From NY1, April 29:

Seven Family Members Die After SUV Plunges From Bronx Parkway
Police say seven Bronx family members spanning three generations died Sunday afternoon after the sports utility vehicle they were riding in flipped over a Bronx River Parkway railing and plunged about 100 feet onto non-public property of the Bronx Zoo.

Authorities say all seven occupants inside the vehicle died when it crashed about 75 feet from the expressway in West Farms at 12:30 PM.

By Sunday evening, the names and exact relationships of the victims were not yet known, but Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said the driver was a 45-year-old woman, and the passengers were an 84-year-old man, two women aged 80 and 39, and three girls aged 15, five and three.

The SUV was headed south at a high speed when it bounced off the roadway’s median, crossed all the southbound lanes and then flew off the parkway, landing upside down in a deeply wooded portion of the southeastern part of the Bronx Zoo…

“In 30 years, I’ve seen something like this once or twice,” said EMS Deputy Chief Howard Sickles. “Everyone was taken back by it, because everybody has a relative. Everybody knows a child, everybody has a grandparent, and you can see the emotion on everybody. It’s very upsetting to have happen, something like this.”

Yes, but will anyone help build a mandate for the obvious solution to this kind of meaningless carnage—banning cars? This next one, at least, sparked some outrage, but NYPD racism is only part of the equation—don’t forget the reigning car culture, which is also to blame here. From Huffington Post, April 26:

Family of Tamon Robinson, Brooklyn Man Killed by NYPD Cruiser, Demands Justice
The family of a Brooklyn man struck and killed by a police car earlier this month will join Reverend Al Sharpton in calling for an investigation into the fatal incident.

Tamon Robinson, 27, was allegedly spotted by police at 5:30 AM on April 12th stealing cobblestones from the Bay View Houses, a public housing complex in Canarsie.

When he saw police, Robinson bolted for his mother’s building, which The New York Times reports was just a short 100 yards away. Two officers were chasing him on foot and another set were chasing him by car.

As Robinson neared the building, the cop car veered up onto the sidewalk.

“They hit him,” said 26-year-old Franchette Mowbray, who witnessed the episode, told The Times. “He flew up and he came down. They backed the car up, and they told him to get up. People were yelling out their windows screaming at the cops, ‘We saw what you did.'”

The official police account of the day’s events differs from witnesses, however. Police say the car was stopped when Robinson ran into it. Friends of Robinson also say that he had permission to take the cobblestones, as he had a business on the side selling such materials.

Robinson—a popular barista at a Brooklyn Connecticut Muffin—suffered a head injury was taken to the hospital where he was handcuffed to his bed, even after falling into a coma.

After his six days, he was declared brain dead and his family elected to take him off the respirator. He died on April 18th.

The NYPD Department of Internal Affairs is investigating the incident.

“They never came to me still to this day and said that your son was involved in any kind of incident or anything. Nothing, I didn’t even know,” Robinson’s mother, Laverne Dobbinson told reporters of the NYPD Tuesday, according to NY1.

“The penalty for stealing paving stones is not death,” added Sanford Rubenstein, a lawyer for Robinson’s family.

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  1. Another reason WHY WE FIGHT
    From AP, April 30:

    Mom, son die in accidents hours apart in Wisconsin
    WEST ALLIS, Wis.— A Wisconsin woman and her adult son were killed in separate traffic crashes just hours apart in a Milwaukee suburb, police said Monday.

    Mary J. Moore, 45, died after she was struck by a vehicle on a street in West Allis. A friend was speeding her son, Thomas M. Olson, 22, to the hospital to see her when he struck three parked cars and overturned, West Allis Deputy Chief Charles Padgett said. Olson was killed in the crash about 5:30 a.m. Sunday.

    Padgett said Olson knew his mother had been hit, but he wasn’t sure if Olson knew she had died.

    “It’s emotional. We want to get there fast and sometimes disregard our safety,” Padgett said. “I use it to remind people that regardless of the circumstances, be aware of the speed.”

    The driver of the car OIson was riding in was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated. He and two other passengers suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

    Moore was hit as she lay prone in the street. A motorist following the car that struck her told police it looked as though the vehicle hit a speed bump, according to the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s report. The witness did not realize that it was a person until getting closer, the report said.

    Padgett said Moore had been drinking before she was hit, but it’s not clear how much. An autopsy on her body was expected to be done Monday.

    OK, falling down drunk in the middle of the road is not exactly a brilliant move. (Wisconsin seems to be living up to its stereotype.) But dropping dead-drunk wouldn’t be literally deadly if we didn’t live in a world in which toxin-belching death-machines are careening recklessly across landscapes of endless asphalt and pedestrians’ lives are dirt cheap. It’s kind of like earthquakes—yeah, they are gonna happen, but we don’t have to exponentially amplify their dangers by building nuclear power plants.

  2. media exploitation of car culture victims
    This is decontextualized pornography, the journalistic equivalent of rubbernecking. Readers get a cheap, lugubrious thrill, a reaction which is a substitute for action. There isn’t the vaguest intimation anywhere in the reportage that the González family are the victims of a system and a development model. Via Yahoo News:

    Bronx Zoo SUV plunge: Father who lost family says, ‘I want to die’
    The SUV that plunged more than 50 feet from the Bronx River Parkway on Sunday, killing seven people from three generations of a Bronx family, was headed to a family reunion, stunned relatives said.

    “I lost my family,” said Juan Gonzalez, whose 45-year-old wife and 10-year-old daughter were killed in the crash, according to the New York Post. “What can I say? I don’t want to be here. I want to die.”

    Gonzalez’s wife, Maria, a Fordham University staffer, was driving her daughter, 85-year-old father, 81-year-old mother, 39-year-old sister and two nieces (ages 3 and 7) to a party at her sister’s Bronx home when she lost control of the vehicle, police said.