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OPEN SEASON ON PEDESTRIANS, CONT’D: Another Hit-and-Run, This Time in Brooklyn

11:13 AM EST on February 11, 2022

File photo: Dave Colon

A hit-and-run driver struck and critically injured a 44-year-old man in Park Slope, Brooklyn, Thursday night, police said.

The driver slammed into the pedestrian as he crossed the street at Fourth Avenue and Bergen Street, in the 78 Precinct, at a little before 9 p.m., according to the police, who did not release the man's name or any information about the driver or the make and model of the vehicle. The driver left the injured man lying on the roadway with head trauma, fleeing the scene northbound on Fourth Avenue, cops said. The gravely injured man was taken to New York-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital.

Some Park Slope residents faulted sloppy work by the Department of Transportation for unsafe conditions on Fourth Avenue.

"Who knows what happened at this particular intersection, but it certainly doesn't help that the traffic-calming elements on Fourth Avenue weren't fully reinstalled after the street was repaved last year," said local safe-streets activist Doug Gordon. "There's been a lot of progress on Fourth Avenue over the last decade but it's clear that we're nowhere close to making it as safe as it can be." The DOT did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The incident is just the latest in an epidemic of road violence gripping the city. Last year was the bloodiest on the city’s roadways in all eight years of the de Blasio administration, but this year is worse already, with 26 traffic fatalities, 14 of them pedestrians, as of Feb. 9, according to the DOT. That's 10 more dead — five more of them walkers — than in the same period last year.

The DOT's unreconciled fatality numbers as of Feb. 9.
The DOT's unreconciled fatality numbers as of Feb. 9.

Victims have included 10-year-old Davina Afokoba, pinned against a building as she walked on a sidewalk in Queens; Jack Mikulincer, a 99-year-old Holocaust survivor killed by a driver who routinely picked up speeding tickets; a 64-year-old woman killed when a driver plowed her SUV into her as she tried to cross the street, and 51-year-old Undeshi Sundeep and 43-year-old Beatriz Diaz, who were both killed in separate crashes in Manhattan crosswalks.

The Park Slope crash, meanwhile, is at least the third hit-and-run in the city this year, per police reports: On Jan. 21, the driver of an SUV mowed down an e-bike rider just after midnight at 18th Street and 10th Avenue in Manhattan; five days later, another driver fled after running over a pedestrian at the intersection of Edenwald and Boyd avenues in The Bronx in the late afternoon.

The NYPD Highway District's Collision Investigation Squad is investigating.

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