Nov. 29, 2021 By Allie Griffin
A 60-year-old woman who fatally struck a 37-year-old delivery worker in Astoria with her car this spring will not face charges, according to the Queens District Attorney’s Office.
The Queens DA issued a memo Nov. 15 stating that there is “insufficient evidence” to prosecute the woman who struck and killed Xing Long Lin with her car on April 29.
Both the DA and NYPD Collision Investigation Squad conducted several-month-long investigations and said they found no proof of criminal intent or behavior leading up to the crash, the memo states.
Their investigations found that the woman was driving to church when her 2013 Mercedes Benz C-300 was struck from behind by another car on 35th Street at about 7:45 p.m. She then accelerated and crashed into two other cars, careened into the bike lane and fatally struck Lin, who was driving a scooter in the lane.
Her car then mounted the sidewalk and landed in an outdoor dining setup outside Rosatoro Restaurant, located on the corner of Ditmars Boulevard.
The District Attorney’s office said that the crash may have been caused by a car malfunction or the woman making an error.
“The sudden acceleration of the vehicle and subsequent loss of control cannot be adequately explained and may have been due to a mechanical defect… or it may have been attributed to driver error,” the memo written by Executive Assistant District Attorney Daniel Saunders states.
Saunders added that other drivers with the same make and model of the woman’s car have reported mechanical defects.
The woman remained at the scene and showed no signs of being impaired by alcohol or drugs and had a valid driver’s license “free of any suspensions or other blemishes,” according to the memo.
The NYPD impounded and inspected her vehicle, but their inspection was hampered by the extensive damage it incurred when it crashed into the outdoor dining structure.
“In any event, there is no credible evidence upon which to base a criminal prosecution and our investigation into this tragedy is closed,” Saunders wrote.
The DA’s decision sparked criticism among bike advocates and some residents.
Initial reports following the crash stated that the 60-year-old was driving well over the speed limit and drove into the bike lane to pass another car when she hit Lin, a husband and father of two.
Laura Shepard, the Queens organizer for Transportation Alternatives, criticized the DA’s findings and Melinda Katz, the Queens District Attorney.
“Xing Long Lin and his family deserve justice. Extremely disturbed to hear that @MelindaKatz is letting his killer get away with this,” Shepard tweeted. “Our streets are not safe when drivers who harm vulnerable road users are not held accountable and do not face consequences for their behavior.”