Unlicensed truck driver kills grandmother

A pickup truck driver killed a grandmother and injured her grandbaby after striking them on the corner of 150th Street and the Cross Island Service Road.

A grandmother was killed and her grand-baby left injured just a few blocks away from their home after a driver without a license struck them the morning of June 24.

Insook Rol, 58, was pushing her 19-month-old granddaughter in a stroller as she crossed the Cross Island Parkway eastbound service road at 150th Street at 10:15 a.m. when Angelo Graci hit the pair with his 2015 GMC Sierra pickup truck.

Police found Rol unconscious and unresponsive with trauma about the head and body. The infant was conscious and alert, though she sustained minor injuries. Both were rushed to area hospitals, but Rol succumbed to her injuries. The baby remains in stable condition.

Graci, who lives less than a mile away from the vicitms, was arrested on three charges — driving without a license, failing to yield to a pedestrian and failing to exercise due care.

The fatal collision nearly fell on the three-year anniversary of Madeline Sershen’s death — the 17-year-old Whitestone resident was crossing 16th Avenue and Utopia Parkway June 25, 2018 when an elderly driver ran through a red light and struck her. 

“Despite tragedy after tragedy, streets in Whitestone and across New York City are still not safe. Now, this young child has to grow up without their [grand]mother because traffic violence has torn apart another family,” Sershen’s aunt and Families for Safe Streets Steering Committee member Rita Barravecchio said in a statement following Rol’s death. 

Barravecchio urged elected officials to pass Sammy’s Law, which would allow New York City to lower speed limits to 20 mph citywide and as low as 5 mph on streets with traffic-calming measures like those participating in the city’s Open Streets program.

The bill would repeal the state requirement that speed limits in New York City cannot be lower than 25 mph, or 15 mph in school zones.

“Families for Safe Streets is a club that no one should ever have to join, but right now, our membership is growing at an alarming rate. New Yorkers need leaders who will confront and combat traffic violence like the urgent public health crisis that it is,” Barravecchio said.

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