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NYC Drivers Injured 970 Pedestrians and Cyclists in August, and Killed Seven

Kayshawn Whitick. Photo via DNAinfo

Seventeen people died in New York City traffic in August, and 4,180 were injured, according to City Hall’s Vision Zero View crash data map.

City Hall reported 81 pedestrians and cyclists killed by city motorists through August, and 9,060 injured, compared to 100 deaths and 9,850 injuries in the first eight months of 2016.

Ten motor vehicle occupants died in the city in August, according to City Hall, and 3,210 were injured.

Citywide, six pedestrians and one cyclist were fatally struck by drivers. Among the victims were Arkadiy Dibin, Kayshawn Whitick, an unnamed male pedestrian in Manhattan, and two unnamed male pedestrians in Queens.

Motorists killed at least one child and one senior in August: Kayshawn Whitick, 13; and the unnamed Manhattan pedestrian, 73.

Across the city, 583 pedestrians and 387 cyclists were reported hurt in collisions with motor vehicles. Per NYPD policy that has not changed since the 2014 launch of the Vision Zero program, few of these crashes were investigated by trained officers.

Of five fatal crashes on surface streets reported by Streetsblog and other outlets, no motorists were known to have been charged for causing a death.

In four cases where a motorist killed someone walking, NYPD blamed the victim in the press, though investigations of those collisions were still in progress.

Kayshawn Whitick was struck by a woman in a Jeep on E. 135th Street at Fifth Avenue in Harlem. Citing no corroborative evidence like video or witness statements, NYPD told the press the child ran into the driver’s path and was not in the crosswalk, and said the driver “had a green light.” Police did not say how fast the woman who killed Whitick was driving. No charges were filed.

When a driver killed an unnamed 42-year-old man in Rego Park and left the scene, NYPD speculated in the press that the victim was “possibly intoxicated,” creating the impression that he was at least partly responsible for the crash. The driver was not immediately caught or identified. The majority of hit-and-run drivers who strike people in NYC are not held accountable in any way.

Five days later a motorist fatally struck Arkadiy Dibin, 29, on Yellowstone Boulevard in Rego Park. NYPD said Dibin, who was hit with enough force to shatter the vehicle’s windshield, “darted” into the street. Police filed no charges.

Sydney Jones killed a 73-year-old man while driving through Chelsea in a truck so large it's not legally permitted on city streets. Though Jones allegedly did not have a valid license and has a history of license suspensions, NYPD and Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance charged him only with misdemeanor unlicensed driving -- the charge applied when an unlicensed driver commits a traffic infraction.

The same misdemeanor charge, which carries a maximum penalty of a $500 fine and 30 days in jail, was filed against the alleged unlicensed driver who killed the unnamed Queens victim. NYPD implied the victim was at fault, telling the media he had headphones on and crossed against the light. Police cited no evidence to back up the department's claims that the deceased victim was crossing the street illegally.

Historically, nearly half of motorists who kill a New York City pedestrian or cyclist do not receive so much as a citation for careless driving.

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