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85-Year-Old Driver Hits 3 on Brooklyn Sidewalk, Killing 1

Image: WPIX

An 85-year-old driver hit three people on a Brooklyn sidewalk yesterday, killing one victim.

Monday's crash happened at around 1:15 p.m. outside the Gold Label deli at 281 Brighton Beach Avenue in Brighton Beach. According to NYPD and media reports, the motorist drove a Lexus sedan over the curb in reverse.

Police told WABC the man “lost control while backing into a parking spot after stepping on the gas instead of the brakes.”

The driver shattered the deli's windows and hit three people -- a 70-year-old woman and a 33-year-old man, both deli employees, and a 67-year-old woman who was shopping there -- and narrowly avoided striking others.

From the News:

“He was trying to park, but he hit the gas,” drugstore worker Benito Grande said of the driver. “He came up backward on the sidewalk with great speed ... He was saying he didn't know what happened."

The motorist severed the leg of the 67-year-old victim, who died at Coney Island Hospital, the News reported. Police had not released her identity as of this afternoon, pending family notification. The other victims were transported to Lutheran Medical Center. The extent of their injuries is unknown.

An NYPD spokesperson told Streetsblog the investigation into the crash has concluded and the driver, whose name was withheld, would not be charged or ticketed.

Older_driver_resources___New_York_State_DMV
The NYS DMV resources page for older drivers is six sentences long and refers people who are concerned about their driving skills to the AARP.
The NYS DMV resources page for older drivers is five sentences long and refers people who are concerned about their driving skills to the AARP.

There is no maximum age for driving in New York State. Older drivers may renew their licenses online or by mail, just as younger drivers do.

“DMV will not remove driving privileges based on age or based on any standard except driving ability,” the DMV web site reads. “The best indicator of driving skills and abilities is the performance of the driver on the highway.”

To alert the DMV that an older driver poses a danger to himself and others, the agency requires a hand-written form -- emails and phone calls not accepted -- submitted by mail from a physician, police officer, or “concerned individuals.” If the DMV then decides to require the driver to submit to a road test, and he fails the test and loses his license, he may apply to have his license reinstated.

The DMV "resources" page for older drivers is six sentences long, and refers people to the AARP for driving courses. “You might talk to your doctor, friends and family to assess your current driving abilities," the page says.

The DMV crash data site includes statistics and reports focused on teenage drivers, but has minimal information on crashes involving older motorists.

New York City motorists have killed at least 26 people on sidewalks and in buildings since the advent of Vision Zero in January 2014, according to crash data tracked by Streetsblog.

Yesterday's fatal crash occurred in the 60th Precinct, and in the City Council district represented by Chaim Deutsch.

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