The number of fatal traffic crashes in New York City is higher this year compared to the same time period last year, according to the latest NYPD statistics. Among the latest victims is a six-year-old girl from Dyker Heights and Far Rockaway man, both killed in separate crashes days apart.
Statistics show the number of fatal traffic-related crashes increased to 166 since August 22nd, compared to 128 the same time period last year, a 30% climb. According to Streetsblog, there were 140 fatal crashes the same time period in 2019, representing 18% fewer fatal wrecks when compared to 2021. The NYPD said there were 78 pedestrian fatalities across New York City so far this year compared to 51 the same time in 2020, a 50% climb.
Hiromi Tamy (the Brooklyn Paper identifies her as Tamy Quema Guachiac) is among the latest crash victims in New York City. According to police, Hiromi was crossing the street at 67th Street and 12th Avenue on Tuesday at around 10 p.m. when she was hit by the driver of a 2017 Lexus GX460. Police said the driver, identified as 30-year-old Qiuhua Zhu, was driving south on the northbound lane of 12th Avenue when he made a left turn onto 67th Street, hitting the girl. Police said Zhu initially fled the scene, but eventually returned after driving around the block.
The little girl was walking with her mother at the time of the crash. According to the NY Post, she immediately grabbed her daughter’s body as a nurse who happened onto the scene performed CPR. Hiromi died at Maimonides Medical Center a short time later. The Post reported that Hiromi and her mother had immigrated from Guatemala in 2018 in search of a better life. A GoFundMe page has now been established to help Hiromi’s mother.
Zhu was immediately arrested and hit with nine charges, including manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, and reckless endangerment. He was being held at Rikers Island on $50,000 bail.
A vigil was held for the girl on Thursday, which was attended by family, neighbors, and elected officials. The vigil was also attended by Eric Adams, the Brooklyn borough president and Democratic mayoral nominee, who said he hopes the slew of charges could bring justice for the girl.
“[W]e have to send the right message that this is not how families should be devastated,” Adams reportedly said at the vigil.
The current mayor, Bill de Blasio, called the incident a tragedy and once again called on drivers to use their cars less and exercise more caution.
“I feel horrible that another family is suffering. So much of this comes down to changing the whole mindset around cars. This is what we have been doing for eight years with Vision Zero, and we all have to do a lot more,” de Blasio said. “People need to use their cars less, people need to drive more carefully, people need to respect that we are talking about kids, seniors who are in danger when people drive recklessly.”
A day after the vigil, police say a Far Rockaway man driving his motorcycle was killed by the driver of a 2017 Toyota Camry. Police said the driver, identified only as a 59-year-old man, was at the intersection of Williams and Stanley Avenue in New Lots, Brooklyn when he slammed his car into the victim. The victim, identified as 35-year-old Richard Henry, died at the scene.