You are reading

Following wave of hit-and-run deaths in Western Queens, Van Bramer aims to get tough on those who flee

Lous Bravo killed crossing Broadway in Woodside

Lous Bravo killed crossing Broadway in Woodside

Sept. 4, 2014 By Christian Murray

In the past year, three pedestrians were run down and killed while crossing the streets of Western Queens. On all three occasions, the driver fled. And on all three occasions, no one has been caught.

This was the story behind the death of Luis Bravo, 19, who was killed last September crossing Broadway in Woodside; as well as Karen Pheras, 20, who was killed around the same time crossing Queens Plaza North; as well as Kumar Ragunath, 64, who was struck and killed in March, crossing Northern Boulevard in Long Island City.

All three dead, with their grieving relatives not knowing what happened.

In the wake of these incidents, Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer introduced legislation earlier this year calling for tougher penalties on drivers who flee the scene. The bill was discussed at a Transportation Committee hearing in city hall yesterday and the families of some of the victims spoke.

“It’s something you never get over,” Maribel Egipciaco, a relative of Luis Bravo, told CBS News yesterday.”The pain is unbearable, the pain stays,” she said, adding that she hopes stiffer penalties could prevent future tragedies.

The bill would impose a maximum “civil” penalty of $5,000 for any driver who hits someone and takes off.

“We need to establish penalties that deter people from the leaving the scene,” Van Bramer said. “People should stop and call the police and see if they can help…leaving them to die is brutal and cruel and people need to be punished.”

Currently this is no “civil” penalty in New York if someone leaves the scene of a hit-and-run.

Criminal penalties are determined by the state lawmakers.

“When Luis Bravo was struck, we don’t know if he was alive afterward,” Van Bramer said. “Maybe he could have been saved if he got medical attention in time.”

For further coverage:

email the author: [email protected]
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

3 men sought for armed robbery in East Elmhurst home invasion near LaGuardia Airport: NYPD

The NYPD is looking for three men who allegedly robbed an East Elmhurst man of tens of thousands of dollars during a home invasion early Monday morning.

Police from the 115th Precinct in Jackson Heights responded to a 911 call of an armed robbery at a townhouse located at 108-09 Ditmars Blvd. near 29th Avenue just south of LaGuardia Airport.
The victim had pulled up in front of his home just before 2 a.m. when he was approached by three suspects. One of them pulled out a firearm and forced him inside the townhouse where they stole around $30,000 in cash and a safe that contained an unspecified amount of jewelry, before exiting and driving off in a silver four-door SUV, police said.

Brooklyn man charged with manslaughter, DWI, for Astoria collision that killed his wife: DA

New details have emerged in the case against a Brooklyn man who allegedly crashed into several cars in Astoria last week while driving drunk, and then drove off in the wrecked vehicle to a residential block in Maspeth four miles away with a gravely injured passenger. The passenger turned out to be his wife, who later died, and the boozed driver told investigators that the couple was being followed when the collision occurred, according to the criminal complaint.

Rey Perez, 27, of Caton Avenue in Flatbush, was arraigned on Friday in Queens Criminal Court on charges of manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter and other crimes for speeding through stop signs last Thursday morning, crashing into another vehicle and two parked cars, before speeding from the scene to Maspeth where he sought help for his wife, 29-year-old Bridget Enriquez, who later succumbed to her injuries.

Woman sought for slashing cabbie during a robbery near LaGuardia Airport: NYPD

Police are searching for a woman who attacked a cab driver in East Elmhurst during a robbery more than two weeks ago.

The incident occurred in the early morning hours of Sunday, Feb. 11 after the cabbie picked up the suspect in Manhattan. The driver told investigators that the woman initially wanted to be taken to LaGuardia Airport but instead decided to be dropped off  nearby in front of 89-00 23rd Ave. at around 2 a.m.