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Aggressive Driving

BLOOD IN THE STREETS: Three More Pedestrians are Dead [UPDATED]

1:29 PM EDT on July 8, 2019

The dangerous intersection of Coney Island Avenue and Church Avenue, where a driver hit and killed a 49-year-old woman in 2019. It is in the 40th Council District. Photo: Zainab Iqbal.

Updated | Three more pedestrians  have been killed by reckless drivers — bringing the total death count on New York City streets this bloody year to 106, or 14 percent more than this time last year. The latest bloodshed comes as 15 cyclists have also been killed this year, up from 10 in all of 2018.

In the most-recent pedestrian death, police say a driver hit and killed 49-year-old Maria Del Carmen Porras-Hernandez as she was crossing Coney Island Avenue in a marked crosswalk at around 9:10 a.m. on Monday. Police say the driver, 63-year-old Claudette Crosby, was heading west on Church Avenue and tried to make a right turn onto Coney Island Avenue when she struck the victim. Crosby then hit a parked car, cops added.

Porras-Hernandez was taken to Maimonides Hospital where she died. Crosby remained at the scene and was not initially charged, but was later slapped with summonses for failure to yield to a pedestrian and failure to exercise due care.

The intersection of Church and Coney Island avenues is notoriously dangerous and congested — so much so that the city has made it the focal point of a campaign for safer streets and faster bus service. 

There have been 84 crashes resulting in 21 injuries at that intersection since June, 2016, including five cyclists and eight pedestrians.

Monday's death followed the killing of 65-year-old Cleo Fields in Manhattan.

In that case, police say 71-year-old Alpha Diallo was driving the wrong way down Frederick Douglass Boulevard at around 1 p.m. on Sunday when he failed to stop at a red light and slammed into another car making a left turn from W. 128th Street onto Frederick Douglass. Diallo’s car then kept going and struck Fields as he was crossing the boulevard — the impact hurled him into the air and he landed onto a parked car. Police say Diallo then struck that car, and yet another parked car. 

Cops arrested Diallo and charged him with manslaughter, reckless endangerment, and reckless driving.

And the third recent pedestrian fatality stems from a June 29 crash, when police say a 27-year-old driver struck 72-year-old Gualberto Delgado on 108th Street near the Long Island Expressway at about 8:30 am. 

Cops say the driver was heading north on 108th Street when he hit Delgado as the pedestrian was crossing the roadway mid-block. Delgado lived just half a mile away from where he was killed. 

Paramedics rushed him to New York Presbyterian Hospital-Queens, where he died. On July 5, the city Medical Examiner determined that Delgado died from his injuries sustained in the collision — but police did not summons or arrest the driver. 

Since January 2016, there have been a total of 23 crashes at that dangerous intersection, resulting in 39 injuries, including six to pedestrians and one cyclist.

The latest cycle of bloodshed comes as the NYPD claims it is in the midst of a three-week ticket blitz targeting reckless drivers. In all, pedestrian deaths are up slightly over last year. According to the Department of Transportation, 54 pedestrians were killed through July 7 of this year, compared to 51 over the same period last year. That's an increase of six percent.

This story was updated on Tuesday morning to reflect the charges against the driver in the Church Avenue death.

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