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Six-Month License Suspension for Truck Driver Who Killed Tourist in Manhattan Crosswalk

Maria Munez-Carna was struck by a flatbed truck driver making this turn from 10th Avenue onto W. 39th Street, toward the Lincoln Tunnel. Image: Google Maps

A truck driver who fatally injured a tourist in a Manhattan crosswalk has pled guilty to violating the victim's right of way.

Last December Rance Clyburn hit 57-year-old Maria Munez-Carna with a flatbed Freightliner while turning left from 10th Avenue to W. 39th Street as the victim crossed 39th with her husband and son.

The Daily News reported that a witness performed CPR at the scene, but Munez-Carna could not be revived.

The victim and her family were visiting the city from Spain.

Clyburn, of Paterson, New Jersey, was charged by NYPD and Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance with a misdemeanor Right of Way Law violation and failure to use due care, a traffic infraction. He was also issued an infraction-level charge for driving a commercial vehicle without the proper license, according to court records.

Clyburn was driving a truck belonging to S&E Bridge and Scaffold in Carlstadt, New Jersey. If he lacked the proper license and training, that indicates a serious failure on the part of S&E. The company owns 12 trucks and employs eight drivers. It has no record of unsafe driving violations with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Last month Clyburn, who was 28 at the time of the crash, pled guilty to the right of way and due care charges. For killing a woman while failing to yield to three people in a crosswalk, his New York driving privileges were suspended for six months -- New York judges can not suspend New Jersey drivers licenses -- and he was fined $750 plus $250 in fees. The charge for illegally operating a commercial vehicle was dismissed.

The intersection where Munez-Carna was struck serves as a cut-through to the Lincoln Tunnel entrance on 11th Avenue. Clyburn was headed in the direction of the tunnel.

Motorists have injured four other people walking at W. 39th and 10th since 2011, according to city crash data. To shorten crossing distances and slow driver turns, DOT is expected to extend sidewalks at the intersection.

The bulb-out is one of several slated for the area in response to a request from the Hudson Yards/Hell's Kitchen Alliance business improvement district, according to BID member Christine Berthet. The work should be completed within the next six months, Berthet told Streetsblog.

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