On Wednesday morning, a tragic incident occurred in Williamsburg where a 68-year-old woman lost her life. According to the police report, the woman seemingly tripped and fell in front of an SUV driver. However, instead of stopping, the driver ran over the woman, dragging her body across the intersection. This unfortunate event is yet another example of a driver causing harm to a vulnerable road user and the NYPD placing the blame on the victim.
At around 10:30 a.m., a 72-year-old driver was driving her 2012 white Jeep Grand Cherokee eastbound on Broadway when she ran over Aurora Soto. According to the police, Soto had fallen while trying to cross the intersection near Flushing Avenue, which is known for its chaotic traffic flow. This area is notorious for drivers ignoring red lights and obstructing the crosswalk, as it diverges in four different directions.
During an on-scene interview with reporter Liam Quigley, a witness revealed that Soto had stumbled over a yellow bump-out that was installed by the Department of Transportation.
According to 32-year-old Mohamed Sy Savane, the Jeep was already approaching when she tripped and got dragged.
The driver persisted to drive until Savane and other witnesses caught her attention by banging on her car windows and gesturing for her to stop.
According to the police, the NYPD Collision Investigation Squad is currently investigating the fatal crash. However, they have stated that they do not suspect any criminal wrongdoing on the part of the driver. Surprisingly, the driver was let go without receiving a ticket or summons. It’s worth noting that the Jeep that the driver was operating has been linked to two speeding tickets in a school zone and one for running a red light since August. This information is based on data compiled by “How’s My Driving,” a website that tracks driving violations in the city.
In the meantime, the authorities were fast to blame Soto for tripping, as his blood was scattered all over the road.
Over the years, it has been extensively reported by Streetsblog that the NYPD has a disturbing history of victim-blaming. In one particularly egregious case in 2019, 62-year-old MD Abul Bashar was initially held responsible for his own death by the police. They claimed he was riding his e-bike on the sidewalk when he was fatally run over by a private sanitation truck driver in Gowanus. However, the police later secretly changed the official police report to reveal that Bashar was actually following the rules by riding on the street with a green light when he was run over. Similarly, in the same year, the police blamed the death of 20-year-old cyclist Robyn Hightman on their own actions, stating that they may have survived if they had utilized the bike lane.
According to city statistics compiled by Crash Mapper, there have been 197 reported crashes causing injuries to 90 people, including 23 cyclists and 26 pedestrians, on the 650 feet of roadway between Thornton Street and Sumner Place on Broadway since January 2019. Despite the NYPD’s narrative, this stretch of roadway is considered exceptionally dangerous. Tragically, one pedestrian has lost their life on this stretch of road.
I reached out to the DOT for comment, but did not receive a response.
This story is currently developing and we will continue to provide updates as more information becomes available.
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