Pedestrian Fatally Struck While Crossing Flatbush Avenue In Prospect Park
  • From Gothamist:

    "A 49-year-old woman was killed last night while crossing a rain-swept street in Prospect Park around 9 p.m. 49-year-old Sokhna Niang, of Staten Island, was crossing the stretch of Flatbush Avenue that cuts through the park when she was run over by the driver of a 2006 Infinity. The driver, described by police as a 37-year-old male, kept going, but then returned to the crash scene, between Grand Army Plaza and Empire Boulevard.

    There are reports that Niang was struck by multiple drivers who fled the scene, but an NYPD spokesman tells us that's still under investigation, and no charges have been filed against the driver.

    A Daily News photographer said "there were a few people in an hysterical condition at the scene who appeared to have known the woman; their relation to her was not clear. They had to be held back by authorities as they tried to reach her body.""


    I was taking a B41 home from Atlantic Center last night when the bus had to make its detour at Grand Army Plaza. The NYPD had NB Flatbush blocked off right at the north side of the traffic circle.
  • "People who were at the scene indicated the woman may have gotten out of a parked car and tried to cross Flatbush when she was hit."

    http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/brooklyn/pedestrian-fatally-struck-flatbush-ave-article-1.1866911#ixzz37YAxJHzy

    This sounds as if she may previously arranged to meet up with a group of people with a car on that stretch, then parked her car in an available spot, then attempted to cross Flatbush to where they were waiting.

    It is a good place to park your car to meet up with someone else with a car; there is always reliable parking on the stretch at night.

  • Vision Zero shot to hell already.
  • Vision Zero shot to hell already.



    Bullets courtesy of the NYPD and your local DA.
  • Vision Zero shot to hell already.



    As with the war on gun violence in this city, the war on car violence won't be won overnight. A lot of progress has been made in reducing the damage gunmen and car drivers do to this city, but there's still a lot left to be done.

    Very sad to read about these lives shattered seeing someone kill their friend right in front of their eyes. I can't imagine how awful that would be.
  • One of the news articles stated that she was dropped off at the intersection by a car load of friends at the end of the evening, because the location was close to where she parked her car earlier. They then witnessed her being hit.

    (Slightly different than my hypothesis above)
  • I wonder who's at fault here. The three drivers who hit her or the woman herself, who possibly crossed in front of traffic. As long as pedestrians don't have to follow the rules there are going to be accidents, some resulting in death.
  • Unless it can be proven that she was crossing with the light and in the crosswalk, I suspect that none of the drivers will be alleged to be at fault.

    Given the amount of light and the rain, it is probably difficult to determine how many times she was hit, and even more difficult to determine the culpability of drivers who hit her once she was on the ground.


  • According to what I heard the night it happened, the news reported she was hit by three cars. Two stopped, one didn't. The drivers weren't charged, which no doubt angers Mike Dunlap.
  • According to what I heard the night it happened, the news reported she was hit by three cars. Two stopped, one didn't. The drivers weren't charged, which no doubt angers Mike Dunlap.



    Or anyone else who has any common sense or cares about law and order in this city.

  • newguy88 said:

    Or anyone else who has any common sense or cares about law and order in this city.



    Well, apparently, the police felt the drivers did not run afoul of the "law and order in this city."  So those who care about law and order in this city, as unfortunate as this accident is, should not be bothered that the drivers were not charged.
  • southeast said:

    newguy88 said:

    Or anyone else who has any common sense or cares about law and order in this city.



    Well, apparently, the police felt the drivers did not run afoul of the "law and order in this city."  So those who care about law and order in this city, as unfortunate as this accident is, should not be bothered that the drivers were not charged.

    Unless of course the police have a long standing practice actually you could call it a tradition of doing haphazard investigations and refusing to charge drivers. It's literally next to impossible to run someone over in this city and get charged.
  • @ Newguy...Do you think pedestrians should get charged when they step in front of vehicles and cause accidents? If not then it shouldn't be the other way around. Because much as you don't want to believe it....pedestrians in many cases, cause their own deaths.
  • It is difficult to charge someone who is dead with a crime.

    For better or worse, the laws around vehicular manslaughter are written in such a way that charging and convicting drivers is difficult.

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303465004579322441555410428

    The police are instructed to charge drivers only when they believe there is a reasonable chance of conviction. The instruction prevents individuals from being able to pursue charges of false arrest against the police....
  • @ Newguy...Do you think pedestrians should get charged when they step in front of vehicles and cause accidents? If not then it shouldn't be the other way around. Because much as you don't want to believe it....pedestrians in many cases, cause their own deaths.


    Yes they sometimes do. Where did I suggest they always don't? Please don't put words in my mouth. But let's get you away from victim blaming. One car hit her I could see that as a simple accident. However since she was struck by multiple cars the ONLY reasonable assumption is that those cars were being driven in an unsafe manner for the conditions. It is next to impossible that all the drivers who hit her were driving in a safe manner especially given the heavy rain. Even if they were they committed a crime by leaving the scene of the accident.

    Which leads me to my next question. Since logic and common sense as well as the law has out the drivers in the wrong. Why do you insist on blaming the victim?

    Yes I believe pedestrians who jay walk and cross mid lock should get ticketed. However cars turning against red lights or into crosswalks with the cross lights kill way more. Cars should thus logical be the brunt of the NYPD's thoroughly lacking safety efforts.
  • @newguy88  I don't see how "logic and commons sense as well as the law has the drivers in the wrong" (aside from leaving the accident).  

    Bad weather and bad nighttime lighting = limited visibility.  The women is in middle of the street and gets hit once (by mistake), and as she is lying on the pavement, she is not seen and gets hit again (and again) (by mistake).  This could have all happened within seconds.  The drivers could have been driving at 15 miles an hour.  I don't see how you got to the "only reasonable assumption that those care were being driven in an unsafe manner."

    You may be right, but an investigation is necessary because logic, common sense, and reasonable assumptions don't get us there.
  • Just chiming in, as someone that lives nearby.

    I don't know the particulars of this case...
    (anyone with confirmed details please weigh in)

     - Did it happen in a crosswalk during a red light when pedestrian had right-of-way with the Walk signal?
     - Or not at all...did she just jaywalk somewhere along that lonely, dark stretch of tree-lined road on a rainy night?

    Traffic-wise, this part of Flatbush (through and south of the park) is notorious for two things:
     1. Through-traffic cars and dollar vans that still drive like the Indy 500
     2. Heavy, chronic patterns of extremely dangerous pedestrian jaywalking, oblivious to oncoming traffic, from just above Empire (where this happened) for at least the next mile south down Flatbush.

    As someone that's lived in the area for a while and remains appalled by both, history has proven that it's only a matter of time before the next tragedy happens.

    Sadly in this case, stormy weather with lower visibility and slick roads only increased these odds.
  • The only crosswalks along that stretch are at...
    • Flatbush Avenue and Empire Boulevard/Ocean Avenue
    • The Prospect Park Zoo and
    • Grand Army Plaza (by the central branch of the Brooklyn Public Library
    I wouldn't dare jaywalk at any other point along that stretch. Vehicles do tend to speed along that corridor.
  • @southeast The cars seeing the poor weather conditions and limited visibility should have reduced speed. Hence they failed to excersie due caution. Sadly as the police take the attitude held by many on this board we will never get a proper investigation.
  • I'll toss my vote in with the others on the board and say that pedestrian ignorance was probably the cause for this fatality.  Common sense would suggest that there would not be too much pedestrian activity between the park and garden at night and in inclement weather.  Combine that with poor visibility and possibly lack of clothing that is visible at night, in the rain, Come on would you be driving at 15 MPH?  Really?  These drivers did not plan to hit a pedestrian, and after she is down in the road its practically impossible to tell what is on the ground.  Are you gonna stop for every box or newspaper, garbage bag?  Not really.  
    Its all very sad and tragic but signs point to the woman not taking reasonable precautions.  I have had pedestrians walk into me and my bike while I was standing still, and that was in the era before cell phones.  
     New Guy you are making alot of assumptions and value judgments, presuming people are driving unsafely. Nobody really knows what happend that evening .  Did lightning distract drivers? Did she see her friends and bolt into traffic? or get distracted by her phone.?  
  • @Newguy....Did you ever think that maybe this poor gal had her head down or buried under an umbrella and didn't notice the vehicles. The point is...if I can't blame the victim and I'm not then you can't always blame the drivers. Not until we KNOW what happened.
  • We know what happened a person was murdered by 3 drivers two of whom fled. if she was shot by three people nobody would dare blame her. Yet she was only run over by drivers who callously failed to excersise due caution. So she's fair game right?

    Maybe we should treat gun victims the same way you treat traffic violence victims! How long do you think it would be before I got banned if I made the same comments on all the shooting topics that you are making here?

    @pragmaticguy I think it's fair to blame the drivers since info cent people don't usually flee.

    @tsarina I'm making logical deductions based on 3 years of living in Brooklyn and sharing the road with these drivers. Flatbush is well known to be treated like a racetrack by cars. If drivers are so easily distracted by lighting then they shouldn't be driving. Like wise the law DEMANDS you adjust speed for road conditions if that means doing 25 then you do it. And yes I do it I ride slower in the rain due to my decreased grip and increased braking distance. Yes they didn't plan to hit her but their driving made it occur. That's by you drive safely so things like this don't happen. By the way comparing a pedestrian to a garbage bag is disgusting! You should be ashamed!
  • I have no idea who was at fault, if anyone, for this accident since I wasn't there. But I can say that the visibility was terrible that night, along with other poor conditions people have already mentioned (wet roads, lightning), and a couple of other hazards like pooling water. I was driving westbound on Eastern Parkway and could have easily hit a man who was inexplicably walking eastbound in the street in my lane of traffic because a. no one expects a pedestrian to be walking in the middle of the street like that and b. it was almost impossible to see him until you were very close. And that's even with me driving slower than the new reduced 25 mph speed limit and driving more cautiously than normal to account for the weather. Some accidents are just not preventable by drivers. And Vision Zero has to take some of these other things (road lighting, distance between crosswalks) into account.
  • @nothinlikeabklyngirl but by driving at safe speed you were able to avoid the jaywalker. Yes not all accidents are preventable by drivers but many many are. Thank you for being a safe driver!
  • @Newguy88 wrote:
    "How long do you think it would be before I got banned if I made the same comments on all the shooting topics that you are making here?"

    Many people who get shot DO place themselves at increased risk.

    Acknowledging this, and then having them change their behavior (such as dealing drugs and threatening people) is central to reducing the shootings, especially ones that involve robbing drug dealers and people who have been threatening to others.

    Discussing same won't get you banned.



  • @Newguy88 wrote:
    "I'm making logical deductions based on 3 years of living in Brooklyn and sharing the road with these drivers."

    Well, in my opinion, those are not necessarily logical deductions.  This is based on living in Brooklyn for 30+ years and sharing the road with these drivers.  As I said previously, you may be right, but an investigation is necessary because logic, common sense, and reasonable assumptions don't get us there.
  • whynot_31 said:

    The police are instructed to charge drivers only when they believe there is a reasonable chance of conviction. The instruction prevents individuals from being able to pursue charges of false arrest against the police....



    Off the main topic, but that does not appear to always be the case... http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Justice/2014/0709/Marijuana-Brooklyn-DA-and-New-York-police-at-odds-on-minor-crimes-video
  • Nothing is always the case.

    In the case of marijuana, the police will likely be protected from false arrest charges because they are following the law, whereas the DA has told his staff not to follow the law.

    What would be interesting is a situation where the police didn't arrest people whom the DA believed would be found guilty.

    ....I have yet to hear that we frequently have that situation when it comes to pedestrian or biker deaths.

    ie The DA and the police both seem to agree that we are going as far possible under existing law.

    ...needless to say, advocates for pedestrians and the loved ones of the deceased are likely to disagree.
  • @newguy88 I'm making logical deductions based on 3 years of living in Brooklyn and sharing the road with these drivers. Flatbush is well known to be treated like a racetrack by cars. If drivers are so easily distracted by lighting then they shouldn't be driving. Like wise the law DEMANDS you adjust speed for road conditions if that means doing 25 then you do it. And yes I do it I ride slower in the rain due to my decreased grip and increased braking distance. Yes they didn't plan to hit her but their driving made it occur. That's by you drive safely so things like this don't happen. By the way comparing a pedestrian to a garbage bag is disgusting! You should be ashamed! - See more at: http://www.brooklynian.com/discussion/comment/550441#Comment_550441"

    Well I'm making decisions based on 34 years of driving in NYC and them some in Los Angeles. And yes I lived traveled that stretch of road many times as a driver , biker and pedestrian. Your decisions dont seem so logical or objective since you blame only the drivers and label them as "murderers".   
    Drivers are in a vehicle driving in rain that can overwhelm windshield wipers, on a stretch of road that one would assume would not be used by pedestrians, considering that time of night and weather.  The victim could have hit the side of the vehicle, which may explain why drivers did not notice her or stop. Lightning, oncoming headlights , momentary distractions inside the car may have prevented the drivers from seeing a pedestrian possibly dressed in non high visibility clothing.  Once she was down on the pavement, it would be harder still to discern her body in the street. Comparing the victim to a bag of garbage was done by you, not me.  SHAME ON YOU!  I merely stated items that appear in the street that can look strange especially during a huge downpour.
    While you label the drivers murderers and blame them for not driving perfectly, lets examine if the victim had any culpability in her own demise.  She was on a sporadically busy wide street, at night, in the rain, in a place where there are very few pedestrians at that time of night.  Even in the rain most vehicles have headlights and taillights to warn pedestrians, and other drivers of their presence, while she may or may not have been visible and certainly (and I am presuming a lot here) did not have warning lights on her for visibility.  Common sense, and I guess most people would agree on this, except for you, would be extremely cautious crossing Flatbush in these conditions.  Even though technically pedestrians have the right of way, it would be foolhardy to test that rule on a night like that.  You cannot presume that people can see you.  Only she had the ability to see lighted vehicles driving by and gauge the safety of crossing at that time.  It would be hard to argue that the cars came out of nowhere, with no warning.  So Yes, most reasonable people would blame the victim for not taking more precaution in such a dangerous situation.  Running across a highway, at night during a storm entails some risk.  Think about it.

  • It's literally next to impossible to run someone over in this city and get charged.



    Yep. If you ever want to kill someone and get away with it, your best bet is to do it with a car. Just remember to get your target when he or she is out of the crosswalk. Or, even better, crossing mid-block, the worst possible sin a pedestrian can commit against poor little drivers.

    "No criminality suspected." Unless, of course, you hit a cop. That always warrants a full investigation.
  • At best, all anyone can say is that the first driver may have been at fault, just as the pedestrian may have had some culpability. Given the conditions last night it is highly probable that the two other drivers never even saw her. So to say she was murdered by three people is a bit beyond the pale. Especially when it appears that those two drivers both stopped to see what they ran over, then remained at the scene until the police arrived. Why isn't it possible that this was truly an accident (pedestrian makes miscalculation as does oncoming driver)? One thing that Vision Zero seems to want to do is place blame for all accidents on drivers. Sometimes accidents are just that - accidents.

    Meanwhile people that ARE actually being killed by drivers seem to get no recognition from the anti-car lobby. I am preparing to go to the funeral Friday of Joie Sellers. Joie was a 12 year old girl that was killed by a driver in a stolen car who had just been released from jail ROR (without bail) after being arrested for drug possession charges. Joie, her mom and her 9 year old sister were struck while they were standing near a city bus stop. All three were critically injured, and mother and the youngest daughter are still in the hospital facing months (if not years) of rehab and treatment for their injuries. And yet, I haven't seen one article about this crime on Streetsblog or any outcry from the TA crowd about the fact that this convicted felon was permitted to be out on the streets with no monitoring or limitations, even as he was being accused of committing additional felonies. If you want to criminalize driving, how about starting with those cases where people are killed by criminals who are actually in the process of committing another crime? Why the silence on this? 
  • @Mike Dunlap....please show me where I stated that's "it's literally next to impossible to run someone over in this city and get charged." Because I never would have written that. Going back in the thread it was Newguy who wrote that on July 5th. I expect an apology.

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