As police continued their search for the private sanitation truck driver who struck and killed a 67-year-old woman in a hit-and-run incident at 86th Street and Bay Parkway early Thursday morning, Councilmember Mark Treyger called on the city to strip the company employing the deadly motorist of its license.
“We’re here to demand justice,” said Treyger, who held a press conference Friday morning on the corner of 86th Street and Bay Parkway just steps from where 67-year-old Deborah Mutell was mowed down while crossing the street.
The driver hit the victim and kept going, police said.
Treyger, a Democrat representing Coney Island, Gravesend and parts of Bensonhurst, demanded that in addition to bringing the driver to justice, the city’s Business Integrity Commission, the agency overseeing the private sanitation industry, revoke the company’s license.
The name of the company whose driver was involved in the fatal hit-run has not been released by authorities.
“I would like to know the name of this company,” Treyger said.
The truck driver was traveling eastbound on 86th Street and was approaching Bay Parkway at around 4 a.m. when his vehicle struck Mutell who was crossing 86th Street mid-block, according to police. The impact of the crash caused the victim to be dragged several feet, police said.
Mutell was pronounced dead at the scene.
The fatal incident was particularly horrific, according to Treyger, who said the victim was hit so hard by the truck that “she was split into two pieces.” Early risers on their way to work at that hour had to view the gruesome sight of two body bags lying on the street, a clearly visibly angry Treyger said.
U.S. Rep. Max Rose, who joined Treyger at the press conference, called the incident “a disgrace,” but said “we’re going to get to the bottom of it.”
Rose, a Democrat whose congressional district includes parts of Southwest Brooklyn and all of Staten Island, wondered aloud if the private sanitation company “put undue stress on this driver that he felt pressure to keep on driving.”
Sarah Anders, deputy chief of staff to State Sen. Andrew Gounardes, called the incident “a tragedy” and said “reckless, dangerous driver” must be held accountable.
One way to do that, according to Anders, would be for the state legislature to pass the Hit-and-Run Prevention Act, a bill that would increase the penalties against drivers who flee accident scenes.
Treyger had an angry reaction after being told that one police official had noted that Mutell was crossing mid-block and not at the intersection.
“I will not accept anyone blaming pedestrians,” said Treyger, who added that a person on foot is no match for a multi-ton truck traveling at high speed.
“This is a hit-run. Let’s not forget that,” Rose said.
There have been eight pedestrians killed on Brooklyn streets since the beginning of the year, officials said.
In response to Treyger’s demand for a license revocation, Laura Feyer, a spokesperson for the Business Integrity Commission, said a probe has been launched. “This was a horrible tragedy and an investigation is currently underway,” she told the Home Reporter in an email.