3 NYC pedestrians killed by drivers in 2 days amid uptick in deadly crashes

Drivers killed three people this week in separate crashes, putting this year on pace to be the deadliest for pedestrians in New York City since 2016.

The victims included a 16-year-old girl killed by the driver of a water delivery truck in Queens and an 83-year-old woman in Brooklyn run over by a dump truck driver.

So far this year, 60 pedestrians have died on city roadways, according to the city’s transportation department. That puts 2024 on pace to be the worst since 2016, when 61 pedestrians had died by this point of the year. That year ended with 149 pedestrians killed by drivers.

Dahlia Goldenberg, an advocate with the group Families for Safe Streets, said the deaths were a stark reminder of how the city needs to do more to make intersections safer for pedestrians.

“My heart just goes out to [the families of the victims],” she said. “This will change their lives. This is a tragedy that will continue to affect them.”

The week of deadly crashes began early on Tuesday, when Lisette Guillen, 28, was run over on West 58th Street near 10th Avenue in Manhattan as she sat in the roadway around 3:41 a.m., according to the NYPD. The driver fled the scene.

The next day, a dump truck driver killed Carolyn Cox, 83, as she crossed Bond Street in Gowanus, Brooklyn, at 11:33 a.m. Video obtained by Gothamist shows Cox waved her hand to alert the driver to her presence before he accelerated, dragging her beneath the wheels of the truck and killing her.

Efforts to reach Cox’s family were unsuccessful.

The driver who struck Cox was in a truck owned by the same company involved in two fatal crashes in 2019, according to Streetsblog. Attempts to reach the company, D&A, were unsuccessful.

Later on Wednesday, Jael Zhinin, 16, was killed by the driver of a water delivery truck in Queens around 3:26 p.m. Jael’s 8-year-old sister was also struck and remained in critical condition on Friday, according to police. The driver hit the siblings on the last day of school, in front of I.S. 125 on 47th Avenue.

“Jael, a vibrant young girl with a promising future ahead, was taken from us too soon,” a GoFundMe for the victims’ family read. “[H]er younger sister is bravely fighting to recover from the injuries sustained in this devastating accident.”

Goldenberg with Families for Safe Streets said, “We saw that both of them were crossing at places where there wasn’t an adequate crosswalk, and it was also a logical place for them to be crossing.”

The intersection that Carolyn Cox had navigated so many times was the shortest path between her home and the deli on the corner, but it doesn’t have a marked crosswalk.

None of the drivers have been arrested, police said.

“Any loss of life on our streets is unacceptable, and NYC DOT is committed to using every available tool to make our streets safer and end reckless driving,” city Department of Transportation spokesperson Mona Bruno said in a statement. “We are exploring potential immediate safety upgrades at each location, and we’re adding daylighting to a record 1,000 intersections this year to improve visibility for everyone on the road.”

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