Driver Hits Pedestrian — Twice! — But is Not Charged in Her Death

The pedestrian was struck in the opposite crosswalk from the stop sign where the driver started the chain of tragic events. Photo: Google
The pedestrian was struck in the opposite crosswalk from the stop sign where the driver started the chain of tragic events. Photo: Google

Cops declined to charge a Queens driver who hit a woman crossing a quiet residential street last week, then hit her again, killing her.

According to police, a 61-year-old man was piloting his 2015 Honda Civic on 41st Avenue in the Murray Hill section of Flushing at around 12:35 p.m. on Nov. 22 when he approached the stop sign at Murray Street. Cops say the driver stopped for the eight-sided red sign — the NYPD did not provide any evidence for this, beyond the driver’s testimony — but then struck 80-year-old Soon Ok Han in the crosswalk on the other side of the intersection.

Han was knocked to the ground and was “subsequently struck again by the vehicle,” according to the NYPD report, which put more blame on said vehicle than on the driver. Han suffered severe trauma and was taken to New York-Presbyterian Hospital of Queens, where she died hours later.

The driver remained at the scene and was not charged. An NYPD spokesman said the investigation is ongoing. Police declined to provide additional information, including whether the driver was distracted.

Han’s death is the first ever recorded at the intersection, where there have been just 12 crashes since 2014 — injuring one motorist. But in the larger 109th Precinct over the same period of time, there have been 33,982 reported crashes, which have injured 411 cyclists, 1,681 pedestrians and 5,366 motorists, killing two cyclists, 29 pedestrians and 16 drivers.

Those crashes average out to roughly 16 crashes every day, with roughly four injuries every single day in just one of the city’s 70-odd precincts.

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