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Woman Pushing Stroller Run Down and Killed by Trucker in Brooklyn

2:53 PM EDT on September 2, 2021

This is Myrtle Avenue looking east towards Bedford — a completely dangerous part of a very dangerous neighborhood. Photo: Google

A woman who was pushing a child in a stroller across Myrtle Avenue in a notoriously dangerous section of Brooklyn was killed on Thursday morning by the driver of a flatbed truck, who was not charged, police said.

According to cops, 62-year-old Rachel Gandel was crossing Myrtle at Bedford Avenue at around 11 a.m. when she was struck by the 38-year-old truck driver, who was traveling eastbound on Myrtle Avenue. The driver remained on the scene and was not charged.

Meanwhile, Gandel was taken to Brooklyn Hospital, where she died. The 1-year-old girl was taken to Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan for evaluation. Police declined to provide any additional information.

But residents of Brooklyn know Myrtle Avenue to be one of the most dangerous places in the borough, thanks to a narrow, two-way configuration, ample free car storage, and a large number of kids and families living along what is one of the busiest truck routes in the area.

Chart: DOT
Chart: DOT
Chart: DOT

So far this year, there have already been 42 reported crashes on just the half-mile of Myrtle between Classon and Nostrand avenues that contains Thursday's crash site. Those crashes injured seven cyclists, two pedestrians and 13 motorists, according to city stats.

And the 79th Precinct, which comprises Hasidic Williamsburg and Bedford-Stuvesant is one of the most dangerous places to be a road user. So far this year, there have been 966 reported crashes in this tiny zone — roughly four per day — injuring 77 cyclists, 54 pedestrians and 291 motorists. Two pedestrians — before today — have been killed.

This remains the most violent year on city roadways since Mayor de Blasio took over on Jan. 1, 2014 — and promptly launched his Vision Zero initiative. Through Sept. 1, 172 people have been killed on the roadways — including 80 pedestrians and 17 cyclists or micro-mobility users. That's the highest number thus far in any year since 2013, when 181 people died.

This is a breaking story and will be updated.

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