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Driver Kills Army Vet Barney Pinkney, 63, in Harlem — NYPD Blames Victim

Morningside Avenue at 124th Street, where a driver fatally struck Barney Pinkney. Image: Google Maps
Morningside Avenue at 124th Street, where a driver fatally struck Barney Pinkney, has an unmarked crosswalk. Image: Google Maps
Morningside Avenue at 124th Street, where a driver fatally struck Barney Pinkney. A DOT road diet for Morningside Avenue, installed in 2014, did not include improvements at this intersection. Image: Google Maps

A motorist struck and killed 63-year-old Barney Pinkney as he crossed the street in Harlem Tuesday. NYPD blamed the victim in the press.

According to the NYPD public information office, the victim was crossing Morningside Avenue at 124th Street, west to east, when the driver, northbound on Morningside, hit him with a Saturn SUV. Pinkney suffered head trauma and died at St. Luke's Hospital, police said.

NYPD filed no charges and blamed Pinkney, pictured, in the press. Photo via Daily News
NYPD filed no charges and blamed Pinkney, pictured, in the press. Photo via Daily News
Barney Pinkney was killed by a driver while crossing the street in Harlem. NYPD filed no charges and blamed the victim in the press. Photo via Daily News

The NYPD account of the crash focused on the victim's behavior, with few details on the driver's actions, and leaves many questions unanswered.

A police spokesperson told Streetsblog Pinkney was "in the vicinity of the double yellow line" when he was struck. Unnamed police sources told DNAinfo and the Daily News Pinkney was "outside the crosswalk" and "mid-street."

Morningside Avenue and 124th Street is a T-intersection with an unmarked crosswalk on Morningside. A DOT road diet implemented in 2014 added center pedestrian islands and extended sidewalks at some Morningside crossings, but improvements at 124th Street were not included.

The NYPD public information office could not say how fast the driver was going -- a crucial factor in the severity of the victim's injuries -- or why the driver failed to stop for someone crossing the street.

Police did not charge or ticket the motorist who killed Pinkney, identified as a 75-year-old man from Queens. NYPD usually shields the names of drivers who aren't penalized for killing people.

Speaking to the Daily News, Russel Lowery, the victim's brother, said Pinkney was an Army veteran. "He was just crossing the street," Lowery said.

The crash that killed Barney Pinkney occurred in the 26th Precinct and in the City Council district represented by Inez Dickens.

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