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Driver Strikes and Kills Phil O’Reilly on Union Turnpike — NYPD Files No Charges

Union Turnpike is a high-speed street bordering the St. John’s University Queens campus where O’Reilly was struck. Image: Google Street View

On Tuesday night, a driver struck and killed Phil O'Reilly on Union Turnpike at 175th Street in Hillcrest. O'Reilly led rides with the Five Borough Bike Club and remembrances have been pouring in on social media.

O'Reilly was walking across Union Turnpike after watching a St. John's University basketball game at Carnesecca Arena, slightly before 11 p.m., when he was struck. A westbound driver hit him on the far side of the intersection, inflicting head injuries, according to NYPD's public information office.

Police filed no charges and said the motorist had a green light. NYPD did not provide information on the driver's speed at the time of the collision, or whether the driver's phone had been analyzed for evidence of distraction.

Department policy is to not release the name of a driver involved in a fatal collision unless charges are filed. In many cases, NYPD bases its account of the crash solely on the driver's version of events, which is later disproven by video, eyewitnesses, or other evidence.

The design of Union Turnpike lends itself to dangerous speeding. It's a divided four lane road with turn lanes at intersections.

Two people were injured in traffic crashes at the intersection of Union Turnpike and 175th Street last year, and eight were injured at the nearby intersection of Union and Utopia Parkway, according to Vision Zero View. The street has not been identified as a priority for design improvements by the city, however.

The crash happened in the 107th Precinct and in the City Council district represented by Rory Lancman. You can speak up about traffic safety issues in the area at the precinct community council, which meets on the fourth Tuesday of every month at 71-01 Parsons Boulevard.

He now belongs to the ages - 5BBC mourns the unexpected death of long time cyclist & leader, Phil O’Reilly. He was fatally struck by a motor vehicle, Tues. Jan. 23, 2018. We express our heartfelt condolences to his loved ones.

— 5BBC (@5BBC) January 25, 2018

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