Pedestrian Struck Dead in Industrial Bushwick

Photo: Gersh Kuntzman
Photo: Gersh Kuntzman

A pickup truck driver ran over and killed a Brooklyn man along a poorly designed industrial street in Bushwick — and cops blamed the victim for crossing “mid block.”

The fatal crash occurred on Friday at around 5 p.m. as Jose Rubi, 51, was on Maspeth Avenue in the area where it becomes dominated by truck drivers. Cops say the 46-year-old driver of a 2015 Ford pickup was traveling eastbound on Maspeth and attempted to make a left onto Vandervoort Avenue, where struck Rubi. Police said Rubi was “crossing mid-block,” but it is not clear how cops made that determination.

“The driver said he was making a left turn onto Vandervoort and he did not see the pedestrian crossing the street,” a police spokesman said.

The driver remained at the scene. Rubi was taken to Woodhull Hospital, where he died from his injuries.

“There are no arrests and the investigation is ongoing,” police said in a statement.

Five crashes on Maspeth Avenue have caused eight injuries in just over two years.
Five crashes on Maspeth Avenue have caused eight injuries in just over three years.

Since January, 2016, five motorists, two pedestrians and one cyclist have been injured in five crashes on just the one block of Maspeth between Vandervoort and Morgan avenues. The roadway changes dramatically from residential to industrial east of Morgan, where Rubi was killed.

  • Zach Katz
  • JM

    This was my mom’s boyfriend! He was a great man! He died on his way to work! That area is dangerous for pedestrians!

  • ItsEasyBeingGreen

    The cops said the crash happened as the driver was turning but the victim was crossing mid-block? They don’t even hold themselves to a basic standard of internal consistency do they?

  • Families for Safe Streets

    JM, We are so absolutely sorry to hear about this awful loss, particularly in an area which as you say, is known to be dangerous for pedestrians. Could you please contact us at Families for Safe Streets ( We would like to be supportive in any way we can. Please also visit our website and online resource guide. Looking forward to connecting with you very soon. Holding your family in our thoughts.

  • Bernard Finucane

    The crosswalks at Maspeth and Vanderfoort are nearly sixty feet long. Not bad for a two lane street.

  • There are so many safety issues here that made this inevitable. Vandervoort is a virtual speedway — an extension of the BQE with a lot of heavy truck traffic. Maspeth west of Vandervoort is a textbook case of unenforced sidewalk parking that forces pedestrians out into the street. No amount of 311 reports seems to discourage sidewalk parking in this precinct, so it’s sadly unsurprising that someone lost their life here. Now, will they finally do something about this? And will NYCDOT ever start being proactive instead of reactive?


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