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Senior and Child Killed by Driver in Jamaica — By a DRIVER, Mr. Mayor

6:47 AM EDT on October 31, 2020

File photo: Dave Colon

Two pedestrians — a senior citizen and a child — were run down and killed by the reckless driver of a Range Rover in Jamaica on Friday night, and the mayor tweeted insensitively about the death.

According to cops, Yuniang Cong, 65, and Jashanty Cole, 8, were walking on 164th Street and Jamaica Avenue at about 5:30 p.m. on Friday when the 47-year-old female operator of a black Range Rover, who was traveling southbound on 164th Street, "lost control" as she approached Jamaica Avenue, and "jumped the curb," striking the two pedestrians.

Both were taken to Jamaica Hospital, where they died. The driver remained at scene and was not immediately charged.

Hours later, Mayor de Blasio tweeted his "prayers" without mention the killer human.

It is not believed that the victims are related. They have different addresses in Queens.

On Saturday, Transportation Alternatives Executive Director Danny Harris issued the following statement:

Two more innocent New Yorkers are dead because of a transportation system which puts speed ahead of safety, and a culture which celebrates driving big, fast, and powerful vehicles. This is what happens when Vision Zero is reduced to a slogan. This is what happens when off-road vehicles invade our city streets.

Earlier this year, Mayor de Blasio slashed the budget for Vision Zero and put programs on hold which would systematically redesign our most dangerous streets and impound the vehicles of our most dangerous drivers. We’re seeing the results of these decisions in real time.

The mayor tweeted that his family sends prayers to the families of the victims. He must not stop there. To honor the victims of this preventable crash, the mayor must make Vision Zero whole, fully fund the Dangerous Vehicle Abatement Program, Green Wave Plan and Streets Master Plan, and empower his Department of Transportation to fix deadly streets without politics getting in the way.

Rita Barravecchio, a member of Families for Safe Streets whose 17-year-old niece Madeline Sershen was killed by a driver who ran a red light in Queens in 2018, asked the only question worth asking: "Are we not even safe on the sidewalk?"

"How many more have to die because of ‘out-of-control’ vehicles?" she added. "Witnesses said the driver appeared to be trying to beat the traffic light — something that happens all too often in this city.”

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