A yellow cab driver killed a woman on the Upper East Side this morning and fled the scene. The victim was the third person in five months to be killed by a cab driver while walking in the 19th Precinct, where police have prioritized ticketing cyclists and confiscating electric bikes.
The cabbie hit the victim, who police said was homeless, with a Toyota Camry at around 5:10 a.m. on Lexington Avenue near E. 68th Street. She died at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, the Daily News reported.
As of this afternoon police had not released the victim’s name and the driver was still at large, an NYPD spokesperson told Streetsblog.
NYPD made excuses for the driver. With the investigation ongoing, police speculated that the victim was jaywalking, telling NY1 she “possibly walked between two parked vehicles into the street.” Almost four years after the launch of the city’s Vision Zero program, NYPD routinely blames deceased crash victims in the press, even in cases where the driver leaves the scene.
Manikam Srymanean, 50, and Barbara Horn, 80, were killed by cab drivers in the 19th Precinct in April and July, respectively. At least seven people killed while walking in the 19th Precinct since 2014 were hit by TLC-licensed drivers.
The precinct, meanwhile, has boasted about expending enforcement resources on seizing electric bikes from delivery workers. On average, precinct officers ticket fewer than one speeding driver per day.
Targeting cyclists while motorists kill people isn’t making Upper East Side streets safer, but City Council members Ben Kallos and Dan Garodnick, who represents the district where today’s fatal crash occurred, have encouraged the precinct’s approach.