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Another Weekend of Carnage as Three Pedestrians are Killed by Car Drivers

11:13 AM EDT on April 16, 2023

File photo: Dave Colon

Three more pedestrians were killed by drivers in a weekend of bloodshed that ended with none of the drivers charged.

The carnage began on Friday at just after noon along dangerous North Conduit Avenue in Queens. Police say 73-year-old Steven Aragona, who lived in nearby Lynbrook, was crossing the dangerous speedway, north to south, at Cohancy Street near the Aqueduct casino when he was struck by the 25-year-old driver of a Honda, who remained at the scene.

Aragona suffered severe body trauma and was taken to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, where he died.

The driver's name was not released and he was not charged, police said.

Conduit Avenue lives up to its name in many ways — and has become a speedway for cars avoiding the often-clogged Belt Parkway. Last year, there were 127 crashes on just the two miles of Conduit between the Van Wyck and Cross Bay Boulevard. Those crashes injured 107 people, mostly motorists, as the area has few pedestrians, city stats show. The roadway has not been redesigned for safety.

On Saturday night, the carnage continued. According to police, Domingo Dejesus, 64, was crossing Lafayette Avenue in The Bronx at around 10:45 p.m. when he was struck by the 63-year-old driver of a Chevy sedan that had been heading north on Soundview Avenue.

The driver remained on the scene while Dejesus was taken to Jacobi Hospital with severe head trauma. He died, and the driver was not charged.

Soundview Avenue is another dangerous stretch of roadway. In 2022, there were 44 crashes on just the mile-long stretch between White Plains Road and the Bruckner Expressway. Those crashes injured 15 people, including one cyclist and five pedestrians, according to city stats. And last year, in the larger Council District 18, there were 1,595 reported crashes, more than four per day, that injured 43 cyclists, 122 pedestrians and 526 motorists — more than two people injured every single day.

Just a few minutes later, in Queens, a pedestrian, whose name was not released, was struck and killed by another driver at busy 76th Street and Broadway in Elmhurst. According to cops, the pedestrian was in the intersection when the 39-year-old driver of a 2023 BMW, heading south on Broadway, hit him. It's unclear what happened, but police said the pedestrian "fell" before being struck.

He died at the scene, and the driver was not charged, cops said.

Broadway is a notoriously dangerous stretch of roadway. In 2018, before the installation of a dedicated bus lane, 35 people, including six cyclists and 14 pedestrians, were injured in all the reported crashes on the short stretch of Broadway between Roosevelt Avenue and the Long Island Rail Road overpass. Last year, there were 34 people injured, including five cyclists and 15 pedestrians. (The total number of reported crashes declined, but in 2020, the NYPD stopped responding to non-injury crashes, rendering comparisons featuring non-injury crashes moot.)

This year's bloodshed is high compared to recent years. The data below was complete through April 10 — before this weekend:

Chart: DOT
Chart: DOT

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