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Hit-and-Run Drivers Killed Three Victims in Four Hours on Sunday [Updated]


Fatal Park Slope hit and run by Gothamist


Correction: Park Slope Stoop reports that the Park Slope victim was walking, not riding a bike. The copy in this post has been altered accordingly.

Hit-and-run drivers killed three New York City pedestrians within a few hours on Sunday.

Jose Contreras, 63, was struck by the driver of a black SUV as he crossed Webster Avenue at E. 175th Street, near the Cross Bronx Expressway, at approximately 1:30 a.m., according to the Times and WABC.

A hit-and-run driver killed Jose Contreras on Webster Avenue in the Bronx. Photo via WPIX
A hit-and-run driver killed Jose Contreras on Webster Avenue in the Bronx. Photo via WPIX
A hit-and-run driver killed Jose Contreras on Webster Avenue in the Bronx. Photo via WPIX

WABC reports:

Contreras was celebrating his sister's 80th birthday and pulled over his car, his family said. He was going back in to check on his family because they were taking awhile to get out of the catering hall, and was crossing the street when he was hit.

“I left my father in the car, and I figured that’s where he would be when I came back out," Joseph Contreras, the victim's son, told the Post. "But when I came back out, he was in the middle of the street, laying in his own blood."

Contreras died at Saint Barnabas Hospital.

At around 4:40 a.m., 48-year-old Besik Shengelia was retrieving items from his SUV on 111th Street near 109th Avenue in South Ozone Park when he was struck by a driver who left the scene. The make and model of the vehicle that hit Shengelia is unknown. He was pronounced dead at Jamaica Hospital.

WABC, which reported that Shengelia worked for Uber, spoke with witnesses, including a woman who stopped other drivers from running over Shengelia after he was hit.

"It's a shame that people was driving by and nobody stopped. National Grid saw me stopping traffic, and they came and helped us," says [Sonia] Ramirez.

"The street does have a problem late at night with people speeding up and down the street, basically, and something needs to change around here," eyewitness David Moore says.

The Post reported that Shengelia was "a former commander of the Georgian navy during the country’s 2008 war with Russia” who moved to the city with his family.

About 20 minutes after Shengelia was struck, the driver of a Nissan Altima ran a red light and hit a pedestrian in Park Slope.

From the Times:

The man, whose name has not been released, was riding west on Ninth Street when the car, a gold sedan traveling north on Fifth Avenue, hit him, the police said. He had severe trauma to his body, and he was taken to New York Methodist Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The intersection tends to be bustling and, at times, chaotic.

Khalifa Salem, who works behind the counter at Fifth Avenue Deli and Smoke Shop, said a minivan swerved off the street and crashed into the storefront in 2013. Two months ago, he added, a dog was hit.

And on Sunday afternoon, two cars collided outside the store.

NYPD released video of the suspect's vehicle. Gothamist reported that, according to police, “The car is missing its passenger side mirror, its bumper is broken and the passenger side headlight and fog light are inoperable.”

Thirty people were injured in crashes at Fifth Avenue and Ninth Street between 2010 and 2015, according to DOT crash data.

Hit-and-run drivers have killed at least seven NYC pedestrians and cyclists in 2016, according to crash data tracked by Streetsblog. Most hit-and-run drivers who kill people in NYC are not prosecuted.

Also Sunday, motorists critically injured pedestrians at Sixth Avenue and Prince Street in SoHo and Guy R. Brewer Boulevard at 118th Road in South Jamaica, the Times reported.

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