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

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

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
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 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.

  • Setty/Steven

    That’s a block from where they stuck me with a $190 ticket for rolling through a red light at 4 mph on my bicycle.

  • ganghiscon

    “This fatal crash occurred in the 108th Precinct, where in 2017 officers ticketed around two drivers a day for failing to yield…”

    If they stationed an officer at the 52nd and Skillman stop sign (right
    around the corner from here), they could easily issue twenty failure to
    yields in an hour. Everyone rolls right through that stop sign, even with pedestrians present.

    I’ve lived in this part of Sunnyside/Woodside for nearly a decade, and there’s very little traffic enforcement. Though I have noticed an uptick in cyclists being pulled over in the past two years. The 108 simply doesn’t care.

  • Ken Dodd

    Parked cars or no parked cars, it is physically impossible to run someone over on a crosswalk without neglecting your legal (and moral) obligation to slow down, check the crosswalk and proceed only if there are no people on it. This is why every single fail to yield death should be prosecuted as involuntary manslaughter, as it’s an act of severe neglect and recklessness which leads to someone’s death. Giving someone a mere desk ticket for involuntary manslaughter is a legal abomination which should make every single DA in the city resign in shame.

  • Brian Howald

    Daylighting at intersections is mandated by New York State law, except that New York city is explicitly allowed to override this VTL rule.

  • Klem

    Excellent answer

  • This is one of the many things that pleasantly suprised me when I visited Philadelphia. Their intersections are much better because they don’t allow parking all the way to the corner.

  • Ken Dodd

    People used to say the same thing about Bryant Park and Times Square back when they were seedy crapholes full of drug dealers and pimps. The cops could have been patrolling those areas constantly and making 100’s of arrests for serious crimes every night, but the lowlifes were essentially left alone to do their thing and they were no-go areas at night. Sooner or later, the NYPD were made to stop pussyfooting around and do their jobs, and now those areas are relatively clean. Why isn’t anyone making them do their job when it comes to killer drivers?

  • neroden

    We need to bring back private prosecutions, like the UK has.

    A crime gang like the NYPD should not get to decide who gets prosecuted.

    Especially when most of the criminals who need to be prosecuted *are* NYPD crime gang members.

  • neroden

    It’s time to run a DA campaign slamming the existing DAs for their negligence and willingness to let killers go free. The campaign ads write themselves.

  • neroden

    That’s the big thing: someone needs to make the NYPD do its job.

    Starting with cleaning its own house, since most of the worst career criminals are IN the NYPD.

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