A hit-and-run driver struck and killed a 71-year-old man crossing a dangerous stretch of Flatbush Avenue last night — a horrific accident that was hauntingly similar to a recent motor vehicle death that took place just two miles away.
Witnesses said Jeanniot Jean was crossing Flatbush Avenue near East 26 Street around 6 pm when he was hit by one vehicle — then another while he was still laying in the middle of the street.
Police said the first vehicle — a dollar van, according to one source — sped off after striking Jean. The second driver stopped and waited for police to arrive, witnesses said.
Jean, who worked at BG L’Auberge Creole, a Haitian restaurant near where he was hit, died of his injuries en route to Kings County Hospital.
The crime is eerily similar to the death of Noah Foxman, a 58-year-old man who was clipped by a van on Coney Island Avenue near Avenue K before being struck and killed by another car as he was trying to get up. In that case, the second vehicle fled and the first driver that hit Foxman stayed.
Both accidents took place within Community Board 14, which is considered the worst district in the borough for pedestrian safety, according to a recent study by the pro-bicycle and pedestrian group Transportation Alternatives, which said 3,920 pedestrian and vehicular crashes occurred within the board’s borders between 1995 and 2009.
An NYPD spokesman said the driver of the fleeing van was still at large — but that no charges had been filed against the driver who stopped.
Friends said Jean moved to the United States more than 20 years ago and was well-liked in the neighborhood.
“He was everybody’s friend,” said Michel–Guy Alexis, who lived in the same building as Jean. “If you saw him and said, ‘Hey Papi, buy me a soda,’ he’d laugh and say, ‘If you don’t have the money, you want me to pay for you?’”
Cops are asking anyone with information regarding this hit-and-run to come forward. Calls can be made to the NYPD CrimeStoppers hotline at (800) 577-8477. All calls will be kept confidential.Reach reporter Eli Rosenberg at erosenberg
©2012 Community News Group
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