By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
A 71-year-old man who was struck and critically injured by a pickup truck that came onto the sidewalk after colliding with a mini-van at a Dyker Heights intersection Tuesday afternoon has died, police said.
The victim, identified as James McCoskey, died at Lutheran Medical Center, where he had been taken by ambulance following the accident, police said.
“Sad to report the pedestrian from yesterday’s accident passed away,” Dep. Inspector Richard DiBlasio told the Brooklyn Daily Eagle in a text message on Wednesday.
The victim was sitting on a bench in a bus shelter waiting for the B4 bus at the corner of 13th Avenue and Bay Ridge Parkway at around 12:30 p.m. when he was hit by the truck, police said.
DiBlasio, the commanding officer of the 68th Precinct, said the mini-van and the pickup truck collided in the intersection and that the impact of the crash sent the truck careening onto the sidewalk, where it hit the elderly man waiting for the bus.
Both drivers remained at the scene as police began their investigation into the accident, DeBlasio said. It wasn't immediately clear if any arrests would be made. The portion of the intersection where the accident took place was roped off with police tape so that traffic would not impede the investigation.
“It was horrible, really devastating,” said Kate Cucco, chief of staff to Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny. said of the crash. Cucco and a co-worker, Linda Lupia, happened to be nearby when the accident took place.
Brook-Krasny (D-Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights-Coney Island) praised the quick response of police and Fire Department units to the accident scene.
“I am devastated to hear of today's horrific accident on 13th Avenue and Bay Ridge Parkway. I thank the 68th Precinct and the FDNY for their immediate response to the scene and my thoughts and prayers are with the elderly victim of this incident. I sincerely hope the officers and detectives of the 68th Precinct will swiftly get to the bottom of this investigation,” Brook-Krasny said.
The accident took place on what is perhaps the busiest intersection in Dyker Heights. Both 13th Avenue and Bay Ridge Parkway are two-way streets that see enormous volumes of traffic on weekdays. Both streets are also bus routes. The B4 runs along Bay Ridge Parkway while another bus line, the B64, operates on 13th Avenue.
Tuesday’s crash took place at the same location of another deadly accident three years ago that took the life of an elderly man who had been a body-builder and Coney Island strongman in his youth.
Joe Rollino, who was 104 years old when he died, was known as “Mighty Joe Rollino” in his youth. He was struck by a mini-van while crossing the street at Bay Ridge Parkway and 13th Avenue in January of 2010. He died a short time later at Lutheran Medical Center.
The New York Times reported that Rollino was a famous strongman at Coney Island who once lifted a 475-pound weight with just his teeth.
***This article was updated to include information on the victim's death.***