NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Four pedestrians were struck and killed within 24 hours in separate incidents across New York City.
As CBS2’s Dave Carlin reported, three of the victims were hit by large trucks.
Andreas Stylianou, 57, was starting his work day at New Millennium Motors, an auto service shop he owns in Brooklyn. Around 7 a.m. Friday, he was struck by several vehicles and killed. His employees say he was just steps away from the workplace, crossing Third Avenue from John’s Deli, where he was a regular customer.
“Every day he come in, buy coffee,” one employee said. “Good person, you know.”
He is survived by a wife and three adult daughters. A shocked employee wanted people to know he was great to work for.
“He’s very good,” the employee said.
Watch: Chopper 2 Over Scene Of Hell’s Kitchen Pedestrian Struck
Earlier Friday morning, a private sanitation truck for Classic Recycling struck and killed an unidentified man who was crossing on West 49th Street near 10th Avenue in Hell’s Kitchen.
“We are looking at failure to yield in some of the cases, and there has been an arrest in one in Manhattan today for failure to yield,” said Chief William Morris, commander of the NYPD Transportation Unit.
Morris identified the truck driver in the Hell’s Kitchen incident as Robert Alford, of Plainfield, New Jersey. Alford was not only charged with failure to yield but also failure to exercise due care.
In response to the incidents, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Twitter, “The NYPD will be ramping up truck enforcement with extra officers deployed citywide to keep our pedestrians safe.”
ANY loss of life is unacceptable. Beginning today the NYPD will be ramping up truck enforcement, with extra officers deployed citywide to keep our pedestrians safe.
We're investigating the recent traffic fatalities across our city and my heart goes out to the victims' families.
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) December 20, 2019
The crackdown is too late for these victims, including 85-year-old Brendan Gill. Gill died after being struck by a box truck Thursday afternoon near the intersection of 39th Street and Third Avenue in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.
“It’s going to be different, I can’t see my life without him now,” Nuala Gill, the victim’s wife said.
“He was just a very, very loving and caring person and that is the honest truth,” neighbor Cookie Gonzalez said.
About an hour and a half later in SoHo, 26-year-old Katherine Miller was killed by a box truck that police say backed up into her as she crossed Broadway while in the crosswalk.
Danny Harris is executive director of Transportation Alternatives, a nonprofit that advocates for safer walking and biking and better public transit.
“We need to prioritize human life over traffic. That means creating a protected bike network, that means giving more pedestrian space on sidewalks, that means removing trucks and deadly vehicles from our roads,” said Executive Director Danny Harris. “Again, making sure that we prioritize for vulnerable users.”
He calls them preventable tragedies that leave so many families without loved ones for the holidays.
Gill’s wife wishes more had been done earlier to to improve lighting where her husband was killed.
“There’s a lot of crazy drivers out there but this man he wasn’t a crazy driver they said he feels very very bad about hitting Brendan.”
Additionally, a fifth person was killed around 8:30 a.m. Wednesday in Flushing, Queens. Police said car was making a turn into a garage when it hit 67-year-old Lin Zhisheng on a sidewalk along Sanford Avenue.