Trucker Kills Woman in Flatbush And Walks By Saying the Magic Words: ‘I Didn’t Know!’
The hit-and-run truck driver who killed a woman at a notorious Brooklyn intersection early on Wednesday was found by cops later that night, but then released without charges because he reportedly told officers that he’d driven off because he never knew he’d hit the victim.
He claimed “he didn’t know he struck the victim,” a police official told Gothamist.
The NYPD declined to give Streetsblog key information about the investigation. At around 7 p.m. Wednesday, the agency released a video of the truck that they say ran over and killed Linda Douglas at the corner of Flatbush and Nostrand avenues roughly 14 hours earlier.
It’s unclear when cops interviewed the trucker, whose name and company were not released. The spokesperson told Gothamist that “good police work” led to the conclusion that the driver should not be initially charged.
That was news to Douglas’s husband, John Douglas, who told the outlet that he was disappointed in the NYPD response to his wife’s death.
“Anybody can say, ‘Oh I didn’t see them, talk to my lawyer,'” he said. “You don’t run over somebody and just keep going.”
In this city, actually, you do. District Attorneys have long said that they won’t charge drivers who say they didn’t know they had hit someone because it’s hard to convince a jury otherwise. Most recently, the oil truck driver charged with killing Chaim Joseph — and then fleeing — earlier this year was not charged with leaving the scene of the crash because he claimed he did not know of the collision with the cyclist.
In 2018, there were 5,699 hit-and-run crashes that resulted in injuries citywide. But only 492 people — or just 8.6 percent — were arrested, according to NYPD stats. That’s a tiny bit lower than 2017, as City Limits reported. The low arrest rate can be due to two factors: inability to catch hit-and-run drivers or lack of desire to charge hit-and-run drivers with the “run” part.
Pedestrian and cyclists deaths are soaring at the start of 2019, with Douglas representing the 49th pedestrian or cyclist killed, up 29 percent over the same period last year, according to the NYPD TrafficStat database.