Unlicensed Dump Truck Driver Arrested After Killing 83-Year-Old Pedestrian Crossing Canal and Bowery
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Photo: Karlin Chan
An arrest was made directly after the gruesome accident that left a 83-year-old man dead at the foot of the Manhattan Bridge Friday afternoon. Now more details on the incident have come to light.
The 24-year-old driver of a dump truck steamrolled the elderly man – Ka Chor Yau – as he was crossing Canal Street near the Bowery. Initial reports at the time suggested that the big rig actually had the right of way. The victim was reportedly found lying in the intersection, and was rushed to Downtown Beekman Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Police apprehended the driver, Maykel Felix-Tejada, a Patterson native with a suspended license. He was charged with aggravated unlicensed operation.
The tragic accident further highlights the dangers this confluence of streets (and the Chinatown bus depot) poses pedestrians. That’s why the Department of Transportation singled it out for upgrade. Below is a simple summation of the proposal, recently backed by Community Board 3. Implementation should begin at the end of the summer and fully operational by September. Bad timing.
- The lower roadway – consisting of two lanes – will be inbound only at all times (except emergency). Right now, it’s Brooklyn-bound from 3pm-9pm daily, “creating unpredictability and driver error leading to traffic conflicts.”
- New signal and crosswalk on the Manhattan Bridge off-ramp extension (aka “Bowery Slip”).
- Both triangular medians would receive concrete extensions to shorten crossing times. As it stands, some 1,500 pedestrians cross this area every hour.
- Motorists on the North Upper Roadway will no longer be able to turn left onto westbound Canal Street. That traffic will be funneled north onto Chrystie. Traffic signs to the effect are planned for installation on the Brooklyn side.
- Two outbound lanes on Canal Street will connect with the Upper Roadway at all times.