NYPD: No Charges After Drivers Collide, Killing Shaena Sinclair and Injuring Her 6-Year-Old Son on Canarsie Sidewalk

The collision propelled a car onto the curb with enough force to kill, but NYPD says speed was "not a factor."

Video still: WABC
Video still: WABC

Two motorists collided at an intersection in Canarsie last night, sending a car onto the sidewalk where people were waiting for a bus.

Shaena Sinclair, 33, was killed. Her son, 6-year-old Jayvon Williams, was hospitalized in critical condition with a head injury. NYPD filed no charges and issued no tickets.

The victims were at the B17 stop at the corner of Remsen and Seaview avenues when the collision occurred, at around 9 p.m. NYPD told Gothamist a 21-year-old man, traveling east on Seaview in a Honda sedan, was turning left when the passenger side of his vehicle was hit by a 61-year-old man, who was westbound on Seaview in a Toyota SUV. The Honda driver then jumped the curb and struck the victims at the northwest corner of the intersection, NYPD said.

“They tried to avoid each other and they hit,” witness Michael Thomas told WCBS. “They pinned the lady and the young boy up against the fence.”

Sinclair was pronounced dead at Brookdale Hospital.

Sinclair’s mother, Claudette Edwards, told the Post she grabbed her grandson and tried to get him out of the driver’s path.

Shaena Sinclair and her son Jayvon Williams. Photos via @KenBuffa
Shaena Sinclair and her son Jayvon Williams. Photos via @KenBuffa

Video from the scene showed heavy damage to both vehicles, with the front end of the Honda completely destroyed, indicating high-speed impact.

NYPD told WCBS that investigators “do not believe speed was a factor.” Given the severity of the collision, that seems highly unlikely.

The 11-block stretch of Seaview Avenue that borders Canarsie Park, from Paerdegat Avenue North to East 93rd Street, sees a dozen or more traffic injuries in an average year, according to city data.

“They use this block as a speedway,” Thomas told WABC. “When that light turns green it’s like a raceway. The Department of Transportation has to do something, we have to get speed cameras or we’ve got to get speed bumps to prevent stuff like this from happening again.”

NYC’s speed camera program is set to expire this year, due to an arbitrary sunset provision imposed by Albany lawmakers. With this year’s legislative session winding down, the State Senate is holding up a bill that would continue the program and increase the number of cameras that may be deployed to protect New Yorkers from speeding drivers.

“If the driver who set this deadly crash in motion were traveling at a safe speed, Shaena Sinclair would still be alive,” said Paul White, executive director of Transportation Alternatives, in a statement. “Clearly we’re not doing enough to curb speeding — which increases both the likelihood and severity of crashes.”

Even if neither driver was speeding, at least one of them is culpable for the crash that ended Shaena Sinclair’s life. Yet NYPD has so far declined to hold either motorist accountable in any way.

This fatal collision occurred in the 69th Precinct, where officers ticket between one and two speeding drivers a day, and in the City Council district represented by Alan Maisel.

  • AstoriaBlowin

    Road diets can happen right now, no need to wait on Albany.

  • ddartley

    What do we know about exactly who at NYPD said speed wasn’t likely a factor?
    (And, separate question, but did they mean “speed” or “speeding?” I bet they and the reporters the quote went to probably don’t even distinguish.)

  • DoctorMemory

    End of the day, I’m actually not fully unsympathetic to the idea that the criminal justice system is the wrong place to deal with non-repeat traffic offenders, even those who kill people. Cars are two-ton powered killing machines, and all of our nifty modern technology (ABS, airbags, radar, what-have-you) is just a thin veneer over a machine that’s every bit as dangerous as an F1 racer when put onto a city street. As long as we’re allowing people to drive, people are going to get killed, and putting otherwise law-abiding people into the expensive hellhole that is our jail system does nobody any good. (Of course, you can — and should — say that about a lot of other “crimes” but that’s another discussion.)

    But for fuck’s sake if we’re not going to fully criminalize vehicular homicide, can we at least pursue administrative penalties? I don’t need these people to rot in jail but they should absolutely lose their drivers license for the foreseeable future. Given that they actually killed someone, it seems like the minimum standard of decency.

  • vnm

    NYC: Where you can kill someone with your car and not even get so much as a traffic ticket. In the suburbs and you’ll get the book thrown at you.

  • ddartley

    As someone who lost his sister and a friend to reckless driving, I AGREE with you. It’s one of the reasons I support the push for more school zone speed safety cams, which are more prevention than punishment. I hope to have time today to post a usable call-to-action comment about them here.

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