FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM JANUARY 3, 2019 • THE QUEENS COURIER 3
Photo via Twitter/@makequeenssafer
An activist places a memorial sign at the corner
of 37th Avenue and 81st Street, where an
allegedly unlicensed driver fatally ran over a
woman on Dec. 31, 2018.
who ran over
have a license
BY ROBERT POZARYCKI
Jackson Heights witnessed a horrific
end to 2018 when an allegedly unlicensed
driver ran over and killed a
female pedestrian with her SUV, police
Law enforcement sources said the
deadly incident occurred at 12:45 p.m.
on Dec. 31, 2018 at the corner of 37th
Avenue and 81st Street.
According to authorities, Vitaliana
Garcia Gavilan, 43, of Great Neck, Long
Island was driving her 2008 Chevrolet
Equinox westbound on 37th Avenue
and, while turning northbound onto
81st Street, struck the unidentifi ed
female victim who was attempting to
cross the street.
Police said that Gavilan allegedly
drove over the pedestrian with the front
right tire, then backed up and ran over
the pedestrian a second time with the
front right wheel. She stopped her vehicle
and remained at the scene.
Offi cers from the 115th Precinct and
EMS units responded to the scene.
Paramedics rushed the female victim
to Elmhurst Hospital, where she was
pronounced dead; police did not disclose
her identity, pending family notifi
Following a preliminary investigation,
offi cers took Gavilan into custody on
charges of aggravated unlicensed operator,
failure to yield, a motor vehicle
license violation (no license) and failure
to use due care, causing a serious injury.
Additional charges are pending the
results of an investigation by the NYPD
Collision Investigation Squad.
“A pedestrian has been hit and killed
by a car on the c/o of 37th Ave at 81st
St.,” state Senator-elect Jessica Ramos,
who represents the area, tweeted. “Th e
driver failed to yield to the pedestrian
as she was crossing. If you drive, please
respect when pedestrians have the right
of way. Stop, let them cross, and then
turn. Save lives. #SeenIn13”
Collisions down across NE Queens: 111th Pct.
BY JENNA BAGCAL
Collisions and collision-related injuries
are down from last year in the 111th
Precinct, according to web statistics from
the New York City Police Department.
On Dec. 17 and Dec. 21, the precinct
reported that the number of injury collisions
as well as occupant, pedestrian and
bicycle injuries had decreased from 2017
Th e Bayside-based precinct tweeted out
the information to followers earlier this
month. Th e command covers parts of
the neighborhood as well as Douglaston,
Flushing and Little Neck.
“@NYPD111Pct YTD Crash Data: Injury
collisions down 5.9% Occupant injuries
down 8.2% Pedestrians inj down 9.3%
Bicycle injuries. Down 47.1%,” the precinct
reported on Dec. 17.
In its Dec. 21 tweet, the 111th Precinct
wrote, “Injury collisions are down 5.3% for
the year so far. In 2019, we will continue to
focus enforcement toward the locations and
behaviors that cause these crashes.”
According to NYPD Traffi cStat, the number
of total collisions in the 111th Precinct
decreased 0.9 percent from 4,294 to 4,256
and collisions with injuries went down 5
percent from 677 in 2017 to 643 in 2018.
Traffi cStat also reported that total injuries,
occupant injuries and bicycle injuries
A car traveling on Northern Boulevard in Douglaston
decreased throughout the precinct:
• Total injuries 2017: 952
• Occupant injuries 2017: 831
• Bicycle injuries 2017: 17
• Total injuries 2018: 876 (8 percent
• Occupant injuries 2018: 762 (8.3 percent
• Bicycle injuries 2018: 10 (41.2 percent
File photo/THE COURIER
Th ough the precinct reported a decrease
in pedestrian injuries, NYPD Traffi cStat
showed that the number of pedestrian injuries
in 2017 and 2018 were both 104 yearto
Offi cers from the precinct used the
hashtag #VisionZero, crediting Mayor Bill
de Blasio’s action plan to end traffi c deaths
and injuries in New York City streets by
First NYC baby of 2019 born to Kew Gardens Hills parents
BY MARK HALLUM
A Queens couple welcomed the fi rst
baby born in New York state this year
just seven seconds aft er the ball dropped
in Times Square.
Eli and Adina Derdik of Kew Gardens
Hills welcomed their new boy to the world
at seven seconds past midnight on Jan. 1
at Northwell Long Island Jewish Medical
Center on the Queens/Nassau border.
Th e infant’s timely arrival prompted one
nurse to nickname him “007.”
As it happens, the boy doesn’t yet have
a name. Th e Derdiks observe the Jewish
tradition of refraining from naming a
child until the eighth day aft er birth, and
they recognize the New Year during Rosh
Hashanah, which falls in late September.
Nonetheless, they and Northwell Health
allowed reporters to swarm their hospital
room for a few short minutes on New
“Th is is not the Jewish New Year so we
don’t celebrate it as much, but it’s obviously
the start of a new year for everyone
and it’s exciting to start it off in an
exciting way with this blessing,” Adina
Derdik, 24, said. “Th e ball dropping in
Times Square was playing on a TV in
Born seven seconds aft er midnight, the
7 pound, 15 ounce baby is the second
son the young couple has given birth to,
according to Michelle Pinto from North
Shore-Long Island Jewish Hospital.
Eli and Adina Derdik celebrate their second-born son and the fi rst birth of 2019.
Eli Derdik, 28, joked about the new
baby stealing his thunder being unexpectedly
born a week early, the day before his
“My wife always thinks I’m the hardest
person to fi nd a birthday present for, and
this was up there – this was number one,”
Th e Derdiks said that they are looking
Photo: Mark Hallum/THE COURIER
forward to settling into their new routine
with the most recent addition to the
family. When naming their second-born
son, they do not expect to incorporate his
title as New York state’s fi rst baby born
in 2019, preferring names that have been
in the family.
Th eir fi rst child, Azi, will soon turn 4