While 2017 saw a drop in pedestrian traffic deaths for New York, that trend did not continue into 2018. In 2018, there were 111 pedestrian fatalities by the last couple days of December. Mayor de Blasio has made efforts towards lowering the number of traffic fatalities through improvements in his “Vision Zero” plan. Unfortunately, that downward trend may not continue through 2019, as the number of pedestrian deaths is already beyond what it was at this point in 2018. The New York Daily News reports on a deadly pedestrian hit-and-run accident in Harlem.
Erica Imbasciani, a 26-year-old aspiring artist, stepped off the curb at W. 141st Street and Amsterdam Avenue at about 10 p.m. She was struck by a 2003 GMC Denali, which was going at a high rate of speed south on Amsterdam Avenue.
Imbasciani was briefly pinned between the GMC and a parked car. The driver of the Denali, identified as Tyrik Cooper, sped away from the scene. Witness Janel Nunez said that she never heard any brakes.
Cooper, who is 27, turned onto Hamilton Place, then drove south until he rear-ended an SUV which was stopped at a traffic light.
Imbasciani suffered from serious head and body injuries. She was taken to St. Luke’s Hospital where she succumbed to her injuries. Cooper was also injured and was taken to the hospital as well.
He is facing numerous charges, including vehicular manslaughter, driving without a license, vehicular assault, failure to report an accident, operation of a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs, and aggravated operation of a motor vehicle.