By Tom Momberg
Police have identified the pedestrian who was struck and killed by a private bus in downtown Flushing Thursday night as 84-year-old Aglaia Gouaris of Union Street in Flushing.
An initial investigation revealed that a white charter bus labeled with the word “Skyliner” was stopped at a red traffic signal in the northbound lane of Main Street just before the intersection of Kissena Boulevard. The bus accelerated when the traffic light changed to green, then struck and ran over Gouaris, police said.
Gouaris was crossing Main Street apparently against the light when she was hit. After the bus tires rolled over her, the bus driver continued on without stopping on Main Street, police said.
The NYPD said the bus and its driver were located a short time later. No arrests have been made while the investigation continues, police said.
It was the second hit-and-run fatality in Flushing in the last month. In early October, Mariano Conteras, 41, was killed after being struck by a driver who fled the scene.
Councilman Peter Koo (D-Flushing) noted it was also the third pedestrian in the city killed by a bus last week. He said the latest death came shortly after the community just commemorated the death of a child who had been struck by a car nearby.
“Two weeks ago, we renamed the intersection of Main Street and Cherry Avenue after 3-year-old Allison Liao, who was struck and killed by a vehicle, and today our community must endure yet another senseless death caused by a vehicle,” Koo said in a statement. “The city must do more to prevent these tragedies, and private buses and bus stops must be more vigorously regulated.”
In response to yet another pedestrian death, Koo said he would work with the city Department of Transportation on traffic improvements in Flushing.
He said it is not always the driver’s fault. Pedestrians, too, must be conscious of cars and the rules of the road to avoid such tragedies.
Reach reporter Tom Momberg by e-mail at tmomb