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Police Won't Charge Garbage Truck Driver in Fatal Greenpoint Hit-And-Run

By Gwynne Hogan | August 11, 2017 2:15pm | Updated on August 14, 2017 8:35am
 Action Carting was sued for the 2011 death of Mark Chenko, an 83-year-old Korean War vet.
Action Carting was sued for the 2011 death of Mark Chenko, an 83-year-old Korean War vet.
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Instagram/NYC Court Records

GREENPOINT — The hit-and-run driver of a garbage truck owned by a company with a history of fatal accidents had no idea he'd run into cyclist Neftaly Ramirez, a 27-year-old bar back a few weeks away from his wedding, police said Thursday.

While the Brooklyn District Attorney's office said they are still investigating the deadly July 22 crash, no criminality is suspected, an NYPD spokesman said.

Detectives based their conclusion on the unidentified driver's behavior after the crash.

"He continued to pick up the garbage from his route," NYPD spokesman Ahmed Nasser said. The person, based on the speed of the vehicle, where the vehicle was the whole time, indicated that this person probably didn't realize he had hit the victim."

Regardless of investigator's conclusions, friends of the dead cyclist were outraged.

"I’m very upset that they’re just gonna let it go like that,” said Paul Gianonne, owner of Paulie Gee's where Ramirez had worked for just over a year and recently been promoted to bar back. Employees have built a small shrine to Neftaly and miss him dearly, Gianonne said. 

"We're reminded every day," he said. "We shouldn't forget what happened."

Action Carting was Paulie Gee's garbage company for seven years before the crash though he's since now canceled his contract, he said.

"It's very upsetting to me that this guy is gonna get away with that because I don't believe [the driver was unaware the struck someone] for a second. It's just unfortunate that police don’t have any evidence to the contrary."

"I hope the driver rots in hell," he added.

Action Carting declined to comment.

In the last 24 months, Action Carting has been involved in seven crashes involving pedestrians, and eight people have been injured, according to U.S. Department of Transportation data. The company is responsible for at least 5 deaths of pedestrians and cyclists since 2008. 

Since Ramirez's death Greenpoint residents have been on alert for issues with Action Carting, posting pictures of trucks obeying traffic laws on a neighborhood Facebook group. 

Emma Whitford provided additional reporting for this story.