Three people were killed and a fourth was seriously injured by hit-and-run drivers in separate incidents in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Just before 1:30 a.m. the NYPD says they responded to a pedestrian collision in the Bronx. Pedestrian Jose Contreras was struck near the corner of East 175th Street and Webster Avenue, suffering severe bodily trauma. Contreras was rushed to nearby Saint Barnabas Hospital, where he was declared dead. A police investigation determined that the man had been standing near an entrance ramp to the Cross Bronx Expressway and had attempted to cross Webster Avenue when he was struck by a black SUV.
The driver fled the scene. Cops say that no arrests have been made, and the investigation is ongoing.
Contreras's family told ABC7 that he had been celebrating his sister's 80th birthday just before the accident, and had been attempting to go back to a nearby catering hall to check on his family when he was struck. The 63-year-old father of two sons had been a custodian in Yonkers and was about to retire.
Roughly three hours later, officers in Queens responded to a pedestrian incident near 107-42 111th Street, where they found an unidentified 48-year-old man unconscious and unresponsive. The man was taken to Jamaica Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Cops say the victim had been attempting to retrieve his things from the back seat of his car when he was fatally struck by an unidentified driver, who fled the scene. No arrests have been made , and that investigation is ongoing.
Finally, just before 5 a.m. a bicyclist was struck by a driver near the corner of 9th Street and 5th Avenue in Park Slope, Brooklyn. The 41-year-old man was found unconscious, taken to Methodist Hospital, and later pronounced dead. No arrests have been made yet, but police are looking for a gold-colored sedan in connection with the fatal hit-and-run.
Speaking with 1010Wins, a nearby Park Slope resident identified as James tried to blame the fatal car accident on...bike lanes. "As they make more and more bike lanes and such, it pushes the traffic deeper into the neighborhoods where there is more pedestrian traffic and bikes," he told reporters.
The Daily News reports that a 22-year-old woman was also struck unconscious early Sunday morning by a driver in a silver mini-van at Guy R. Brewer Boulevard in South Jamaica, Queens. She was rushed to Jamaica Hospital and is currently in critical condition. The hit-and-run driver is still at large.
Earlier this month, a teen was killed in a fatal hit-and-run accident in Queens. In late 2015, New York lawmakers voted to double the civil penalty for drivers involved in hit-and-run accidents from $10,000 to $20,000.