemeanor for harming the victim. The infraction provision of the Right of Way Law is supposed to apply to right-of-way violations that don’t result in injury. The top charge against Alman is a summons for careless driving, according to court records.

NYPD cited Zafrom Ghafoor with careless driving and failure to yield for fatally striking the unnamed Brooklyn pedestrian.

Victoria Nicodemus was hit on a Fort Greene sidewalk by an allegedly unlicensed driver who was not charged for taking her life and whose license was later reinstated. Thomas Kirby was struck by a hit-and-run driver on Bruckner Boulevard, where residents told the press they have tried for years to get the city to slow speeding motorists.

After Ovidio Jaramillo was killed by a hit-and-run driver on Northern Boulevard, Queens electeds held a press conference to admonish pedestrians. The bus driver who struck Eleonora Shulkin was making a turn that would have been eliminated by a shelved DOT proposal that was opposed by Council Member Chaim Deutsch and Brooklyn Community Board 15.

Thomas Violante was the sixth person known to have been killed by a driver while walking or biking on Hylan Boulevard in 2015, as Staten Island pols opposed speed enforcement and other street safety measures.

Giovanna Livolsi was killed in Middle Village by a hit-and-run driver who was not charged. NYPD blamed Livolsi for her own death. Suhuyn Park died when she was hit by an unattended yellow taxi that rolled onto a Midtown sidewalk. No charges were filed against the cab driver.

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.

Seven motor vehicle occupants died in the city in December, according to DOT, and 3,212 were injured.

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