Driver indicted in death of elderly pedestrian following Maspeth crash: DA

A pickup truck driver was criminally charged for allegedly striking a senior from Alabama as she tried to cross Fresh Pond Road with the aid of a walker. The victim died nine days later, according to the NYPD.
File photo by Lloyd Mitchell

A Fresh Meadows man was criminally charged in Queens Supreme Court on Tuesday, Nov. 14, in connection with a fatal crash that killed a 75-year-old woman in Maspeth last month.

Rony Zino, 27, of 71st Avenue was arraigned on a six-count indictment charging him with criminally negligent homicide for allegedly hitting the senior with his truck as she was attempting to cross Fresh Pond Road in Maspeth with the aid of a walker.

According to the charges, video surveillance shows that on Oct. 11, at approximately 11 a.m., Zino was behind the wheel of a 2020 Dodge Ram pickup truck and stopped at a red light at the intersection of 60th Road and Fresh Pond Avenue. When the light turned green, Zino waited about seven seconds before turning northbound onto Fresh Pond Road, where he struck Linda Lee Hirsch, of Seale, Alabama who was using a walker and had the right of way. The impact caused Hirsch to fall and strike her head against the pavement.

Police from the 104th Precinct in Ridgewood responded to a 911 call of a vehicle collision involving a pedestrian when they found the senior with head trauma. EMS responded and rushed Hirsch to Elmhurst Hospital where she underwent surgery but could not be saved. She succumbed to her injuries nine days later on Oct. 20, according to the charges.

Zino remained at the scene and was not injured in the collision but he was taken into custody on Monday and booked at the 104th Precinct following an investigation by the NYPD Highway District’s Collision Investigation Squad. He was charged with two counts of failure to yield, failing to signal, failure to exercise due care and reckless driving.

“We have too often seen the tragic results of reckless driving when motorists ignore the rules of the road,” Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said. “It is incumbent upon anyone who gets behind the wheel to follow the law, including yielding to pedestrians. We will hold this defendant accountable for his actions.”

Queens Supreme Court Justice Stephanie Zaro ordered Zino to return to court on Dec. 8. If convicted, Zino faces up to four years in prison.