Driver Backing Up to Park Kills Lin Qinyun, NYPD Blames Victim [Updated]

NYPD issued no tickets and filed no charges against the driver who backed over and killed Lin Qinyun in Corona. Image: Google Maps
NYPD issued no tickets and filed no charges against the driver who backed over and killed Lin Qinyun in Corona. Image: Google Maps

Update below

A driver backing up to get a parking space killed a woman in Queens and NYPD blamed the deceased victim.

Lin Qinyun, 64, was crossing 37th Avenue at 113th Street in Corona at around 8:45 a.m. last Friday when she was struck by a 54-year-old woman driving a Ford SUV.

NYPD faulted Qinyun for the crash. From the Times-Ledger:

The driver was eastbound on 37th Avenue and came to stop in the vicinity of 113th Street, the spokesman said.

The driver then put her vehicle in reverse and traveled westbound in reverse, the spokesman added.

Qinyun was crossing 37th Avenue at the time from north to south outside of a crosswalk into the path of the vehicle, which struck her, causing her to fall and strike her head on the pavement, the official said.

37th Avenue at 113th Street is a two-way street with one travel lane and one parking lane in each direction. There is a marked crosswalk on 113th Street, but no crosswalk markings or curb ramps on 37th Avenue.

Regardless of street conditions, state law requires motorists to exercise due care to avoid hitting people with vehicles. There is a park and a school on one side of 37th Avenue at 113th Street, and apartments on the other. The crash happened a few yards from a school zone.

“The driver didn’t see her. The car went right over her,” witness Rosealba Maneses told the Post. “She has blood on her head — it happened so fast.”

DOT has recorded five injuries to pedestrians, cyclists, and motor vehicle occupants at the intersection since 2009, including two injury crashes last year.

Qinyun died at Elmhurst Hospital. NYPD issued no charges or summonses to the driver, whose name was not released.

Since May 2015, motorists have killed five pedestrians while driving in reverse on New York City streets, according to crash data tracked by Streetsblog.

The crash that killed Lin Qinyun occurred in the 115th Precinct, which is known for Vision Zero cyclist crackdowns, and in the City Council district represented by Julissa Ferreras-Copeland.

Update: Attorney Steve Vaccaro pointed out to me that, under state law, “[t]he driver of a vehicle shall not back the same unless such movement can be made with safety.” In addition, since the block in question is not bounded by signalized intersections (there is a stop sign at 37th Avenue and 112th Street), there is no prohibition against people crossing mid-block, Vaccaro said.