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NYPD Needs to Charge Driver Who Killed Elderly Pedestrian, Officials Say

By Lisha Arino | October 8, 2014 1:28pm
 A party rental van struck and killed an elderly woman in Nolita on Sept. 25, witnesses and police said.
Elderly Woman Struck and Killed on Kenmare Street
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LITTLE ITALY — Elected officials want the NYPD to file charges against a party rental van driver who struck and killed an 82-year-old pedestrian on Sept. 25.

Based on the police department's report on the incident, City Council members Margaret Chin, Rosie Mendez and Ydanis Rodriguez believe the woman, identified by authorities as Sui Leung, had the right of way and "unquestionably did nothing wrong in this case," they wrote in a letter to Thomas Chan, the NYPD’s chief of transportation.

Charging the driver, who has not been identified, would not only bring justice to the victim and her family, but also help bring “a true culture shift in our city regarding street safety,” they said.

“If we are really serious about committing to the principles of Vision Zero in New York City, as well as clearly sending that message to all our residents, we must hold drivers fully accountable when their negligent actions result in pedestrian injuries or deaths,” the officials said in the letter.

Failing to do so, they wrote, would be “deeply disturbing and counterproductive to our efforts to improve street safety across New York City.”

Under a new Vision Zero law passed earlier this year, drivers who injure or kill a pedestrian or cyclist could face criminal charges that carry potential jail time.

Leung was killed after the white van belonging to a New Jersey party supply company hit her as she crossed Kenmare Street on Sept. 25 at 1:30 p.m., police said. The van, which had a green light, struck Leung as it was making a left turn onto Elizabeth Street, authorities said.

Police confirmed that charges had not been filed against the driver.