88-Year-Old Driver Runs Red, Kills Madeline Sershen, 17, in Utopia Parkway Crosswalk

Video still: WNBC
Video still: WNBC

An 88-year-old motorist ran a red light and killed a teenager in Whitestone yesterday.

Sheila Kahn Prager was driving a Toyota compact on Utopia Parkway at around 10:30 a.m. when she disregarded the signal at 16th Avenue and slammed into 17-year-old Madeline Sershen, who was crossing the parkway in the crosswalk.

Madeline Sershen. Photo via Daily News
Madeline Sershen. Photo via Daily News

The victim was propelled onto the hood of the car and into the windshield. Sershen, of Flushing, sustained severe head trauma and was pronounced dead at NewYork-Presbyterian Queens hospital, according to the Daily News and QNS.com.

Prager was arrested and charged with failure to yield, failure to exercise due care, and running the light.

“Because of her age she should not have been on the road,” Sershen’s father, Eric Sershen, told the News. “I think the family of this person should’ve taken the keys away.”

Other than vision tests, the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles does nothing to monitor the driving abilities of license-holders as they age. Instead, the DMV leaves it to individual motorists and their families to decide when someone is no longer physically capable of operating a motor vehicle.

“She was looking forward to life,” Eric Sershen said. “She was just so smart. She excelled at everything that she wanted to do.”

Madeline Sershen was killed in the 109th Precinct, and in the City Council district represented by Paul Vallone.