Tag Archives: hit and run

Elderly bicyclist struck in South Ozone Park hit-and-run


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

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Updated Friday, April 17, 9:13 a.m.

Police are looking for the driver who hit an 88-year-old bicyclist in South Ozone Park Thursday afternoon.

The victim was riding his bike on 131st Street near Rockaway Boulevard at about 1 p.m. when a blue sedan struck him, authorities said. The vehicle then fled.

The bicyclist was taken to Jamaica Hospital in critical condition.

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East Elmhurst woman charged with vehicular assault, DWI in Astoria hit-and-run


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

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A 21-year-old East Elmhurst driver who “didn’t even know” she struck someone has been charged with vehicular assault, DWI and other crimes for an Astoria hit-and-run that sent a pedestrian to the hospital earlier this week, according to the district attorney’s office.

Gisel M. Carchi is currently awaiting arraignment in Queens Criminal Court on charges of first- and second-degree vehicular assault, first-degree reckless endangerment, leaving the scene of an incident without reporting/serious physical injury, fourth-degree criminal mischief and operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, prosecutors said.

According to District Attorney Richard Brown, just before 4 p.m. on April 14 a 32-year-old woman saw a Nissan, which was being driven by Carchi, strike her parked Ford near Vernon Boulevard and 31st Drive. The witness then said she saw the Nissan hit a 37-year-old man before driving off without stopping.

A review of video surveillance showed the Nissan hitting the pedestrian, who was on the sidewalk, then almost striking another pedestrian after swerving back onto the street, according to the district attorney. Carchi was finally stopped after hitting two more parked cars and taken to the 112th Precinct in Forest Hills. A test administered at the precinct allegedly indicated that she had a blood alcohol level of .201 percent, well above the .08 legal limit.

When speaking with authorities, Carchi allegedly admitted that she had been drinking and driving after she and a male friend had gone to a restaurant where they shared a bowl of an alcoholic drink.

“I guess I hit a car,” she reportedly said, “I didn’t even know I hit somebody.”

The 37-year-old pedestrian had to be taken to an area hospital where he was diagnosed with paralysis of the left leg, a shattered right knee, broken right ankle and significant pain to his back and pelvis, which will require more testing.

If convicted, Carchi faces up to seven years in prison.

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61-year-old man fatally struck in Flushing hit-and-run


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

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A 61-year-old man was killed in a hit-and-run Wednesday night as he was crossing the street in Flushing, police said.

The victim was walking across 46th Avenue near Utopia Parkway at about 11:40 p.m. when the driver struck the man and then fled, authorities said.

The pedestrian, who was not identified by police, was taken to Flushing Hospital Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Police currently do not have a vehicle description.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

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Pols continue push for law change after another Queens hit-and-run


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Angy Altamirano

BY CRISTABELLE TUMOLA AND ANGY ALTAMIRANO

Local elected officials are hoping a change in the law will prevent unlicensed drivers from getting behind the wheel of a vehicle and avoid yet another death.

In response to a fatal hit-and-run in Elmhurst on Sunday, which took the life of a 26-year-old woman, state Senator Michael Gianaris gathered with local officials and advocacy groups on Tuesday morning at the site of the crash to reintroduce legislation he put forth more than a year ago.

The change in law would make it a felony if drivers with suspended licenses either seriously injure or kill someone with their vehicle. The proposal, included in Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision Zero agenda, would also include immediate impoundment of a vehicle involved in such accidents.

“Unfortunately we’re here for something that should have been done a while ago but has yet to be done,” Gianaris said. “We’re now for the third time in little over a year in western Queens alone dealing with an incident where someone who did not have a proper license to drive has hit and killed someone.”

According to the NYPD, the victim was struck at about 10:40 p.m. on Sunday at the intersection of 76th Street and Woodside Avenue as she attempted to cross the intersection.

A Mitsubishi box truck was traveling southbound on 76th Street and was making a left turn onto Woodside Avenue when it hit the woman, who was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

The driver fled after striking the woman, but an eyewitness reportedly chased down the truck. The driver, 27-year-old Valentine Gonzalez, was nabbed just blocks away, at 73rd Street and 41st Avenue, and taken into custody, cops said.

Under the current law, Gonzalez has been charged with leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in death and driving without a license.

“After yet another hit-and-run by an unlicensed driver, it’s time that New Yorkers stood up and said that enough is enough,” Assemblyman Francisco Moya said. “Current laws are not tough enough if reckless drivers, like Valentine Gonzalez, are still able to drive on our streets. How many more fatalities will there be before we say the laws must be changed?”

The proposed bill, which is co-sponsored by state Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, was initially introduced following the 2013 fatal accident in Woodside where 8-year-old Noshat Nahian was struck on his way to school at P.S. 152.

“It’s time for the punishment to fit the crime. If you get behind the wheel when you’re not authorized to do so and you kill somebody or you injure somebody you should go to jail. That way we will keep it from happening again in the future,” Gianaris said.

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Police release video of Richmond Hill hit-and-run


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Video courtesy of NYPD

Police have released video footage of a Richmond Hill hit-and-run that left a 63-year-old woman seriously injured.

An SUV was traveling eastbound on 89th Avenue near Lefferts Boulevard about 8:45 a.m. on Sunday when the car hit the woman, police said.

The victim was taken to Jamaica Hospital in serious condition, but is likely to survive.

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Authorities said the driver fled the scene eastbound on 89th Avenue. They are still searching for the vehicle, a 2013-15 dark gray Nissan Pathfinder SUV.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

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Truck driver charged in fatal Elmhurst hit-and-run


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

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An eyewitness helped catch an unlicensed truck driver who struck and killed a woman in Elmhurst Sunday night after the man fled the scene, police said.

The incident happened about 10:40 p.m. at the intersection of 76th Street and Woodside Avenue.

A Mitsubishi box truck was traveling southbound on 76th Street and was making a left turn onto Woodside Avenue when it hit the woman, police said.

The woman, whose identity has not been released by police, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver fled after striking the woman, but an eyewitness reportedly chased down the truck. The driver, 27-year-old Valentine Gonzalez, was nabbed just blocks away, at 73rd Street and 41st Avenue, and taken into custody, police said.

Gonzalez was charged with leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in death and driving without a license.

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Hit-and-run in Richmond Hill leaves 63-year-old woman in critical condition


| slicata@queenscourier.com

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Police are looking for the driver of an SUV who struck a 63-year-old woman in Richmond Hill Sunday morning before fleeing.

The incident happened on 89th Avenue near Lefferts Boulevard about 9 a.m., police said. The driver was traveling eastbound on 89th Avenue when the car hit the woman.

The victim was transported to an area hospital where she is listed in critical condition and is likely to survive.

Police said the driver fled the scene and they are still searching for the green or gray SUV.

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Long Island man indicted on hate crime charges in Ozone Park hit-and-run


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

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A Long Island man has been indicted on hate crime charges for calling a Sikh man “Osama” in Ozone Park last July and then intentionally running him over and dragging him several feet before fleeing, according to the district attorney’s office.

Joseph Caleca, 55, of Setauket, N.Y., was arraigned on Wednesday on a nine-count indictment that included charges of second-degree attempted murder as a hate crime, assault as a hate crime, criminal possession of a weapon and leaving the scene without reporting, District Attorney Richard Brown said. Caleca, who was initially arrested in August, was remanded on continuing bail.

The victim, 29-year-old Sandeep Singh, was standing at the intersection of 101st Avenue and 99th Street in Ozone Park with three friends just after midnight on July 30 when a pickup truck driven by Caleca drove up to the group. Caleca then said to them, according to Brown, “Move your [expletive] ass. You’re [expletive] slow, you [expletive] Osama. Go back to your country.”

Caleca then allegedly parked his truck, got out and confronted Singh and his friends. After an argument, Caleca then returned to his truck and drove head-on into Singh, catching his body underneath the truck and then dragging Singh several feet until his body got out from under the vehicle, according to the district attorney. Caleca then fled the scene.

Singh was taken to Jamaica Hospital with several abrasions, back and abdominal injuries that required surgery and several staples to his stomach.

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Van driver arrested in deadly Middle Village hit-and-run


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

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Updated 2:58 p.m.

A driver has been charged in a fatal hit-and-run after he struck a California man in Middle Village Tuesday night, causing him to fall into the path of another vehicle, authorities said.

Kamil Gorski, 36, was standing on the double yellow lines separating the westbound and eastbound lanes of traffic of Metropolitan Avenue near 62nd Street just before 8 p.m. when he was killed, authorities said.

A Ford van driving eastbound down Metropolitan hit Gorski, causing him to fall into the westbound lane of Metropolitan Avenue, where he was struck by a sedan, police said. The sedan’s driver remained at the scene and was not injured, but the van fled.

Gorski, a resident of San Marcos, Calif., was taken to Elmhurst Hospital where he died.

The van’s driver, Raul Reyes, 53, was later located at his Bushwick, Brooklyn home, where he admitted that he knew he struck something with his driver’s side view mirror, according to the district attorney’s office. But he thought that had clipped the side mirror of a small truck driving in the opposite direction and decided to keep going.

Reyes was arraigned Wednesday night on a charge of leaving the scene of an accident without reporting serious physical injury, and was ordered held on $30,000 bond. He faces up to four years in prison if convicted.

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‘Welcome to Hamilton Beach’ sign and guardrail protecting it destroyed in hit-and-run


| slicata@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Roger Gendron

A hit-and-run happened in Hamilton Beach. The victim: a beloved, handmade 2-by-3-foot wooden welcome sign crafted by a neighborhood resident.

The sign that welcomed visitors to Hamilton Beach, along with a guardrail and a city traffic sign, was located at the beginning of Hamilton Beach where vehicles cross into the community from Old Howard Beach.

The accident occurred in the beginning of December, but the motorist who caused the damage has yet to be caught. The guardrail is smashed almost 2 feet back, the two-way-traffic sign is knocked down behind the rail and the Hamilton Beach sign was cracked in the middle with letters and decorations missing.

It was removed to see if there was a possibility to have it repaired, but Roger Gendron, president of the Hamilton Beach Civic Association, was just told it was unfixable, and the neighborhood now has to look to purchase a new sign.

“I can’t imagine how fast this person must have been going to hit the rail that hard and knock it back so far,” Gendron said. “Thank God no one was hurt, but now we have to get it fixed and get a new sign.”

When crossing into Hamilton Beach from Old Howard Beach, a vehicle must go over a bridge with a slight incline. But, the high point of that bridge, which crosses over Hawtree Creek, is at least 50 feet if not more before the guardrail and sign, giving drivers an ample amount of time to see the stop sign at the corner before entering the neighborhood.

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When Gendron first noticed the sign was down he went down to further inspect the area and see if he could find any clues as to who may have done the damage. He found a piece of the car with the vehicle identification number on it, which he turned over to police at the 106th Precinct.

The crash is still under investigation, but just last week, the precinct removed an abandoned car from the neighborhood with a Pennsylvania license plate. The car’s front end was smashed in. It is not confirmed if that was the vehicle that caused the damage, but Gendron said it would definitely fit the description with how much damage was done to it.

The next step for the neighborhood is to get the guardrail fixed, erect a new pole for the two-way sign and put up a new welcome sign. Gendron has been in touch with Councilman Eric Ulrich’s office to see if the councilman can help get a Department of Transportation crew assigned to fix the two-way sign and guardrail. He is currently looking for someone or some business willing to make a new welcome sign. Gendron priced out a couple of signs but was astonished when he saw that many cost over $3,000. He has toyed with the possibility of starting a “Go Fund Me” page to see if he could get enough donations to buy a new sign but he hasn’t committed to it yet as he is exploring other options.

“We need a new sign for the neighborhood,” Gendron said. “I don’t know how we will get it yet, but we will.”

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Man struck in hit-and-run at McDonald’s drive-thru


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Google Maps

Updated Monday, Nov. 24, 11:00 a.m.

A man, who was apparently intoxicated, was struck at a McDonald’s in Rosedale early Saturday morning, police said.

At about 4 a.m., a white Nissan Maxima hit the man, who was drunk and fell on the roadway of the drive-thru of the fast food restaurant on Merrick Boulevard near 244th Street, cops said. The vehicle then fled the scene.

The 48-year-old victim was taken to Jamaica Hospital, where he is currently in stable condition.

Police are still looking for the Nissan’s driver.

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Police arrest Flushing woman for hit-and-run


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Graphic Image

Police arrested a Flushing resident for a hit-and-run Tuesday nearby Robert F. Kennedy Community High School, according to authorities.

Gina Morales, 41, was arrested in front of her home on Union Turnpike and charged with leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in the injury of a woman, cops said. The car, police observed, had bumps on it that indicated it had hit something. No description of the vehicle was available.

She told police that she was making a turn on the corner of Parsons Boulevard and 75th Road in Pomonok when she felt a “bump” but decided to keep driving.

The victim was taken to Queens Hospital Center with minor injuries.

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Community rallies to find driver in Queens Boulevard hit-and-run


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Angy Altamirano

The Woodside community is looking for the driver involved in a hit-and-run on Queens Boulevard that has left one man clinging to life.

According to officials, on Thursday at about 1:35 a.m., the victim, who is still unidentified, was struck on the westbound center lane of Queens Boulevard and 60th Street by a dark-colored Ford SUV as he attempted to cross the thoroughfare. The driver fled the scene.

Currently the victim, described as a Hispanic male in his 20s or 30s, is in critical but stable condition at Elmhurst Hospital, authorities said.

Members of the surrounding Woodside neighborhood gathered on Friday at the intersection to call on the public to help identify the driver involved in the incident.

“The person that struck the young man and left him to die on this street should turn themselves in right away and face the consequences of his/her actions, because what this person did was leave a young man to die,” Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said. “It’s one of the worst things that one human being can do to another.”

 

Van Bramer’s Justice for Hit-and-Run Victims Act, created after the councilman’s district faced three fatal hit-and-runs last year, was signed into law on Monday by Mayor Bill de Blasio. It allows the city to establish civil penalties of up to $10,000 to drivers who are found guilty of fleeing the scene of a hit-and-run. The bill will take effect starting Dec. 29.

Students of the Towers Play-N-Learn nursery school cross Queens Boulevard where a man was critically injured in a hit-and-run early Thursday morning.

Students of the Towers Play-N-Learn nursery school cross Queens Boulevard where a man was critically injured in a hit-and-run early Thursday morning.

“Accidents are horrible and terribly unfortunate,” said Jerry LoMonte, resident of the Big Six Towers co-op apartment buildings, located across the street from the collision site. “[Leaving] the scene of the accident is horrible and criminal, and we need to protect ourselves against that.”

Also present at the Friday morning rally was Elizabeth O’Hara, director of Towers Play-N-Learn nursery school, which is also located across the street of where the hit-and-run occurred. She was joined by six students holding signs that read “Please Slow Down, I have small feet,” and “Please stop at the crosswalk.”

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O’Hara asked drivers to slow down while driving on Queens Boulevard and to stop at the crosswalk before getting to the red light.

“At various times Queens Boulevard has been referred to as the Boulevard of Death but the truth is Queens Boulevard is surrounded by life,” Van Bramer said. “We have got to come to a place where this boulevard is no longer viewed as the Boulevard of Death but instead the Boulevard of Life.”

The hit-and-run investigation is still ongoing.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

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Pedestrian struck in Woodside hit-and-run


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

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A man was left critically injured following a hit-and-run in Woodside early Thursday morning, police said.

The victim, believed to be in his 20s or 30s, was crossing at the intersection of Queens Boulevard and 60th Street at about 1:35 a.m. when he was struck by a dark-colored SUV, authorities said. The vehicle then drove off westbound on Queens Boulevard.

The pedestrian was taken to the hospital in critical condition.

Police are still looking for the driver.

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Suspect charged with hate crime in Ozone Park hit-and-run of Sikh man


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

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Updated Wednesday, Aug. 20 11:52 p.m.

A 55-year-old Long Island man has been charged with a hate crime after he allegedly called another man “Osama” before intentionally running him over and dragging him several feet before fleeing, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.

Joseph Caleca has been charged with attempted murder as a hate crime, assault as a hate crime and leaving the scene without reporting. 

“The defendant is accused of an unprovoked attack that allegedly began with the defendant driving by the victim and his friends and yelling out a vile anti-Muslim insult,” Brown said. “After an exchange of words, the defendant allegedly struck the victim intentionally with his vehicle and dragged his body along the street.”

On July 30, the victim, 29-year-old Sandeep Singh, was standing at the intersection of 101st Avenue and 99th Street in Ozone Park with three friends just after midnight when a light-colored pickup truck driven by Caleca approached the group. Caleca then went on to say, “in sum and substance,” according to Brown, “Move your [expletive] ass. You’re [expletive] slow, you [expletive] Osama. Go back to your country.”

Afterwards, Caleca allegedly parked his truck, got out and confronted Singh and his friends. After a verbal dispute, Caleca then returned to his truck and drove head-on into Singh, catching his body on the vehicle’s undercarriage and then dragging Singh several feet until his body got out from under the vehicle, according to the district attorney. Caleca then fled the scene. 

Singh was taken to Jamaica Hospital with abdominal and back injuries, and several abrasions.

A week after Singh was struck outside of his business, a rally was held urging authorities to investigate the incident as a hate crime, according to DNAinfo.

Caleca was ordered held without bail and to return to court on Sept. 10. If convicted, he faces up to 25 years in prison.

 

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