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Followup: Chin Calls on NYPD to File Charges Against Driver in Fatal Crash

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Google image. Canal Street at Elizabeth Street.
Google image. Canal Street at Elizabeth Street.

Here’s more on the fatal traffic accident yesterday morning on Canal Street. A woman believed to be in her 70’s was struck by the driver of an SUV, as she tried to cross at Elizabeth Street. A witness told the Daily News that the driver of a 2003 Jeep Grand Cherokee did not start moving until the light changed from red to green. But now City Council member Margaret Chin, who’s been in touch with police investigators, is hearing a different story. Here’s the statement her office released yesterday afternoon:

According to the NYPD, the senior citizen — believed to be between the ages of 70 and 80 — was crossing Canal Street, from the south to north side, at the intersection with Elizabeth Street, shortly after 4 a.m. The pedestrian was lawfully walking with the signal (“blinking hand”) as she crossed, and was still within the crosswalk when the signal changed and the light turned green for cars, according to the NYPD. At the moment the light changed, while the pedestrian was still in the crosswalk, the driver of a 2003 Jeep Grand Cherokee began driving forward and struck the pedestrian, leading to her death moments later, according to the NYPD. Chief Chan’s office told Council Member Chin’s office today that no charges have yet been filed against the driver, although the NYPD’s Collison Investigation Squad is currently investigating the incident.

Chin added:

Yet another tragedy has stuck Lower Manhattan. This is the third pedestrian death in my district in less than two months. And in each case, I have found myself saying the same thing: Why is the right of way not being respected? The truth is that excuses mean nothing when someone is killed as the result of negligence. If a pedestrian is within a crosswalk, they have the right of way. Period. If you are a driver, it is your responsibility to understand that a moving car is an extremely dangerous machine, and that you must be aware of your surroundings at all times. Period… I will continue to work with the Department of Transportation to make our streets safer, but I will also continue to advocate for charges to be filed against drivers who hit and kill pedestrians in a crosswalk. So I’m calling for charges to be filed as a result of today’s incident, and I will remain in touch with the office of NYPD Transportation Chief Thomas Chan to closely follow the NYPD’s investigation into this tragic death.

The victim’s name has not yet been released.

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