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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Hit and run victim to sue car owner

By Aimee Kuvadia
Posted

Police have dropped the investigation into the Sept. 12 hit-and-run accident that left a Riverdale man seriously injured, according to Capt. Kevin Burke, commander of the 50th Precinct.

Maury Blige, 45, said he was riding his motorcycle eastbound on West 230th Street around 4:45 p.m., when a gray Chrysler minivan on the opposite side of the road stopped to make a left turn onto Kingsbridge Avenue. The vehicle hit him after abruptly deciding to turn right instead, Mr. Blige said.

“He basically T-boned me,” Mr. Blige said. “He stopped briefly because the bike was in his way and he had to maneuver around it, and then shot up Marble Hill Avenue.” 

Bystanders were taking photographs and calling 9-1-1, said Mr. Blige. But after about 20 minutes passed and police or emergency medical personnel still hadn’t arrived, people flagged down a private ambulance and squad car that happened to be driving by.

The ambulance transported Mr. Blige to New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Allen Pavilion, where personnel said he had a fractured right toe, fractured right foot and cuts and bruises to his right leg, left leg and back. 

Mr. Blige, who’s still recovering at home from his injuries, said he was frustrated by the sluggish pace of the police department in making an arrest, considering he provided officers with a description and the license plate number of the man driving the van.

“Maybe I watch too much CSI, but it’s police 101,” Mr. Blige said. “You type in the plate number, find out where he lives and arrest the guy.”

The owner of the van, who police eventually tracked down via the vehicle’s license plate number, claimed that she lends her van out to many people and cannot say who was driving it at the time of the accident.

The Bronx District Attorney’s Office said it’s dropping the case because the victim cannot identify the driver of the van, according to Capt. Burke. The NYPD confirmed that police cannot make an arrest based solely on a license plate number, because the person driving a vehicle might not be the same person the vehicle is registered to.

“Justice was definitely not served,” said Mr. Blige. “Police just don’t care.”

Mr. Blige has hired attorney Scott Felicetti to file a civil suit against the owner of the van.

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