No Charges in Fatal Hit-and-Run on Queens Boulevard
Police caught — but did not arrest or charge — the hit-and-run taxi driver who, cops say, ran down and killed a Queens Boulevard pedestrian on Sunday afternoon.
Cops say that 26-year-old Sherena Hundalani was on the sidewalk of the boulevard near 63rd Road at around 4 p.m. when the driver of a 2005 Lincoln Town Car hit her as he left the Mobil station, which is across from a busy shopping center. After hitting Hundalani, the driver continued west on Queens Boulevard, turning right onto Junction Boulevard, where he was stopped by a witness who “prevented the driver from leaving the scene,” a police spokesman told Streetsblog.
Police questioned, but did not arrest, the 55-year-old driver, whose name was not released by the NYPD, but who was later identified by the Taxi and Limousine Commission as Lakhvinder Singh. Hundalani was taken to Elmhurst Hospital Center, but could not be saved.
“The investigation remains ongoing,” police said in a statement. The Queens District Attorney’s office also issued a statement to that effect when asked by Streetsblog why there was no arrest in the case of a driver who, cops say, left the scene of a fatal crash.
TLC spokesman Allan Fromberg said the driver’s taxi license was immediately suspended pending the outcome of the NYPD investigation. He had been a driver since 2002 and did not have a bad record, Fromberg added.
Queens Boulevard was once known as the “Boulevard of Death” due to its high number of crashes. But fatalities and injuries have dropped dramatically since the city installed a protected bike lane from Roosevelt Avenue to Yellowstone Boulevard. The Department of Transportation says that total crashes are down 19 percent since the safety improvements were implemented, with total injuries down 24 percent.
Nonetheless, the final phase of the redesign — from Yellowstone to Union Turnpike — is stalled.