On Friday afternoon a woman was run over in Brooklyn by a school bus driver as she walked across the intersection of Nostrand Avenue and Avenue M. Graphic video of the collision shows the driver turning directly into the woman, who was in the crosswalk and appeared to have the right of way, and continuing forward as she is dragged under the bus's wheels.
On Friday Afternoon in Brooklyn on Nostrand Ave and Ave M. pic.twitter.com/ihyTbu2yQs
— NYC Scanner (@NYScanner) January 15, 2017
The woman was rushed to Kings County Hospital with non-life threatening injuries, according to an NYPD spokesperson who confirmed today that the driver, who remained at the scene, has not been arrested or issued any summons. The spokesperson also said that the NYPD's specialized Collision Investigation Squad [CIS] had not been assigned to the case, speculating this was because the pedestrian's injuries were "non-life threatening."
Steve Vaccaro, an attorney who specializes in cases involving reckless driving, viewed the video and strongly disagrees with the NYPD's assessment. "This is a flagrant violation of the Right of Way Law and should be prosecuted as reckless endangerment and third degree assault as well," Vaccaro told Gothamist. "The victim was entirely blameless. From the driver's failure to brake or change course until two or more seconds after the impact, it seems highly likely that the driver was distracted by an electronic device. But if the NYPD CIS refuses to investigate the case, then the driver's phone and phone records will probably never be inspected."
Vaccaro also says "the excuse given by CIS for not investigating is confusing. CIS long ago claimed to have dropped the 'dead or likely to die' standard for investigating in the wake of the Clara Heyworth botched investigation. The new standard is 'critical' injury. The 'not life threatening' phraseology sounds like NYPD is confused about the difference between the two."
Brian Zumhagen, a spokesperson for safe streets advocacy group Transportation Alternatives, said he had seen the "horrifying" video and that "it makes it clear just how dangerous failure to yield is, and why we need the Right of Way law, along with more traffic signals that give pedestrians a head start in the crosswalk, and drivers a dedicated phase to make turns."
City records show that there have been 39 crash-related injuries at the intersection of Avenue M and Nostrand Avenue since 2009, Brooklyn Daily reports.
The bus is reportedly owned by a company called Y & M Transit. A call to their Brooklyn office this afternoon went unanswered.