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Brooklyn Senior Struck in Crosswalk by Driver Dies; No Charges, Says NYPD

A Brooklyn pedestrian who was struck last month by the driver of a luxury sport utility vehicle while he was crossing in a crosswalk has died — and cops said they have not charged the killer driver.

12:11 PM EDT on August 11, 2023

Here’s the intersection where Moses Parnes was killed by a reckless driver in Midwood. Photo: Google

A Brooklyn pedestrian who was struck last month by the driver of a luxury sport utility vehicle while he was crossing in a crosswalk has died — and cops said they have not charged the killer driver.

According to police, the Lexus SUV driver, whose name was not released, was heading northbound on E. 10th Street in Midwood at around 9:25 p.m. on July 24 — and had entered the intersection with Avenue O when she suddenly stopped, threw it in reverse, and struck Moses Parnes, 71, who was crossing E. 10th from east to west in the crosswalk.

Parnes suffered severe body trauma and was taken to Maimonides Medical Center, where he died on Thursday.

"There are no arrests," police said, adding that the investigation is "ongoing."

Back-over crashes are among the most common in the city and often lead to charges because drivers are considered far more culpable for crashes when traveling in reverse.

A case last year involving a driver speeding backwards for a parking spot in Bay Ridge — causing the death of education reformer Norm Fruchter — did, indeed, lead to charges.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than half a million backing crashes happen each year, causing 30,000 injuries and roughly 300 deaths. Many of these crashes could have been avoided if the drivers were more aware of the dangers of driving in reverse and knew the appropriate techniques to offset the hazards, said Tony Douglas, president and CEO of Smith System, a driver training course.

“Backing crashes are one of the most common because drivers tend to let their guard down when driving in reverse,” Douglas once said. “Since they’re not traveling at a high rate of speed, drivers often lose their focus, and focus is always critical for safety. Backing and parking are moments when drivers need to focus their full attention on the driving environment.”

The NHTSA report stated that drivers of vehicles with high back ends such as an Audi SUV have much longer blind spots than drivers of smaller cars.

“Pickup trucks and utility vehicles [like the one driving in last month's crash] are overrepresented in backover fatalities and injuries when compared to non-backing traffic injury crashes,” the report stated. “In fact, utility vehicles and pickups are involved in an estimated 61 percent of backover fatalities even though they only account for 29 percent of vehicles in non-backing traffic injury crashes.”

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