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NYPD: No Charges After Bus Driver Kills Woman Crossing Queens Street With the Right of Way

Video still: WNBC

NYPD filed no charges against a school bus driver who hit and killed a woman crossing a Kew Gardens street in the crosswalk.

Elise Hellinger, 58, was crossing 82nd Road, south to north, at around 6:45 a.m. Tuesday when the driver, northbound on Kew Gardens Road, struck her while turning left onto 82nd, the Daily News reported. Hellinger sustained head and body trauma and died at the scene.

Kew Gardens Road at 82nd Road is an unsignalized T intersection in a residential area, one block west of Queens Boulevard. Photos and video of the crash scene show the bus stopped in the marked crosswalk and the victim's body, under a police tarp, to the right of the bus.

NYPD told the media Hellinger was in the crosswalk when she was struck. If that's accurate, Hellinger was crossing the street lawfully. But police filed no charges against the driver under city code Section 19-190, which makes it a misdemeanor for motorists to harm people walking with the right of way.

Adhering to the police practice of shielding the names of motorists who aren't charged or ticketed after killing people, NYPD identified the school bus driver only as being 24 years old.

Kew Gardens Road at 82nd Road. The white arrow indicates the direction the victim was walking and the red arrow shows the approximate path of the driver, according to NYPD. Image: Google Maps
Kew Gardens Road at 82nd Road. The white arrow indicates the direction the victim was walking and the red arrow shows the approximate path of the driver, according to NYPD. Image: Google Maps
Kew Gardens Road at 82nd Road. The white arrow indicates the direction the victim was walking and the red arrow shows the approximate path of the driver, according to NYPD. Image: Google Maps

The bus was carrying children at the time of the collision. No one on board was injured.

City data show no injuries or fatalities at the intersection where Hellinger was struck in recent years, but since 2010 drivers have injured 16 people walking on the seven-block stretch of Kew Gardens Road between 80th Road and 84th Avenue.

This fatal crash occurred in the 102nd Precinct, where officers ticketed fewer than two drivers a day for failure to yield in 2017, and in the City Council district represented by Karen Koslowitz. Motorists have killed no fewer than seven people walking and biking in Koslowitz's district in the past nine months, according to crash data tracked by Streetsblog.

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