Police not filing charges after crash kills 85-year-old pedestrian

Police say they are not charging a driver who left the scene of a crash that killed an 85-year-old Williamsburg man, prompting concern from local leaders and outrage from activists.



It happened at the corner of Lorimer and Grand streets. The victim, Rafael Nieves, was crossing the street outside of the crosswalk when a white box truck struck and killed him, police say. The driver left without stopping.



As News 12 has reported, police tracked the hit-and-run driver to New Jersey, but they say he told them he was unaware he'd struck a pedestrian.



"You can say, 'I didn't see him,' and that is accepted as an excuse for taking someone's life," says Julia Kite, of the advocacy group Transportation Alternatives. "Leaving them to die is also unacceptable."



Several City Council members say they are concerned about the dangerous intersection, where a bicyclist was also killed in July. They are pushing the Department of Transportation to make safety improvements.



For its part, the DOT says it is preparing an action plan that it will present to the public this spring.


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