GMC Truck Driver Who Killed Brooklyn Pedestrian is Issued a Mere Summons

The intersection of E. 36th Street and Fillmore Avenue where Mary O'Brien was fatally injured. Photo: Google
The intersection of E. 36th Street and Fillmore Avenue where Mary O'Brien was fatally injured. Photo: Google
Mary O'Brien
Mary O’Brien

A Brooklyn woman has died of injuries she sustained when she was run over by the driver of a massive GMC truck last month — and the driver of the Yukon walked off with a mere summons.

Police said on Wednesday that Mary O’Brien, 51 of Marine Park, died on Jan. 8 from head trauma she received on Dec. 3, 2021, when a 33-year-old man, piloting a 2019 Yukon, hit her, sending her crashing to the pavement at the intersection of E. 36th Street and Fillmore Avenue, steps from her home.

Police offered no other details about the crash, except to say that the driver, whose name was not released, was issued a summons for failing to yield to O’Brien — which suggests that O’Brien was crossing with the light before the 1:20 p.m. crash.

A standard Yukon weighs 5,379 pounds. The federal government frequently issues reports arguing that bigger cars are safer for their occupants, but only glancingly references the fact that bigger cars are far less safe for everyone outside the vehicle.

“When trucks are reduced in weight and size, they become less capable of damaging other vehicles,” the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said as an aside in an old report. “In almost every crash mode, fatalities and injuries increased for the occupants of the light trucks, but those losses could be more than offset by benefits for smaller road-users: occupants of passenger cars, pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists.” Nonetheless, since that 1997 report, America (and New York) has been on an SUV and pickup truck buying spree.

The results have been predictable. And 2021 was the bloodiest year since 2013, despite eight years of Vision Zero efforts that achieved many results, but did not rein in large cars and trucks on New York City streets.

Here's how little of a kid you can see from the seat of a GMC Yukon. File photo: Gersh Kuntzman
Here’s how little of a kid you can see from the seat of a GMC Yukon. Note the child. File photo: Gersh Kuntzman

Marine Park is not known as a particularly dangerous neighborhood for pedestrians and cyclists, but in the last three calendar years, there have still been roughly 1,050 reported crashes (roughly one crash per day in just a 14-square block area) that injured 24 cyclists, 60 pedestrians and 340 motorists, killing one cyclist and four drivers, according to city stats.

Memorial services for O’Brien will be on Jan. 17 and 18, according to the funeral home website.

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