NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – An 18-year-old driver accused of causing a crash that killed a cyclist in Brooklyn is now facing a slew of charges.
Police said Umar Mirza Baig, of Rego Park, Queens, ran a red light and slammed into an SUV on August 11 in Coney Island. The SUV then struck and killed 52-year-old Jose Alzorriz.
The driver of the SUV and a pedestrian were also hurt in the crash.
Alzorriz became the 19th cyclist to be killed in the city so far this year, compared to 10 in all of 2018.
Baig was initially questioned and released without any charges.
“He was not intoxicated. He didn’t have a suspended license, so we have the video evidence of him going through the light. We’re ready to charge him, but we have to work with the DA’s office,” NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan said at the time. “There’s a few more steps they want us to take.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio weighed in, saying there “should be numerous charges.”
“If you kill someone through your negligence, maybe that’s not murder one, I’m not a lawyer, but I’d say it should be a serious, serious charge with many years in prison because it’s negligence. It’s not that something unavoidable happened and the driver was put in a horrible situation,” he said in an interview with NY1.
Police said Baig was arrested Wednesday and charged with manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, vehicular assault, reckless endangerment and several other counts.
“This tragic case illustrates the dangers faced by cyclists and pedestrians when drivers choose to recklessly ignore the rules of the road. I urge all motorists to obey the speed limit, follow all traffic laws and yield the right of way to those who share our streets. If they don’t, they might take a life in an instant – and face serious criminal charges,” Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said in a statement. “I am committed to doing my part to promote safety and will continue to investigate cases of vehicular violence and bring criminal charges whenever they are supported by the facts and the law.”
There have now been 19 cyclists deaths in New York City so far this year, compared to 10 in all of 2018:
- Jan. 1 – Hugo Alexander Sinto Garcia, 26, was killed on Third Avenue near East 28th Street in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.
- Jan. 4 – Hector Ayala, 41, was killed on Linden Boulevard near Crescent Street in East New York, Brooklyn.
- Jan. 26 – Susan Moses, 63, was killed at Kings Highway and Van Sicklen Street in Gravesend, Brooklyn.
- Feb. 4 – Joseph Chiam, 72, was killed by a tractor-trailer truck at 8th Avenue and 45th Street in Midtown, Manhattan. The driver took off.
- Feb. 28 – Aurilla Lawrence, 25, was killed at Broadway and Rodney Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
- March 14 – Robert Spencer, 53, was killed at Borden Avenue and Second Street in Long Island City, Queens.
- April 17 – Pedro Tepozteco, 26, was killed on 47th Street near 17th Avenue in Borough Park, Brooklyn.
- April 27 – Victor Ang, 74, was killed on 11th Avenue near West 30th Street in Chelsea, Manhattan.
- May 11 – Kenichi Nakagawa, 22, was killed at Dean Street and Brooklyn Avenue in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.
- May 12 – Robert Sommer, 29, was killed by a car on Avenue U between Burnett and East 33rd streets in Marine Park, Brooklyn.
- May 15 – Yisroel Schwartz, 16, was killed at 17th Avenue and 53rd Street in Borough Park, Brooklyn.
- June 9 – Mohammed Abdullah, 29, was killed by a car at Avenue D and 105th Street in Canarsie, Brooklyn. The driver was charged with driving while intoxicated with her 4-year-old daughter in the backseat.
- June 24 – Robyn Hightman, 20, was killed by a tractor-trailer truck at West 23rd Street and Sixth Avenue. The driver was cited for equipment violations.
- June 27 – Ernest Askew, 57, was killed by a car at Chester Street and Sutter Avenue in Brownsville, Brooklyn.
- July 1 – Devra Freelander, 28, was killed by a cement truck at Boerum Street and Bushwick Avenue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
- July 23 – Alex Cordero, 17, was killed by tow truck at Castleton Avenue and Clove Road in the West Brighton section of Staten Island.
- July 23 – A 58-year-old man was killed by a box truck at McGuiness Boulevard and Norman Avenue in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
- July 29 – A 30-year-old woman was killed by a tractor-trailer at 35th Street and Third Avenue in Greenwood Heights, Brooklyn.
- August 11 – Jose Alzorriz, 52, was killed when a car ran a red light and slammed into an SUV at Coney Island Avenue and Avenue L in Coney Island, Brooklyn.