The van driver who fatally ran over a pedestrian crossing Elizabeth Street yesterday was released by the NYPD without so much as a summons. No criminality is suspected in the collision, which took the life of East Village resident Sui Leung, 82.
The van’s driver, who works for Party Rental Ltd., was turning left onto Elizabeth Street from Kenmare Street shortly after 1:30 p.m. when he ran over Leung. Police say Leung was walking westbound on Kenmare Street when the driver, who had a green light to turn, crashed into her. The driver remained at the scene and was not charged.
Streetsblog reports that at this intersection pedestrians have the “walk” signal concurrently with green lights on Kenmare meaning turning drivers must yield to pedestrians. From Streetsblog:
When Streetsblog asked NYPD to confirm that Leung had the right of way, a department press officer said, “We don’t know that yet.”
When a driver strikes a pedestrian or cyclist with the right of way, it is a violation of Section 19-190, a local law that took effect August 22. Days later, a pedestrian in an Upper East Side crosswalk with the signal was killed by a turning driver. At first, NYPD told Streetsblog that “both of them had the right of way,” then weeks later the department filed its first-ever Section 19-190 charges against the driver.
The driver's identity has not been released by police because no charges have been filed. NYPD's official position is that the crash is still under investigation.