Cops say car was rear-ended before hitting victim
By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
A 75-year-old man was struck and killed in a freak accident Thursday morning in which a car that had slowed down to let him cross the street was rear-ended by a jeep, causing the auto to hit the elderly pedestrian, police said.
The fatal accident took place near the intersection of Seventh Avenue and 65th Street, a corner described by local officials as one of the busiest and most high-trafficked corners in Bay Ridge.
The victim, Xiaoch Hu, was crossing Seventh Avenue near 65th Street at approximately 6:50 a.m. when the driver of a 2010 Toyota Camry traveling eastbound on 65th Street slowed down to let him cross. The driver had a green light, according to Police Officer Sophia Mason, a Police Department spokeswoman. “The driver had the right of way,” Mason told the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.
The driver of the second vehicle, a 1995 Jeep Cherokee, who apparently did not see Hu crossing the street, rear-ended the Toyota Camry, Mason said. The Toyota Camry struck the elderly man, the officer said.
When police arrived at the scene moments later, they found Hu lying on the roadway unconscious and unresponsive. He was rushed to Lutheran Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead on arrival, Mason said.
The victim lived in 56th Street in Sunset Park, police said.
The New York Daily News reported on its website that there was a dusting of snow on the ground at the time of the accident that might have created slippery road conditions.
Mason said she couldn’t comment on the Daily News report. “There is an ongoing investigation into this accident,” she said.
Josephine Beckmann, district manager of Community Board 10, called the accident a terrible tragedy. “Our hearts go out to the poor man and his family,” she told the Eagle.
The intersection has been the scene of numerous accidents in the past, according to Beckmann. “It’s one of our high accident locations,” she said.
In 2011, there were 48 car crashes at the corner, including two in which pedestrians were injured. In 2012, 33 accidents took place at the intersection. One accident involved a pedestrian.
“It’s a very busy intersection. There are two gas stations. And it’s near the entrance to the BQE,” Beckmann said, referring to the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.
Board 10 is concerned about the safety of pedestrians along the entire 65th Street corridor, according to Beckmann, who said the board has brought the matter to the attention of the city’s Department of Transportation (DOT). The area has been built up in recent years, bringing in large numbers of residents, she said.
The agency did install countdown clocks for pedestrians at several key locations. In addition, DOT also widened the crosswalks in a number of placesd along the corridor, Beckmann said. “We’re planning to do a follow-up,” she said.