QUEENS, N.Y. (CBS 2) — An emergency neck brace and newspaper mark the location where police say a 76-year-old man was struck by a vehicle as he tried to cross Queens Boulevard just after 5:30 a.m. Friday.
Queens residents will most likely say it’s not unusual to hear about deadly accidents on the so-called “Boulevard of Death,” but what stands out about the latest fatality is the person who witnesses say was behind the wheel at the time of the crash and what he was doing.
The elderly man struck on the notorious Boulevard in Kew Gardens was pronounced dead at Jamaica Hospital after allegedly being mowed down by Frantz Pierre, identified by correction officials as a civilian employee of the Corrections Department.
“It was a corrections officer,” said witness Brian Blanco, who added that the suspect was driving a marked car.
“Didn’t hear no brakes or nothing,” said Blanco. “All you hear was the ‘bang,’ and you hear him smack the guy…the dude went like…at least 20 feet.”
Officials say Pierre was not an officer but was, in fact, on duty at the time of the accident, driving one of the department’s station wagons.
Witness Alex Najjal says Pierre did not appear to be focused or fully dressed as he got out of his car after the accident.
“This guy was getting dressed, I think, inside the car,” Najjal said. “He got out of the car, his pants were unzipped. He was putting his shirt on. He didn’t know what the hell happened.”
Police say there doesn’t appear to be any criminality in the accident, but the investigation continues.