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

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.

  • Jules1

    Horribly sad, but very persuasive arguments in favor of 24/7 automated traffic camera enforcement.

    Blessings to all those who lost loved ones. There’s been progress made on Vision Zero, but we still have a long ways to go.

  • Vision Zero is an ad campaign.

  • Geck

    Park Slope victim seems to have been a pedestrian. Park Slope Stoop indicates police original released erroneous information, and the media keeps repeating it.


  • Alexander Vucelic

    25 MPH = 90% chance of living. NYrs should seriously Contemplate widespread installation of speedbumps on all major streets. The little humps DOT installs in 20MPH zones are Cheap and quickly installed. They can be designed for 25MPH speeds.

    Please stop the carnage.

  • com63

    We should really have enough cameras and license plate readers in this city that we can identify any hit and run driver within hours of an accident with even a minimal description of the vehicle and the time/location of the incident.

    Killings like these should get as much or more police attention as gun murders against random victims.

  • Boeings+Bikes

    Drivers, just remember: if you’re not drunk, stay at the scene. If you are drunk, run for it and claim you couldn’t be expected to notice you’ve run someone over when you’re going so fast. Either way, the first murder is a freebie!

  • Andres Dee

    Some bozo left a comment on the Stoop article that all this could be avoided if folks just learned to operate their brakes with their left feet. http://parkslopestoop.com/blog/crime/updatedcorrection-pedestrian-killed-on-5th-avenue-this-morning-in-apparent-hit-and-run-cops-say/#comment-2542285428

  • SergeBanning70123

    Creative discussion , Just to add my thoughts , you are interested in a a form , my business partner edited a template version here http://goo.gl/bHmpjN


Five Killed in Four Days: Holiday Season Marked by Pedestrian Deaths

In separate crashes in Queens, Manhattan and the Bronx, city motorists killed five pedestrians between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Four of the crashes, which took the lives of a child and three young mothers, were hit-and-runs. At approximately 8:45 a.m. on December 28, 11-year-old Miguel Torres of Jackson Heights was crossing at Northern Boulevard and 80th […]

The Weekly Carnage

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; 155 This Year*) Mott Haven: Man Crossing Street Struck, Dragged by MTA Bus Driver; Witness Says Victim Was in […]

The Weekly Carnage

The Weekly Carnage is a Friday round-up of motor vehicle violence across the five boroughs and beyond. For more on the origins and purpose of this column, please read About the Weekly Carnage. Fatal Crashes (5 killed this week, 103 this year, 16 drivers charged*) Williamsburg: Cyclist Erica Abbott, 29, Killed by Mercedes Driver; No […]