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Another Pedestrian — This Time a Kid — is Badly Wounded by a Driver in Bloody Year

10:27 AM EST on March 11, 2022

The intersection has not been properly daylighted. Photo: Google

Updated | A 12-year-old girl was run down and critically injured by the speeding driver of a luxury sedan on Thursday — and the driver was not charged, police said.

According to police, the 40-year-old driver of a 2016 Mercedes was heading southbound on Audubon Avenue at around 12:25 p.m. when he struck the child at the intersection of W. 170th Street as the girl was crossing Audubon. She suffered  head trauma and was taken to New York Presbyterian Hospital in critical condition while the vehicle operator remained at the scene and was not charged.

Police say the investigation is "ongoing."

The driver was speeding dangerously fast on the narrow two-way road, which became narrower because of the presence of a double-parked truck, according to video obtained by the New York Post. The driver's view of the child was blocked by the improperly parked truck at the corner, but he was moving far too quickly to stop in time.

The girl's injuries are just the latest example of a pedestrian health crisis that confronts the Adams administration in its first two-plus months on the job. So far this year, 25 pedestrians have been killed — up from 20 over the same period last year — an alarming number, given that 2021 went on to become the bloodiest year in the entire Vision Zero era.

Chart: DOT
Chart: DOT
Chart: DOT

Beyond fatalities, injuries to pedestrians are also up significantly over the first two months of the year, compared to the same period last year, and the previous 28 days, as Streetsblog reported this week.

The threat of injury and death stalks every community in the city, but Washington Heights's 33rd Precinct is an outlier in Manhattan. So far this year, there have been 138 reported crashes in just the small zone between the George Washington Bridge and W. 155th Street, causing injuries to six cyclists, 19 pedestrians and 29 motorists, according to city stats.

That puts the precinct second in the borough for injuries, after the busy 19th Precinct on the Upper East Side.

Audubon Avenue itself is a known danger zone. Last year, there were 31 reported crashes on just the half-mile of Audubon between 178th and 168th streets, injuring two cyclists, one pedestrian and 20 motorists.

The intersection in question is not properly daylighted to help drivers see pedestrians.

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