No Charges for Driver Who Killed Sheepshead Bay Woman in Crosswalk

The red arrow indicates the approximate path of Carol Carboni, and the white arrow indicates the approximate path of the 33-year-old driver who killed her in the crosswalk at Avenue Z and Nostrand Avenue. Photo: Google Maps
The white arrow indicates the approximate path of Carol Carboni, and the red arrow indicates the approximate path of the 33-year-old driver who killed her in the crosswalk at Avenue Z and Nostrand Avenue. Photo: Google Maps

NYPD has not filed charges against the driver who killed a Sheepshead Bay woman in the crosswalk just blocks from her home yesterday afternoon.

Carol Carboni, 52, was crossing Nostrand Avenue from west to east at 3:35 p.m. yesterday when the driver of a 2013 Infiniti sedan, making a left turn from eastbound Avenue Z to northbound Nostrand, struck the rear right side of her mobility scooter with his front passenger-side bumper. Carboni fell off the scooter and suffered severe head trauma, NYPD said. She was taken to Lutheran Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.

This case seems to be a likely candidate for Right of Way charges against the driver. The fact that Carboni was in the crosswalk and the driver was making a left turn at the same time indicate that Carboni likely had the right of way.

NYPD told Streetsblog this morning that it did not have information available about what the traffic signals indicated or who had the right of way at the time of the crash. The Collision Investigation Squad continues to investigate the crash, NYPD said, and no charges have been filed against the 33-year-old Brooklyn resident who was behind the wheel.

In the year since the Right of Way Law took effect, NYPD has rarely charged drivers who strike pedestrians or cyclists with the right of way.

“My condolences go out to the Carboni family on this tragic accident,” said Council Member Chaim Deutsch, who represents the area where the crash occurred. “Every intersection is dangerous from vehicles who are turning. They have to slow down and make sure there is no one crossing the street who has the right of way.”

I asked Deutsch if he thought the Right of Way Law should be considered in this case. “I’m not an investigator. The police department is investigating that,” he said. “Motorists need to be careful when they drive. Pedestrians, although you have the right of way, we all need to be more careful crossing the streets and be more on the defensive side.”

Five people were killed or seriously injured at the corner of Nostrand and Avenue Z from 2007 to 2011, making it one of the 20 most dangerous intersections for pedestrians in the city, according to DOT [PDF].

The area near the intersection also has a deadly history. In July 2009, a livery cab driver struck and killed an 85-year-old woman crossing Nostrand just south of the intersection with Avenue Z. In March 2010, the driver of an out-of-service MTA bus struck and killed a 59-year-old woman at Avenue Z and Haring Street, a short block east of Nostrand.

There have been 10 crashes and four pedestrian injuries so far this year at the intersection where Carboni was killed, according to data NYPD gave Deutsch.

The intersection has signs reminding turning drivers to yield to pedestrians, countdown clocks, and “LOOK!” markings for pedestrians in the crosswalk. DOT has also studied, but not installed, a fence along the Nostrand Avenue median to block people from crossing at undesignated locations, as well as a signalized midblock crosswalk on Nostrand. Rush hour bus lanes were added to Nostrand in 2013. There have been no recent changes to redesign the wide lanes on Avenue Z or the narrow median on Nostrand.

The crash occurred within the 61st Precinct, which has issued 313 citations for failure to yield to a pedestrian, 82 citations for improper turning, and 269 citations for speeding through the end of July this year [PDF].

To voice your concerns about traffic safety to Captain Winston M. Faison, commanding officer of the 61st Precinct, attend its next community council meeting, scheduled for September 9 at 7:30 p.m. at Yeshivat Darche Eres, 2533 Coney Island Avenue.