A driver struck and killed a 44-year-old man in a notoriously dangerous section of Hells Kitchen early Tuesday morning, but was not initially charged, police said.
The victim, David Piette, was struck at around 8:10 a.m. near 610 W. 42nd St., which is mid-block between 11th and 12th avenues. The NYPD did not initially provide any details, but later said that Piette “walked from the north sidewalk into the street, hitting the rear of a 2004 Freightliner box truck, causing him to fall backwards striking his head on the pavement.”
The preliminary report laid no blame on the 63-year-old driver of the truck, who was presumably backing up.
Cops said Piette suffered severe head trauma and was taken to Bellevue Hospital, where he died. Meanwhile, the driver remained on the scene, and was not charged. NYPD said the investigation is “ongoing.”
The fatal collision occurred in a particularly dangerous spot inside the 10th Precinct. In the two-square-block zone around Tuesday’s crash, there were 335 reported collisions in 2019*, injuring three cyclists, 17 pedestrians and 26 motorists, according to Crashmapper.
And in 2019, cyclist Victor Ang was killed about 10 blocks south of Tuesday’s crash.
The 10th Precinct is a dangerous place for pedestrians and cyclists in general. In 2019, there were 2,356 reported crashes, or roughly 6.5 per day, injuring 55 cyclists, 99 pedestrians and 125 motorists, killing Ang and two pedestrians.
* Streetsblog is using 2019 as the last full statistical year because crash data was skewed during the pandemic.
This story was updated with new information from the NYPD at 9 p.m. on Tuesday.
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