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Bloody Thursday: Truckers Kills Pedestrians In SoHo and Sunset Park

11:22 PM EST on December 19, 2019

Police investigate a fatal crash at the corner of Broadway and Howard Street. Photo: Dave Colon

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New York City's bloody backslide on Vision Zero continued on Thursday afternoon with the death of two more pedestrians hit by two more truck drivers.

According to the NYPD, the driver of a box truck was moving south on Broadway in Manhattan just before 5 p.m. on Thursday when he stopped at Howard Street and began backing up his truck — hitting a 26-year-old woman who was crossing Broadway. She died on the spot. The truck driver remained on the scene and was not charged. The investigation remains ongoing, police said.

A witness told Streetsblog it was a sight he would never forget.

"I heard the screams," said the witness, who identified himself as Mark. "The guy from the truck got out and started bugging out."

The truck has racked up 723 parking tickets in just 18 months, according to city data. It is not connected to any moving violations, but the sheer number of illegal parking summonses suggest at the very least a disregard for public space.

The killing of the unidentified woman, whose name is being withheld pending family notification, came about an hour and a half after pedestrian Brendan Gill, 85, was killed in Sunset Park by truck driver who was also reportedly backing up (the NYPD did not immediately confirm that). Cops say Gill was struck by the trucker on Third Avenue at 39th Street — a particularly perilous strip of roadway.

They are the 207th and 208th deaths on New York City streets this year, a 8.3-percent increase over the 192 walkers killed in 2018.

The Thursday victims are among of a handful of pedestrians who were killed this year by a driver who was backing up their car or truck. The National Highway Traffic Safety board found that backover crashes kill 300 and injure 30,000 each year. Although no charges were initially filed against the truck drivers in both Thursday fatalities, truckers who are backing up generally have a higher burden of responsibility.

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