A day after hundreds of New Yorkers rallied in Union Square to demand more accountability for dangerous drivers, a Manhattan judge decided that a garbage truck driver from New Jersey responsible for at least two fatal hit-and-run collisions should be able to drive again.
Last month Jack Montelbano was convicted of fatally striking 69-year-old Shu Ying Liu as she crossed 41st Street at Ninth Avenue with the right of way.
According to the office of Manhattan DA Cy Vance Jr., Montelbano, who was driving a truck for a private carting company when he killed Liu in 2013, was involved in another fatal hit-and-run crash at the exact same intersection in 2008, but was never charged for it.
Montelbano was also involved in a third hit-and-run collision in which his BAC was .18, according to the DA's office, and he has more than 20 driving infractions on his record over the course of 30 years.
Given his past, the Manhattan DA's office recommended that Judge Anthony Ferrara sentence Montelbano to 2-6 years in prison and a permanent license revocation for killing Liu.
According to Streetsblog, Ferrara instead opted to sentence Montelbano to 6 months in jail and 5 years probation, with a 2-year revocation of his license and a permanent revocation of his commercial license.
In two years, Montelbano can reapply to have his license restated.
“This driver showed cowardly and callous disregard for human life when he knowingly abandoned a critically injured person who wound up dying from injuries related to this crash,” Joan Vollero, a spokeswoman for the Manhattan DA's office, told Streetsblog.
“Making city streets safer for all New Yorkers is a priority for this Office, and has been the guiding principle behind our participation in regular meetings with the NYC Department of Transportation, Vision Zero panels, discussions with members of Families for Safe Streets and Transportation Alternatives, among others.”