The SUV driver who fatally struck a pedestrian on the Upper West Side last year has been convicted of criminally negligent homicide.
Driver Roberto Mercado hit 61-year-old local resident Jean Chambers as she was crossing West End Avenue at 95th Street around 11 a.m. on July 10, 2014. Marcado, 52, was making a left turn onto West End while traveling eastbound on West 95th Street when he struck her. Chambers was transported to St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
The incident happened only two blocks from where 9-year-old Cooper Stock was killed by a taxi driver earlier that year. Chambers's death led to a vigil/protest in the neighborhood in honor of all the pedestrians fatally struck there, and the the DOT eventually redesigned that part of West End.
According to Streetsblog, Mercado cut through West End Avenue’s southbound lanes while turning; when police asked why he was driving north in the southbound lane, he replied, "I thought I was in the right lane." Streetsblog also picked out Mercado's confession from court documents: “I killed her,” Mercado reportedly told police. "I killed her. I was going eastbound and made a left. I thought I had a flat, people were yelling and pointing. I stopped."
Mercado was not charged with any wrongdoing at the scene at the time. It took several months before he was charged with anything. He now faces up to four years in prison when he is sentenced in January.
"No conviction will bring Jean back," her husband, John Chambers, told DNAinfo. "I always expected that justice would prevail. I don't think I'll ever put this behind me."