Looking For Clues In Hit-&-Run Accident
Following a hit-and-run incident that left a man critically injured in Woodside, a local lawmaker called on the public’s help to bring the driver to justice last Friday, Oct. 10.
City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer was joined by Capt. Brian Hennessy, the 108th Precinct’s commander; Make Queens Safer representatives; Woodside residents; members of the Big Six Towers board of directors; and community leaders for a press conference held near the scene of the crime-the intersection of 60th Street and Queens Boulevard.
The victim, a Hispanic male in his 20s or 30s was crossing the intersection when he was struck by a dark-colored Ford SUV, the Council Member noted. The incident happened just weeks after Van Bramer proposed legislation to bring maximum penalties of up to $10,000 for drivers that leave the scene of an accident. Shortly after it was announced last month, the City Council passed the measure 49-0, and Mayor Bill de Blasio signed it into law.
“The days of Queens Boulevard being the ‘Boulevard of Death’ will no longer be tolerated,” Van Bramer said. “Together, with the NYPD and the community, we are sending a message directly to the driver who left a man clinging to his life, as well as all reckless drivers in the City of New York, we will track you down and punish you to the fullest extent of the law for your actions.”
Through Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision Zero initiative, pedestrian safety was made a priority for the city and Precinct’s throughout the five boroughs have begun enhanced enforcement of the most dangerous traffic violations while significantly increasing summons given to reckless drivers
Among those targeted for enforcement, deemed the most dangerous, are; failing to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks when turning, running red lights and talking or texting while driving.
To Van Bramer, as the preventable incident illustrates, “there is still more work to be done to make Queens Boulevard safer for all and I remain committed to that goal,” he said.
“The implementation of the Justice for Hit-and-Run Victims Act will be a strong deterrent and will potentially save lives once it takes effect on Dec. 29,” Van Bramer added. “Until then I will continue working with the NYPD to tighten enforcement on reckless driving to ensure no New Yorker will ever fear losing their life on our City streets.”
Van Bramer lauded the 108th Precinct’s efforts to make the streets of every district safer for cyclists, motorists and pedestrians, as officers continue to write summons and enforce traffic laws.
Data for the year show a drop in casualties, according to Hennessy. There have been zero traffic-related fatalities in 2014, compared to 12 in 2013. Additionally, officers have arrested 112 drunk drivers in 2014, double the number from last year, and written twice as many summons for failure to yield.
Speeding tickets in the command have also risen about 30 percent in 2014, it was noted.
Paul Steely White, executive director of Transportation Alternatives, encouraged in a statement “anyone with information to come forward and help authorities find and arrest the hit-and-run driver involved in Thursday morning’s crash.”
“Striking someone with a car and fleeing the scene is a heinous crime,” he stated. “Hit-and-run drivers leave victims exposed and without treatment in the street, and they leave investigators and families without key information.”
“We also look forward to working with the Council Member and the Department of Transportation toward permanent fixes to make the hazardous corridor of Queens Boulevard safer for pedestrians,” White added.
Anyone with details about this incident is encouraged to call the Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800- 577-TIPS. You may also log onto its website at www.nypdcrimestoppers.com., or text message tips to 274637(CRIMES), then enter TIP577.