Speeding Dollar Van Kills Man in Hit-and-Run on Flatbush Avenue, Cops Say

By Dan Rivoli and Elizabeth Hagen  on September 6, 2012 9:32am  | Updated on September 6, 2012 2:08pm

PROSPECT-LEFFERTS GARDENS — A 40-year-old man died in a hit-and-run on Flatbush Avenue after he was struck by a speeding dollar van Wednesday night, the NYPD said.

Two dollar vans were barreling north on Flatbush Avenue shortly before midnight when one struck the pedestrian near Hawthorne Street, witnesses said.

The driver in the fatal collision also hit two other vehicles, sending three more people to the hospital in serious but stable condition, authorities said.

“They were coming up Flatbush, speeding," said Walter Chusac, 64, who was sitting in his parked car at the time of the crash.

The van’s collision with the 40-year-old victim propelled him beneath a silver Ford Camry heading south on Flatbush Avenue, Chusac said. The Camry, whose driver was trying to avoid the crash, then collided with Chusac’s Ford Malibu LT, he added.

“The guy was completely underneath the front wheels” of the Camry, noted Michael Winetsky, 33, who lives on Flatbush Avenue near the scene of the accident, about the victim.

“When I saw him, I knew he was dead,” said Ed St. Ellien, 39, who also lives on Flatbush Avenue.

When emergency crews arrived, they found the man laying on the ground underneath a parked car in traumatic arrest, officials said.

EMS rushed the victim to Kings County Hospital Center, where he died. His identity has yet to be released, pending notification of his family.

Peter Bonaventure, 34, of Flatbush, the suspected driver, has been arrested, police said. He was charged with leaving the scene of an accident resulting in a death.

Several residents complained about dollar vans speeding to get customers, especially at night.

"They're horrible, racing up and down the streets," Donvan Samuels, 46, said of dollar vans. "It's just so dangerous. Especially at night when they're out here hustling."

Samuels, who uses the vans occasionally, said they weave "in and out of traffic. They cut people off. Before you get off completely they pull out."

But people will still take the $2 rides, he added.

"It's convenient," he said.

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