Manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide charges have been filed against a teenage driving student who ran down a 65-year-old man waiting for a city bus in Bensonhurst last week.
Prosecutors allege that 16-year-old Dervish Nivokazi, who had a learner’s permit and was working on getting his driver’s license, had violated all of the permit’s rules when he got into a 2005 Mazda at night without a licensed driver to chaperone him.
He was traveling eastbound on Bay Ridge Parkway near 18th Avenue at 9:20 p.m. on June 9 when he allegedly clipped a 1992 Toyota turning onto 18th Avenue in front of him.
The force of the impact sent Nivokazi’s Mazda careening onto the sidewalk, where it slammed into Zak Stanislaw, a resident of 81st Street, as he waited for the B4 bus, police alleged.
Stanislaw died at the scene. Nivokazi was removed to a local hospital, where he was listed in stable condition after treatment. The other driver was not harmed.
Witnesses told police that Nivokazi was allegedly driving over the double yellow line into oncoming traffic when it hit the Toyota as it turned.
Investigators also determined that Nivokazi was traveling over the speed limit %u2013 he was going 49 miles per hour in a 30 mile-per-hour zone, prosecutors alleged.
The teen was held on $150,000 bond at his arraignment. A grand jury is currently mulling over the case, officials said.
The criminal charges are being hailed by at least one transportation advocacy group, who said that very little justice is meted out to motorists who take a pedestrian’s life %u2013 even when it’s discovered that the motorist had violated standard traffic laws.
“There is usually a complete disconnect between the fatal outcome of a driver’s actions and the insignificant penalties imposed,” explained Paul Steely White, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives (TA). “Time and time again, these deadly and preventable crashes meet with zero effective consequences and dangerous drivers are put back behind the wheel.”
TA officials said they will be issuing a report later this month that will highlight “inadequate enforcement and prosecution of moving violations on New York City streets.”
The group is also urging the passage of “The Hayley Ng and Diego Martinez Law,” which mandates that drivers who kill or seriously injure a pedestrian or bicyclist appear before a judge in court and be automatically sentenced to attend driver safety training and 60 days of community service.
The bill was introduced in Albany last year following a devastating car crash in Chinatown that took the lives of two children and injured over a dozen others.
The driver who caused the accident was never charged with any wrongdoing, TA officials said.