A man who investigators said sped through a red light at a Brooklyn intersection was charged on Tuesday with killing a driver and a pedestrian, according to the New York Police Department.
The man, Vitaliy Konoplyov, was charged with two counts of manslaughter and two counts of aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, the police said. Police had not identified the victims as of Tuesday evening. At least one other person was injured.
The deadly crash happened along 18th Avenue, long considered a perilous route, but one that was recently removed from a list of the city’s most dangerous corridors. The designated routes, which need crucial safety improvements, are part of Vision Zero, a nearly decade-old initiative introduced under former Mayor Bill de Blasio aimed at reducing traffic deaths.
The 18th Avenue corridor, which stretches from Shore Parkway to Coney Island Avenue, was taken from the list because it saw a roughly 50 percent decrease in fatality and severe injury rates since 2016, said Scott Gastel, a spokesman for the Transportation Department.
“This corridor was removed as it became safer in recent years, but we are studying the area for any potential street design improvements” following the crash on Monday, Mr. Gastel added.
Such redesigns have been largely successful at driving down injury and fatality rates, said Philip Miatkowski, a researcher at Transportation Alternatives, a group that pushes for safer streets, and for reclaiming the city from cars.
Despite the Vision Zero initiative the number of traffic deaths last year was about the same as in the year of its creation, 2014. Of the 255 traffic deaths in 2022, 118 were of pedestrians. Almost half of those occurred in the city’s most perilous corridors, according to a recent Transportation Alternatives report.
Less than 7 percent of city streets also account for roughly half of the city’s pedestrian deaths and injuries.
“Instead of being reactive in the face of tragedy like the one we saw this week, the changes to these areas need to be proactive,” he added.
The car Mr. Konoplyov was driving on Monday was cited after being photographed by traffic cameras for a school-zone speed violation in January 2022 and for failure to stop at a red light in April 2021.
On Tuesday, Mr. Konoplyov had yet to be arraigned at criminal court in Brooklyn, and people at a home address given out by the police said they did not know him. It was unclear whether he had legal representation.
Monday, officers had responded to a 911 call at around 1 p.m., proceeding to the crash site at 64th Street and 18th Avenue in the Bensonhurst neighborhood of Brooklyn.
Mr. Konoplyov, 49, was speeding south along 18th Avenue, according to the police. He ran through a red light and slammed into a Honda traveling east on 64th Street, they said.
The Honda then spun and struck a 60-year-old woman who was crossing 18th Avenue. Mr. Konoplyov’s vehicle flew through the intersection, the police said, crashing into the rear passenger side of a Chevrolet traveling south along 18th Avenue.
When officers arrived, they discovered the woman lifeless in the roadway. A 51-year-old man who had been driving the Honda had suffered severe trauma to his body and head, the police said.
Emergency workers rushed the man and woman to Maimonides Medical Center, where they were pronounced dead.
On Tuesday, shattered glass, a hubcap and other debris from overturned garbage cans still littered 18th Avenue near 64th Street, by the J&V Pizzeria.
Vito Conigliaro, the manager of the restaurant, watched the crash unfold from the restaurant window on Monday during the afternoon lunchtime rush.
“I see this car coming down like a bullet,” said Mr. Conigliaro, 60.
Mr. Conigliaro said he saw the vehicle hit the pedestrian, and said another woman flew up onto the windshield of a car. Her condition was not known Tuesday evening.
Kevin Herrera, 15, who works at the nearby Gourmet Deli, said he was sweeping the sidewalk when he saw the collision. He said officers grabbed the pedestrian’s hands to pull her out from under a nearby car, and began trying to resuscitate her.
“The lady was going to cross the street like a normal person, and the car came, and that was it,” Mr. Herrera said in Spanish.
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