NYPD: No Charges for Trucker Who Dismembered Woman in Brooklyn Hit-and-Run
The driver of a semi truck ran over and killed a woman in Flatbush last night, then left the scene. NYPD filed no charges and defended the hit-and-run trucker in the press.
The victim — who had not been identified as of this morning but is believed to be a woman in her 40s — was crossing Caton Avenue at St. Paul’s Place in Flatbush at around 8:25 p.m. when the driver, eastbound on Caton, hit her with a tractor-trailer car carrier, according to the NYPD public information office.
Witnesses told the media the collision left the victim’s body in pieces on the street. She was declared dead at the scene.
Caton Avenue at St. Paul’s Place is a two-lane, two-way neighborhood street with apartment buildings on both sides. The nearby Prospect Park Parade Ground draws a lot of foot traffic.
Caton is a local truck route, meaning truck drivers are only supposed to use it if their origin and destination are within Brooklyn. Information provided by NYPD does not indicate whether the driver was using Caton Avenue legally, or if he had any necessary truck permits.
Locals told DNAinfo reckless truck drivers are a hazard on Caton. “This is a very high traffic area and there is no enforcement of the red lights,” said one resident. “There are a lot of tractor trailers that run lights here constantly. From Flatbush Avenue past Ocean Avenue, it’s insane. The city needs to enforce the law here.”
Before locating the driver, NYPD told the Daily News he was “possibly unaware of what happened.” Investigators cleared him within hours.
The driver was located later Wednesday night and police did not immediately arrest him because after speaking with him, they believe he accidentally hit the woman and didn’t realize he had done so, an NYPD spokesman said Thursday morning.
NYPD told Streetsblog the investigation was ongoing, but told News 12 the driver would not be charged. It would be the second time this month NYPD declined to charge a motorist for leaving the scene of a fatal crash — a felony — preempting the justice system from determining innocence or guilt.
News 12 correspondent Katie Lusso said the victim “ran out onto Caton Avenue,” and interviewed a witness who said the victim was using a phone and the truck driver had a green light. Lusso spent part of her segment tut-tutting people for crossing without a walk signal at the site of the crash but did not say how many drivers she observed breaking traffic laws.
No media reports that we could find questioned how the driver could have run over a human without his knowledge, or addressed whether or not he was legally permitted to drive a tractor-trailer on Caton Avenue.
New York City motorists killed at least 11 people walking and biking in the first 18 days of 2017.