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NYPD: No Charges for Driver Who Killed Senior Walking With Right of Way in Woodside

A motorist killed a senior at Woodside Avenue and 57th Street in Queens. The red arrow indicates the path of the driver, and the white arrow represents the path of the victim, according to NYPD. Image: Google Maps

NYPD filed no charges against a motorist who fatally struck an 83-year-old woman in a crosswalk in Woodside, though NYPD's account of the crash indicates the victim had the right of way.

[Update: NYPD says the driver in this crash was arrested and charged with failure to yield.]

The collision occurred at an intersection where DOT allows people to park their cars to the edge of crosswalks, which hinders visibility and safety.

According to NYPD, the unidentified victim was walking westbound on Woodside Avenue at around 2:20 p.m. on February 14 when the motorist, also westbound on Woodside, hit her with an SUV while turning right onto 57th Street. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

There are no traffic signals at Woodside and 57th. If the victim was in the marked crosswalk, as NYPD says, she would have had the right of way.

The NYPD public information office told Streetsblog the crash is still being investigated. However, the Queens Gazette reported that the driver “will not be facing charges.”

NACTO recommends 20 to 25 feet of clearance around crosswalks so motorists and people crossing the street can see each other. Daylighting at intersections is mandated by law in some places, including New Jersey and Portland. But in NYC, DOT allows drivers to park as close to crosswalks as they can in order to maximize free curbside car storage. Even when it puts people at mortal risk.

This 2012 Google photo shows how parked cars block sight lines for drivers turning from Woodside Avenue onto 57th Street.
This 2012 Google photo shows how parked cars block sight lines for drivers turning from Woodside Avenue onto 57th Street.
This 2012 Google photo shows how parked cars block sight lines for drivers turning from Woodside Avenue onto 57th Street.

This fatal crash occurred in the 108th Precinct, where in 2017 officers ticketed around two drivers a day for failing to yield, and in the City Council district represented by Jimmy Van Bramer.

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