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Bloody Year Continues as Two More Pedestrians are Killed by Drivers in Brooklyn

3:30 PM EDT on August 9, 2019

The intersection of Rockaway and Belmont avenues in Brownsville where Ruilian Huang was killed. Photo: Google

A bad year has gotten worse: A pedestrian was run over and killed earlier this week by a hit-and-run driver in the deadly Brownsville section of Brooklyn and another was run over and killed in the Ditmas Park section, the NYPD said on Friday.

In the first report, according to police, 66-year-old Queens resident Ruilian Huang was crossing Belmont Avenue at Rockaway Avenue at around 8:45 a.m. on Monday when the driver of a red Honda CRV slammed into her as he or she attempted to make a right turn from northbound Rockaway Avenue onto Belmont.

Huang "was struck by vehicle's front bumper, causing her to mount the hood of the vehicle and then fall to the roadway," the NYPD said in a statement. "Vehicle then struck the pedestrian with the driver's side tires and continued east on Belmont Avenue towards an unknown destination."

Huang was taken to Brookdale Hospital, where she died. The driver is being sought.

The intersection does not have a traffic signal, but pedestrians have the right of way.

On Friday afternoon, the NYPD reported that an unidentified 56-year-old pedestrian was run down on Wednesday at around 9:30 p.m. near the intersection of Cortelyou and Rugby roads. He died the next day at Maimonides Medical Center. The driver, 34, remained on the scene.

Cops said their preliminary investigation revealed that the driver of a 2009 Ford SUV was traveling eastbound on Cortelyou Road when he hit the pedestrian, who may have been crossing Cortelyou mid-block. The driver was not issued any summonses for failing to operate with due care, the basic standard for safety.

The current calendar year has been exceptionally bloody on New York streets, with 130 road fatalities through Aug. 8 this year, up at least 20 percent from last year's 108 over the same time frame. There have been 67 pedestrian deaths, up 15.5 percent from the 58 that had been killed by this point last year. Those numbers do not include the Ditmas Park pedestrian's death, the Department of Transportation said.

And, of course, it has been a terrible year for cyclists, with 18 dead so far this year, up from eight by this point last year, an increase of 125 percent.

Brownsville is a particularly dangerous neighborhood for cyclists and pedestrians. In just a three-block radius of Monday's crash, two cyclists and three pedestrians were injured in 19 crashes since July, 2018. Over the same period, the neighborhood itself has suffered 154 crashes, which have injured 11 cyclists, 12 pedestrians and 51 motorists.

In June, cyclist Ernest Askew was killed by a driver a few blocks from Monday's crash. The driver in that case was not arrested.

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