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DMV: 90-Day License Suspension for Driver Who Killed Brooklyn Senior

3:18 PM EDT on March 28, 2017

Zafrom Ghafoor hit Mary Dagnese with a commercial van at E. 21st Street and Gravesend Neck Road. The white line represents the approximate path of the victim — it’s unknown which direction she was walking — and the red arrow indicates the approximate path of the driver. Image: Google Maps

The state Department of Motor Vehicles issued a 90-day license suspension to the commercial driver who killed 77-year-old Mary Dagnese in Sheepshead Bay in 2015.

Dagnese was crossing Gravesend Neck Road at around 4:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve when Zafrom Ghafoor, then 23, hit her with a Ford van while turning left from E. 21st Street, according to the Daily News and NYPD.

There is an unmarked crosswalk on the east side of the intersection, where Dagnese was crossing, and a stop sign for motorists approaching from the north, which Ghafoor would have passed before attempting to turn.

Dagnese sustained head trauma and died at Coney Island Hospital, the News reported.

NYPD charged Ghafoor with misdemeanor failure to use due care -- his second such offense, according to court records. He was also cited for violating the victim’s right of way under city Code Section 19-190. The criminal case against Ghafoor remains open. His next court appearance is scheduled for April.

DMV penalties against drivers who kill people are wildly inconsistent. There are no standards to govern outcomes of hearings, where DMV administrative law judges sometimes base their decisions on testimony from motorists whose victims are no longer alive to present their account of how a crash occurred.

The DMV, which is controlled by Governor Andrew Cuomo, has ignored entreaties to reform agency policies that compound the suffering of traffic violence victims' families and keep deadly drivers on the roads.

Unless the DMV imposes additional penalties when the criminal case against him is disposed, Ghafoor may have his driving privileges restored after the 90-day suspension period simply by filing the required paperwork.

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