Traffic Violence Killed Two People in NYC Last Week

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Recent reports share that two more pedestrians were struck and killed in two separate incidents last week, one in Brooklyn and one in downtown Manhattan with an impaired driver being charged with vehicular manslaughter.

The death toll of New York City’s streets increased by at least two last week, according to reports by the New York Daily News and Streetsblog. The victims were a 33-year-old man who died after being struck by a reportedly “drugged-up” driver in Brooklyn, and a 78-year-old woman “run over and killed by the driver of a massive pickup truck” in downtown Manhattan.

According to the New York Daily News, the 18-year-old driver who hit 33-year-old Luis Mendez was “high on amphetamines” when he crashed his Chevy Camaro into Mendez on Bushwick Avenue, close to its intersection with Meserole Street. Mendez was reportedly crossing Bushwick Avenue at the time of the crash. He was taken to Woodhull Hospital, where he later died. The Daily News states that the driver, Tyler Patrick, was found by police to “have evidence of amphetamines and marijuana in his system.” Per Streetsblog, he was later charged with “vehicular manslaughter, assault, reckless endangerment, driving while impaired by drugs, and reckless driving.” 

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One of the pedestrians was a 33-year-old man who was crossing a street in Brooklyn when he was hit by an impaired driver, the second pedestrian was an elderly woman crossing in downtown Manhattan when she was struck by a 70-year-old driver of a heavy pick-up truck.

Meanwhile in Manhattan, Mablen Jones was crossing West Street north of Canal Street when she was run over by the “70-year-old driver of a 2017 Toyota Tundra,” per StreetsBlog, which notes that there is no crosswalk at that intersection because “city officials are trying to discourage pedestrians from crossing.” Safe streets advocates are nonetheless advocating for the intersection to have a crosswalk, as the area is home to Hudson River Park and is frequently used by pedestrians. 

Jones was reportedly taken to Lenox Hill Hospital for treatment of her injuries, which resulted in her death. The unnamed driver was not charged, though Streetsblog reports that police are continuing to investigate the incident. The report also suggests that it was the weight of the driver’s pickup truck that primarily contributed to Jones’s death, rather than speed. The report also notes that “have been 38 reported crashes on West Street” in that area in the last two years, and that safe streets advocates have long been calling for the city to take various measures to make Canal Street safer—including a protected bike lane, bus lanes, and “expanded pedestrian space.” 

More information on the traffic fatalities in New York City last week is available via Streetsblog and the New York Daily News. 

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