An 80-year-old pedestrian walking in a Bronx crosswalk on Monday night was killed by the driver of a yellow school bus, according to authorities.
The victim—whose name is being withheld pending family notification—was crossing Boston Road around 6 p.m. last night, when the bus driver fatally struck her while turning right off Wilkins Road, police said. She was rushed to St. Barnabas hospital, where she was pronounced dead. No children were aboard the bus at the time of the fatal collision, according to the NYPD.
The school bus driver, 52-year-old Rafael Ortiz, remained at the scene, and was charged with failure to yield to a pedestrian. The misdemeanor charge carries a $250 fine and, in theory, a maximum of 30 days in jail—though the full sentence is rarely handed down, particularly for a first offense.
It’s the second time in as many months that a school bus driver has killed a pedestrian in the Bronx. In February, a 68-year-old woman was run over a bus driver, who was then caught on video fleeing the scene. A spokesperson for the NYPD said that driver has since been identified, but it's unclear whether he was charged.
The woman's death marks at least the
third fourth fatality of an elderly pedestrian this week. Evaristo Mercado, an 82-year-old Bushwick resident, was fatally struck in an East Williamsburg crosswalk on Saturday, and Stella Clinton, 85, was killed while walking on the sidewalk in Marine Park on Wednesday. Mercado's killer was arrested, while Clinton's was not, authorities said.
According to police, another pedestrian was fatally struck by a hit-and-run dump truck driver in the Bronx early this morning. Further details about the victim or the driver who killed him have not yet been released.
UPDATE: Transportation Alternatives points out that four seniors, not three, have lost their lives while walking in New York City in the last week. On Sunday, Salvatore Pierro died of injuries sustained after he was hit by an SUV driver at the corner of Annadale Road and Arden Avenue on Staten Island the previous day. The 17-year-old driver was reportedly charged with failure to yield to a pedestrian and failure to exercise due care.
In a statement, TransAlt Co-Interim Director Ellen McDermott said, "Going about the business of everyday life in New York City — walking home from church, crossing the street, going to the store — shouldn’t carry a death sentence."