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Man Crushed Between Two Trucks in Queens, According to Cops

5:30 PM EDT on May 18, 2020

Cruseno Florentino was crushed to death in front of this Jamaica religious center. Photo: Google

A Queens man was crushed between two trucks on a Jamaica street on Monday morning — the first pedestrian killed since March 15 (with a big asterisk).

According to the NYPD, Cruseno Florentino was standing between two rental trucks on Metropolitan Avenue between 124th and 125th streets at around 5 a.m. when one of the trucks "backed up towards the rear of the second truck and struck the pedestrian," who was "pinned and sustained severe body trauma."

Florentino, 49, was taken to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center where he became the 29th pedestrian killed this year — a very low number in historic terms because of the dramatic decrease in driving during the coronavirus pandemic. On May 12, the city had reached 58 days without a pedestrian death, which was the longest period without a fatality since the current style of record keeping began in 1983.

Neither vehicle operator was immediately charged in light of the circumstances of the death, but the investigation is ongoing, cops said.

This is the second pedestrian death that occurred under murky circumstances during the coronavirus pandemic. In April, Justin Leiva, 29, was killed by a driver just outside of Flushing Meadows Corona Park in what was initially described by police as a hit and run.

But that death was ruled a homicide by the NYPD, citing the “autopsy and video footage prior to the incident,” which shows the driver initially miss his victim and then back up and strike him in reverse, according to the Daily News.

Police declined to allow Streetsblog to see the video or to offer a more detailed description of the allegedly intentional fatal crash. The NYPD would not even put out a description of the vehicle for which it is searching.

Clarification: An earlier version of this story, based on preliminary information, suggested the wrong location of the crash. It was on the street not the sidewalk. And the same version also inaccurately reported the total number of pedestrian deaths for the year due to a misread of a basic chart. We apologize.

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