Updated 5:15pm: Police have arrested the driver of the Nissan Sentra who jumped the curb and flipped onto the sidewalk on Flatbush Avenue killing 50-year-old Charles Kinyeti on Monday evening.
58-year-old Paul Omoregie of Avenue C has been charged with driving without a license and aggravated unlicensed operation, which means that Omoregie was previously licensed to drive but had the privilege suspended or revoked, according to the police.
A pedestrian was tragically struck and killed after a driver flipped his car on a stretch of Flatbush Avenue that has seen a number of crashes over the past year.
Police say a 58-year-old man was driving a black Nissan Sentra southbound on Flatbush Avenue when he jumped the curb and flipped near 994 Flatbush Avenue at Albemarle Road on Monday at about 5:30pm, hitting 50-year-old Charles Kinyeti of East 54th Street, who was on the sidewalk.
Sol Velelis, the manager at Cookie’s Department Store at the corner of Flatbush Avenue and Albemarle Road, was working when the incident took place. “I was on the main floor of my store when I heard a bang. I saw the tree down on the sidewalk and then the car behind it on the roof.
“The EMS came quickly and started working to get everyone out. I didn’t even see the pedestrian on the other side of the car,” said Velelis. “It’s amazing that more people weren’t injured because there’s a bus stop there, and it’s usually a crowded intersection.”
Velelis says he’s never seen such a terrible crash. “It was such a horrific sight. The sounds of the crash kept coming back to me last night.”
Authorities say Kinyeti was transported to Kings County Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The driver, who has yet to be identified, and the 3-year-old passenger (who CBS reports is the driver’s son) were also taken to Kings County Hospital, but were in stable condition, according to police. ABC 7 notes that a 59-year-old woman was also taken to the hospital, with non-life-threatening injuries sustained after being hit by debris.
Officials say an investigation in underway by the NYPD’s Collision Investigation Squad, however ABC 7 reports that the driver is not expected to face charges.
This is the 15th incident in the city since Halloween where a pedestrian has been struck by a motor vehicle — 12 of those people have died, according to NY1.
Along a three-block stretch of Flatbush that runs from Tilden to Albemarle to Snyder, there have been 67 crashes in the past year, according to the NYPD’s Motor Vehicle Collision Report Statistics. Those impacted a total of 137 people and resulted in 17 injuries, but no deaths were reported.
According to the most recent report available, in the month of September there were 266 collisions that resulted in 119 injuries and one death in the overall area covered by the 70th Precinct — four of those crashes where at the Flatbush/Albemarle intersection, with injuries reported by a motorist (no pedestrians or cyclists) in two of those incidents.
Employees at some of the businesses along this stretch of Flatbush, which has many shops and a decent amount of pedestrian traffic, particularly at rush hour, think more could be done to make the area safer.
“There have been a couple of accidents on the street. I think they could do something to make it better. I don’t know if it’s the light or what,” said Desmond Phipps, who works at a women’s clothing store at 991 Flatbush Avenue.
However, Nia Pierce, who works next door at Edible Arrangements (993 Flatbush Ave), disagrees. “It’s not the traffic, it was the driver. Flatbush is a main strip so it has traffic, but I don’t think there are a lot accidents,” she said.
Our thoughts go out to the family and friends of Charles Kinyeti. We’re looking into ways neighbors can assist those impacted by his passing — if you know anything we can help with, or if you knew him and would like to share your thoughts about him, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With additional reporting by Mary Bakija.