An MTA bus driver struck and killed a 69-year-old Queens women on Sunday in a Forest Hills crosswalk.
According to an NYPD release, at around 7:40 a.m. on Sunday, Leyla Enukasvili was crossing Kessel Street from north to south at the intersection of 71st Avenue. An MTA bus operator was driving north on 71st Avenue on the Q23 route, when he turned left and "struck the pedestrian who was within the crosswalk," the release states. The driver, a 52-year-old man, remained at the scene. A police spokesperson said he passed a Breathalyzer test and had a valid license.
Enukasvili, who lived a little under a mile away on Queens Boulevard, was pronounced dead at Jamaica Hospital later that day.
"Pursuant to the investigation, there were no charges applied to the driver," said NYPD spokesman Sergeant Lee Jones. "There's no evidence that police action was warranted in this instance."
Sergeant Jones could not explain why the NYPD press release on the fatal collision wasn't released until three days after it occurred.
Ikimulisa Livingston, a spokesperson for the Queens DA, Richard Brown, said, "We have not made a determination whether there will be charges, the matter is still under investigation."
A spokesman for TWU Local 100, the union that represents the majority of MTA bus drivers, couldn't immediately confirm whether the driver was a member of the union.
Yesterday morning 70-year-old Carol Bell was killed by an MTA bus driver as she crossed the street in East New York. The driver, 48-year-old Paul Roper, left the scene of the crash and became the seventh MTA driver arrested for failing to yield the right of way to pedestrians under a new law that went into effect last August.
TWU Local 100 fought the law, and after a public campaign in which they derided "oblivious pedestrians" and drove carefully enough so as to cause delays, won a settlement with the City in September to clarify the law. The union's president John Samuelson called the settlement "a huge victory."
Speaking about Sunday's fatal crash involving an MTA bus driver, Caroline Samponaro, the deputy director of Transportation Alternatives, said that "there's an obvious contradiction between the statement that there's no evidence, and the statement from the police department that she was walking in the crosswalk with the right of way."
Samponaro added, "I think the bus driver staying at the scene isn't enough. There was a clear violation of a senior citizen's right of way, and there certainly should be accountability after that."