Vehicular, pedestrian and cyclist fatalities increase on Bronx streets in past 2 weeks

police car lights at night in city with selective focus and bokeh
Photo via Getty Images
Getty Images

The Bronx has seen an unfortunate pattern of vehicular related fatalities throughout the recent weeks.

Three senior citizens, a cyclist, and a moped driver all lost their lives to automotive collisions spread throughout the borough dating back to the end of October – one from alleged drunk driving and another involving an MTA bus.

Senior couple dies of injuries following multi-car crash in north Bronx: NYPD

Authorities say that at 4:01 p.m. on Oct. 26, the NYPD responded to a call regarding a multi-vehicle collision at the intersection of Allerton Avenue and East Gun Hill Road. Upon their arrival, officers found 81-year-old Juan Rosario with head trauma and 74-year-old Hilda Rosario with trauma to her body — both were unconscious and unresponsive. Officers also found a 51-year-old man who was conscious and alert, and had sustained injuries to his left wrist and ribs.

An investigation found that Juan Rosario was driving a 1999 Lincoln Town Car with Hilda in the passenger seat eastbound on Allerton Avenue when he failed to properly navigate the roadway as he approached the intersection of East Gun Hill Road, he failed to properly navigate the roadway. Rosario’s car collided with the 51-year-old victim’s car, a 2012 Chevrolet Suburban, that was headed westbound on Allerton Avenue.

A third car, operated by a 32-year-old woman, was behind the Suburban and tried to swerve to the right but was hit by the Suburban. The driver in the third vehicle was not injured.

EMS rushed all three victims with injuries to NYC Health & Hospitals/Jacobi, where Hilda Rosario was pronounced dead. Juan Rosario ultimately died of his injuries on Nov. 4. The 51-year-old victim was listed in stable condition.

All vehicles remained at the scene following the incident. There are no arrests at this time and the NYPD Highway District’s Collision Investigation Squad is continuing the investigation.

MTA bus fatally strikes senior pedestrian on Morris Park Avenue

A 78-year-old Morris Park man was recently struck by an MTA bus and succumbed to his injuries day later, the NYPD announced Monday morning.

George Dingfelder was crossing Morris Park Avenue at about 6:13 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 29 when the 2007 model MTA express bus struck the the senior man while moving eastbound with a green light, according to the NYPD Highway District’s Collision Investigation Squad.

Dingfelder, who police say crossed against the pedestrian light signal was rushed to Jacobi Hospital after being struck by the bus’ front bumper and died of his “severe head trauma” on Tuesday, Nov. 3.

The 45-year-old bus operator remained on scene and was not reported injured as result of the collision.

Police have made no arrests and the investigation into the fatal strike remains ongoing.

In response to the fatal hit, MTA Bus President Craig Cipriano stated “We are working closely with the NYPD to investigate the circumstances surrounding this accident. Our thoughts are with [the victim’s] family at this tragic time.” 

Cyclist killed by tractor trailer near Willis Ave. Bridge in the south Bronx

A male cyclist was fatally struck by a tractor trailer near the Willis Avenue Bridge in the intersection of Bruckner Boulevard and Brown Place at about 1:46 p.m. on Thursday, November 6.

Police say the westbound cyclist collided into the back of the tractor trailer while riding on Bruckner Boulevard as the vehicle was moving southbound on Brown Place, leaving the victim unconscious on the roadway.

The bicycle rider was brought to nearby Lincoln Hospital where he was pronounced dead, the 34-year-old driver of the tractor trailer remained on scene and the investigation is ongoing, according to the NYPD’s Highway Patrol Collision Investigation Squad.

Alleged drunk driver charged with fatally striking man on moped in Soundview

A Bronx woman faces criminal charges for fatally striking a moped-rider with her sedan while allegedly driving drunk early on Saturday morning, police reported.

Stephanie Mendez, 33, of Haviland Avenue was booked shortly after the Nov. 7 crash that claimed the life of Frank Davila, 59, who lived right around the corner from the crash site, on Bruckner Boulevard in Soundview.

Law enforcement sources said Davila was riding his moped southbound on Rosedale Avenue at about 12:20 a.m. on Nov. 7 and entering the intersection of the Bruckner Boulevard when Mendez approached while operating a 2005 grey Volvo sedan heading eastbound on the boulevard.

Cops reported that Mendez struck Davila and his moped, sending the victim hurtling to the pavement. Mendez stopped her vehicle and remained at the scene, police said.

Officers from the 43rd Precinct and EMS units responded to a 911 call about the collision. Upon arriving at the scene, they found Davila unconscious and unresponsive on the street, with trauma about his body.

Paramedics rushed him to Jacobi Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Following questioning, Mendez was taken into custody on charges of driving while intoxicated and driving while ability impaired. Additional charges are pending the results of the ongoing investigation.

Police did not specify whether her blood alcohol level was tested.

Call for protected bicycle lanes and other safety measures

Transportation Alternatives Executive Director Danny Harris addressed an uptick the borough’s cyclist fatalities, which now stands at eight this year; he also spoke on pedestrian dangers proven to exist in the Bronx.

“This has been a particularly deadly year in the Bronx, and not just for cyclists. In 2019, there were 28 traffic deaths in the Bronx, while in 2020, we have now seen at least 46. This year, 22 percent of all fatal New York City traffic crashes happened in the Bronx, compared to 13 percent in 2019,” he said in a statement, adding that the Bronx has seen the most cyclist deaths citywide in 2020.

“Only three percent of the city’s total protected bike lane mileage is in the Bronx, compared to about 50 percent in Manhattan,” Harris added.
The executive director also called that south Bronx corridor of Bruckner Boulevard where the unidentified cyclist died a truck route, saying it is “precisely the type of street that requires complete, dedicated bike infrastructure which separates people on bikes from multi-ton tractor trailers.”