Another Truck Driver Fatally Backs Over Another Pedestrian — And is Not Charged

Photo: Gersh Kuntzman
Photo: Gersh Kuntzman

A senior citizen was killed by a truck driver who backed over him on First Avenue on Tuesday morning — the second such incident in the same day and the second time the driver was not initially charged.

H0urs after a private garbage truck backed over a motorcyclist in Queens, killing one passenger and injuring another, cops say the unidentified driver of a box truck backed over 76-year-old James Buzzell.

“A preliminary investigation reveals that a 39-year-old male operating a 2019 Freightliner truck was attempting to park in the parking lane and struck a 76-year-old male attempting to cross E. 16th Street,” police said. The New York Post and the Daily News both reported that the truck driver was backing up into a space on First Avenue.

The driver was not arrested.

Fatalities are up nearly 21 percent on New York City roadways through May 19 this year, with 70 people killed, up from 58 over the same period last year, according to police statistics.


  • Vooch

    Wanna’ bet the Frieghtliner was a illegal truck which was over 55′ in length ?

  • ddartley

    I was at that Precinct’s Community Council last night (for a different reason–I didn’t know about this). Immedately after informing the meeting about the fatal incident, the commanding officer said the driver was “completely not at fault” (or words I would swear were to that exact effect, in case that’s not a verbatim quote)–because the pedestrian was 4’6″ or 4’9″.
    Now this is not me calling for the head of that officer. This is how most of the public thinks, and indeed a decent amount of written and case law also supports this attitude. And, as I’m most concerned about (far more than I am about punishing people), so do the physical realities of our streets and vehicles. But I do hope we get very soon to a situation where a comment like that WOULD make me call for the guy to lose his job.

  • JohnBrownForPresident

    thank you for having the patience to attend these endless meetings of fat thugs who blame victims. did anyone say anything after that piece of shit pig said those words?

  • HamTech87

    So if you’re short, anyone can kill you. I’ll tell all the kids at school they are expendable.

  • HamTech87

    There are 1.7 million children living in NYC.

  • ddartley

    Unsurprisingly, no one challenged his conclusory declaration about the incident. I wanted to (rather than what I did do–shake my head and mumble), but I knew I’d lose my cool enough to have, I know from experience, a good chance of getting kicked out of the meeting. And unfortunately, I was too concerned about making the point I went there to make–criticizing and offering alternatives to the Precinct’s use of red light stings on 20th St. and 1st Ave.
    In hindsight, pointing out the conclusory nature of the officer’s statement (even (especially?) if I got kicked out) would have been more valuable. But that’s Monday morning QBing.

  • JohnBrownForPresident

    Well good on you for being there. I’ve long given up on going to precinct meetings. Full of sycophantic cop lovers, and devoted mostly to petty property thefts (under capitalism, cops are merely guardians of property) and I just got too angry all the time. That, and lots of them are actually inside a police building which is, to me, a severely unsafe space.

  • Joe R.

    So basically they’re saying any driver who kills someone under about 12 (4′ 9″ is the median height for 12 year olds) should get off scott-free? This has me thinking of my old girlfriend from a long time ago who was around 4′ 8″ or thereabouts in high school. She obviously wasn’t going to grow any more at that age. I guess people like her would be fair game also for drivers. My mother isn’t that much taller at only 5′. With today’s massive SUVs and pickups, the “too short to see” excuse would hold for her as well I guess. I’m so glad she can no longer venture outside on her own. I’d be worried every time she went out. How long before cars get so massive that even I fall into the “too short” category at 5′ 9″?

    Yeah, I really hope the time comes sooner rather than later that a person in a public position saying this elicits calls for their firing.

  • Ishamgirl

    You wanted this ahole as mayor, now you got him.

    Not sure why anyone is surprised at this. We have an administration that allows teenagers to open fire on our streets and they’re tried as juveniles or in family court. Get pissed off over that.

  • AMH

    On Wednesday I came upon a cyclist on 6 Av who said a driver had backed into him. The TLC driver came over apologizing profusely, and the cyclist had a few scrapes and a visibly bent CitiBike. Drivers throwing it in reverse needs way more of a police crackdown than anything a cyclist could ever do.


Three Killed in Traffic in Three Days as City Council Dithers

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