NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police are searching for several drivers after five hit-and-runs were reported in four boroughs overnight.
Three people were killed and two others were injured over the course of several hours early Sunday.READ MORE: Bronx Man Takes It Upon Himself To Clean Up NYC Park, But City Says Not So Fast
A spokesperson from Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office said the NYPD is “aggressively” investigating each case.
“Investigators are examining video footage from the area of each crash to identify those responsible to hold them accountable,” said Wiley Norvell, with the Office of the Mayor.
Police said around 1:30 a.m. 63-year-old Jose Contreras was struck by a black SUV near the entrance of the Cross Bronx Expressway at Webster Avenue in Tremont. Contreras was taken to Saint Barnabas Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
CBS2’s Steve Langford reports Contreras was at a family birthday party at a catering hall before he was killed.
Contreras’ son found his father.
“He turned to walk back toward the hall and it happened while he was crossing the street back,” Joseph Contreras told CBS2.
A few hours later, police said a 41-year-old man was near Ninth Street and Fifth Avenue in Park Slope, Brooklyn when he was struck by a gold-colored sedan. The victim was pronounced dead at New York Methodist Hospital.
James, who lives nearby, told 1010 WINS’ Roger Stern the intersection has gotten worse over the years because of bike lanes.
“As they make more and more bike lanes and such, it pushes the traffic deeper into the neighborhoods where there is more pedestrian traffic and bikes,” he said.
Jennifer said it was tough news to wake up to.
“Wow I feel very bad that the person was killed, I really do,” the Park Slope resident said.READ MORE: CDC Announces New Mask Guidance For People Fully Vaccinated Against COVID-19
In Lower Manhattan, police said a 30-year-old man was struck and seriously injured at 568 Broadway near Prince Street around 3:30 a.m., 1010 WINS reported. There is no word on the victim’s condition.
About an hour later, a 22-year-old woman was hit by a car at Guy Brewer Boulevard and 119th Avenue in South Jamaica, Queens. The victim is in stable condition, 1010 WINS reported. Police said they’re looking for a silver minivan.
Also in Queens, a 48-year-old man was struck on 111th Street and taken to Jamaica Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Police said they believe he was struck while getting items from the back seat of his car. The victim has been identified as Besik Shengelia of Brooklyn.
CBS’s Brian Conybeare reports that Shenglia was an Uber driver.
Sonia Ramirez told CBS2 she was walking home when she saw something on the street.
“The car was here and he was laying right here,” Ramirez told CBS2.
So far, there have been no arrests in any of the cases.
The series of hit-and-runs has City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer calling for more to be done to get hit-and-run drivers behind bars.
“We need to increase the budget for the NYPD’s collision investigation squad, which will allow them to pursue more of these crashes and then ultimately convict people and send them to prison,” he said. “We need to make sure that they know that there will be consequences for these actions. Serious consequences.”
City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez was at the Bronx crash site calling for all five driver to turn themselves in and stiffer penalties for hit-and-runs.
“Hitting someone with your car and driving away is cowardly and despicable and those that do it must be made an example of,” Rodriguez said.MORE NEWS: Some Parents, School Officials On Long Island Want COVID Restrictions Eased For In-Person Graduations
Late last year, the City Council voted to increase civil penalties for fatal hit-and-run crashes, but Van Bramer said, “You cannot ever take the life back that has been lost.”