NYPD: Hit-and-Run Drivers Killed Two Pedestrians On Highways Today

Two people were killed by hit-and-run drivers while police said they attempted to cross highways in two different boroughs just an hour apart early Friday morning.

Police said the first death occurred at 3:20 a.m. when a 28-year-old woman tried to cross the westbound lanes of the Staten Island Expressway near the Clove Road/Richmond Road exit, and was hit by the driver who fled the scene.

And the second death happened just about an hour later when police say a 37-year-old man was similarly struck by a hit-and-run driver while trying to cross the southbound lane of the Bronx River Parkway near Gun Hill Road, which is exit 9.

A spokesman for the NYPD had no further details on whether either of the drivers were speeding, distracted, or where either of the victims — whose identities police have not yet released pending family notification — were headed when they were killed.

The two pedestrian fatalities in one day come as Streetsblog reported last year that such highway pedestrian deaths are on the rise nationwide, in part because of local governments’ failure to build proper infrastructure that would help people get to their destinations safely.

The number of people who were killed by drivers on highways has soared 60 percent in 10 years, according to the Institute for Highway Safety. One of the study’s authors attributed the rise to a lack of access to basic necessities, including transportation.

“This might be a case where people are crossing a highway and they don’t have a better way of getting there,” said the study’s author, IIHS Vice President of Research Jessica Cicchino. “In most cases, there aren’t overpasses to cross nearby, and in California, for a majority of the cases, there was housing on one side of the road and non-residential areas like shopping centers or bus depots on the other.”

This is a breaking story. We will update later as more information is provided by the NYPD.