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Carnage

Adrian Blanc Was the Second Person Killed on the Same Union Square Block in 5 Years

E.14th Street at Union Square East. Photo: Google Maps

Police have located the SUV driven by the motorist who fatally injured Adrian Blanc near the southeast corner of Union Square and fled the scene, but the driver has yet to be identified.

[Update 1/3/18: Xavier Ward, 23, was charged with leaving the scene, a class D felony, and misdemeanor aggravated unlicensed operation for the crash that killed Adrian Blanc, according to court documents obtained via the office of Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance. Streetsblog will follow the case against Ward as it develops.]

Blanc was hit at around 1 a.m. Tuesday as he crossed Union Square East at 14th Street. Video showed the driver turning left from 14th Street when he struck the victim, stopped the vehicle, and continued north on Union Square East toward Park Avenue.

Adrian Blanc
Adrian Blanc
Adrian Blanc

Blanc, 34, sustained severe head injuries and died the next day, according to the Daily News.

The News reported that Blanc, who lived in Brooklyn, came to the U.S. from Venezuela and over the course of roughly 10 years went from washing dishes to a position as head chef at a Manhattan restaurant. He became a U.S. citizen this year and was engaged to be married, the News said.

The Jeep SUV was a Zipcar rental, according to the News.

Five years ago, at the other end of the block where Blanc was struck, Harry Robinson ran over and killed 21-year-old Roxana Buta with a DOT truck as he turned right from 14th Street onto Broadway.

Robinson was not charged by NYPD or Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance for leaving the scene. Robinson's failure to yield and careless driving summonses were dismissed in traffic court, and he kept his job at DOT.

Yesterday the City Council passed a bill to set up a hit-and-run text alert system for severe crashes. According to data cited by the News, there were 44,865 hit-and-runs in fiscal 2016, resulting in just 510 arrests, meaning 99 percent of NYC motorists who flee crash scenes are never penalized.

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