NYPD identifies pedestrian struck by police vehicle on Van Wyck, AG launches probe

A Long Islander was fatally struck by an NYPD cruiser as he ran across the Van Wyck Expressway early Sunday morning. There are dual investigations into the collision.
Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

The NYPD revealed the identity of the 22-year-old man who was struck and killed by one of its highway patrol vehicles on the Van Wyck Expressway in the early morning of Sunday, May 19.

Ervin Zacarias Agustin, 23, of Ormonde Boulevard in Valley Stream, was running across the highway just after 4:30 a.m. when he was struck and killed by a marked NYPD vehicle near Archer Avenue. The highway patrol car had its lights and sirens activated when it crashed into the Long Islander in the center lane as he attempted to cross the Van Wyck from east to west.

Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

Police from the 102nd Precinct in Richmond Hill responded to a 911 call of a motor vehicle-related incident and found the victim unconscious and unresponsive, lying near the patrol car. EMS responded to the scene and rushed him to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. The highway patrol officer who was behind the wheel of the cruiser remained at the scene and was transported to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center for treatment of his minor injuries.

A NYPD Highway patrol officer takes measurements at the scene of a fatal RMP accident on the Van Wyck Expressway and Atlantic Avenue. Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

The investigation remains ongoing by the NYPD’s Highway District Collision Investigation Squad.

Before the NYPD could notify the victim’s next of kin, the New York Attorney General’s Office of Special Investigation (OSI) opened its own mandated investigation into the fatal collision on Wednesday. Under New York State Executive Law Section 7-b, OSI assesses every incident reported to it where a police officer or a peace officer, including a correction officer, may have caused the death of a person by an act or omission.

Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

Under the law, the officer may be on-duty or off-duty, and the decedent may be armed or unarmed. Also, the decedent may or may not have been in custody or incarcerated. If OSI’s assessment indicates an officer may have caused the death, OSI proceeds to conduct a full investigation of the incident.

The NYPD’s Highway District Collision Investigation Unit has not yet determined why the man was darting across the Van Wyck Expressway when he was fatally struck, a police spokesman said on Thursday afternoon.