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Brutal Holiday Season on NYC Streets — Drivers Killed 7 Pedestrians in 8 Days

Video still of the crash that killed 11-year-old Kyla Williams in the Bronx. Police filed no charges against the driver. Image via Daily News

New York City motorists killed at least seven people walking, including a child, in the last week. Four victims were killed in the new year. In four cases the driver left the scene.

[Update: A third victim was killed on New Year’s Day. Darton Besler, 73, was struck by the driver of a minivan on Boston Post Road near Bronxwood Avenue, in the Bronx, at around 5:30 p.m., according to NY1. The headline and lede of this story were amended accordingly.]

On December 27 at approximately 11:30 a.m., 11-year-old Kyla Williams was hit by the driver of a Toyota sedan as she crossed E. 180th Street at Hughes Avenue in the Bronx.

Video published by the Daily News shows Kyla in the crosswalk, to the driver’s left, as he approaches the intersection. Though Kyla crossed two traffic lanes before entering the driver's path, he failed to stop, and struck her a few feet from the sidewalk.

The collision happened within sight of Kyla’s mother, who was waiting inside a car with her 2-year-old son as Kyla went for food at a deli.

From the Post:

“The mother saw the baby girl running toward her and then get hit,” said Miguel Ceverino, the owner of the deli, who says the girl’s family has been coming to his store every day for the past 13 years. “She saw the whole thing. The baby was running toward the mother when the car hit her."

Kyla died at St. Barnabas Hospital. NYPD did not release the name of the driver, who was identified only as a 35-year-old man. No charges were filed.

Kyla Williams was killed in the 48th Precinct, and in the City Council district represented by Ritchie Torres.

Kyla Williams, Ramone Fores, Evedette Sanchez, and Thomas Bradley Jr.
Kyla Williams, Ramone Fores, Evedette Sanchez, and Thomas Bradley Jr.
Kyla Williams, Ramone Fores, Evedette Sanchez, and Thomas Bradley Jr.

About 10 hours later, an SUV driver hit 33-year-old Ramone Fores outside 225 Main Street in Tottenville.

Main Street is one-way with parking on both sides at the location where Fores was struck. The collision happened near a construction fence that completely blocks the sidewalk. According to WNBC, locals say the fence forces people to walk in the street, and the fence and parked cars obstruct sight lines for people walking and driving.

Surveillance [footage] shows cars were blocking [Fores's] view of oncoming traffic before he was hit.

The driver stopped, and no charges have been filed, but the fatal accident has residents and businesses on the block renewing complaints about pedestrian safety.

For years, they have blamed an eyesore construction fence across the street for creating problems with pedestrian field of vision.

When Fores was killed, he was crossing from the opposite side of Main Street. But some neighbors say the fence in front of the old Stadium Theater causes hazards for both sides of Main Street because it reduces parking and forces pedestrians on the west side of Main Street to have to walk into the road.

Fores, who had a 10-year-old son and a 12-year-old daughter, sustained trauma to his head and body and died at Staten Island University Hospital, the Advance reported.

Ramone Fores was killed in the 123rd Precinct, and in the City Council district represented by Joe Borelli.

At around 7:15 p.m. on December 28, a driver in a green Chevrolet Suburban struck Evedette Sanchez, 39, in a crosswalk at Louisiana and Flatlands avenues in East New York, then left the scene.

From the News:

Police said the driver who hit Sanchez pulled over, looked at the scene, climbed back in the car and bolted. The suspect was last seen heading north on Louisiana Ave.

“They got away with murder,” Willie Evans, Sanchez’s husband, told the News. “She was a beautiful person. She would never hurt anybody. Everyone loved her ... I’m in disarray.”

Sanchez had a teenage son and daughter and a 5-year-old girl.

“More needs to be done” to protect New York City pedestrians, said Evans, who was recently injured by a hit-and-run driver who was not caught. “Too many families are going through this."

Evedette Sanchez was killed in the 69th Precinct, and in the City Council district represented by Inez Barron.

Hit-and-run drivers killed two people on January 1. At around 2:15 a.m. 52-year-old Thomas Bradley Jr. was struck with a red late model Ford Mustang on Rockaway Boulevard near the Belt Parkway in Springfield Gardens, according to the News. “The impact sent Bradley flying at least 20 feet from the crosswalk,” the News said. Bradley was killed in the 105th Precinct, and in the City Council district represented by Donovan Richards.

An unidentified 53-year-old man was hit as he crossed S. Conduit Boulevard near Pine Street with a group of people at about 5 a.m. Sunday. The News reported that the driver, in a Lexus sedan, was “weaving wildly” before the collision and came to a stop in a traffic island before running away on foot. The suspect was identified by police as 23-year-old Tedangelo Jerome. The victim died at Brookdale University Hospital. The collision occurred in the 75th Precinct, and in the City Council district represented by Rafael Espinal.

At around 6:45 this morning, Hermanda Booker was struck with an SUV at Nostrand Avenue and Kings Highway in Midwood. Booker was then run over by the driver of a yellow school bus, who was turning left onto the avenue from Kings Highway, according to the Daily News and WABC. The SUV driver did not stop.

Booker, 29, died at Beth Israel Medical Center. The SUV driver was not immediately caught or identified and no charges were filed against the driver of the school bus. Hermanda Booker was killed in the 63rd Precinct, and in the City Council district represented by Jumaane Williams.

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