Police have identified 31-year-old James Miro, who lived at Voorhies Avenue and East 27th Street, as the driver pulled from Plumb Beach Channel Tuesday evening after crashing his car through the barrier at the end of Gerritsen Avenue.
Divers from the NYPD’s harbor unit hauled Miro’s dead body out of the wreckage of his submerged 1999 Honda Accord, according to authorities. The car was discovered Tuesday night. However, a later investigation revealed the vehicle had crashed into the water just before 5am on Monday morning, police say.
CBS Local reports that a neighbor noticed the barrier at the end of Gerritsen Avenue had been damaged. A review of surveillance video taken from a nearby house revealed a car had been traveling down the avenue at a high rate of speed before crashing through the fence into the water.
Doreen Garson, Chief of Gerritsen Beach’s volunteer fire department, said it was common for drivers to speed down Gerritsen Avenue.
“Gerritsen Avenue has been a speedway for as long as I can remember,” she said. “The last traffic control is at Gerritsen and Bijou, so there’s more than a mile without any traffic device of any kind. Between the dirt bikes and the cars, people decide they can go as fast as they want.”
Garson said the city’s Department of Transportation had repeatedly denied resident’s requests to add a new traffic light or stop sign on Gerritsen Avenue. She said a speed bump was unlikely because the street is a major roadway.
Garson said this wasn’t the first time someone had drove their car through the barrier at the end of Gerritsen Avenue. However, she explained the car went unnoticed for so long because the houses at the end of the street have been abandoned since Sandy.
“There was nobody to hear the crash,” she said.