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Astoria woman killed in hit-and-run on Ditmars Boulevard

File photo

An Astoria woman was struck and killed by a vehicle Saturday in an early morning collision.

The woman, identified by police as 21-year-old Betty Jean Dibiasio, was crossing Ditmars Boulevard near 19th Street when a car going westbound smacked into her, knocking her onto the ground and causing a serious head injury, cops said. The driver then fled the area, authorities said.

Officers responded to the scene around 12:30 a.m. and found Dibiasio unconscious with a severe head injury. She was rushed to Elmhurst Hospital, where officials pronounced her dead.

No arrests have been made and an investigation on the incident is ongoing.

The accident comes a day after local Astoria leaders unveiled safety improvements for 21st Street between Hoyt Avenue South and Queens Plaza. The two-mile stretch has had five fatalities and seven severe injuries between 2009 and 2013.

And although it’s uncertain at this time if the hit-and-run driver was speeding, starting this summer the Department of Transportation will implement a slow zone in Astoria to lessen fatal auto accidents.

The streets inside the boundaries of Astoria Boulevard to the north, Steinway Street to the east, 30th Avenue to the south and 21st Street to the west will all be included in the slow zone, which will be implemented later this summer. Those boundary streets (Astoria Boulevard, etc.) will not be part of the zone itself; only the local streets inside will be.

The current speed of the affected streets, which include a long section of Newtown Avenue, will be reduced from the current 25 mph to 20 mph, and 14 speed bumps and new signage will be added throughout to remind motorists to reduce their speeds.

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