You are reading

Pols seek help in finding perpetrator of hit-and-run death, call for speed cameras

JVBMarch 14, 2014 By Michael Florio

Long Island City: Community leaders called on the public this morning to help track down the driver who struck a 64-year-old pedestrian on Northern Boulevard and then fled the scene last Friday night.

Kumar Ragunath was killed crossing Northern Boulevard near 40th Road at around 10:25pm March 7 on his way to his job at the Holiday Inn. The suspect is believed to have been driving a dark Chevy Blazer.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, State Sen. Michael Gianaris and transportation advocates gathered near where Ragunath was killed and called  for the perpetrator to give himself (or herself) up. They also urged the city and state to install more speed and red light cameras.

“We are here as a community to say never again,” Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said. “Every single time there is a serious injury and fatality to a pedestrian or cyclists we are going to speak out.”

Van Bramer urged anyone with information on the hit and run to come forward.

“Kumar was a grandfather, a father, and he left a family broken,” said Juan Martinez, a legislative director for Transportation Alternatives, who said that far too many pedestrians are dying on New York streets.

Van Bramer said that Northern Blvd is one of the deadliest streets in Queens, citing the death of Noshat Nahian who was struck and killed at a Northern Blvd intersection in Woodside on his way to school in December. Last month, he added, a seven-year-old girl had her skull fractured as she was hit waiting for a bus at 48th Street and Northern Blvd with her mother.

Van Bramer called—yet again—for Northern Boulevard to be selected as one of the 50 dangerous streets to be evaluated under New York City’s Vision Zero program.

Vision Zero aims to bring traffic fatalities down to zero by redesigning hazardous streets and introducing measures such as slow zones.

“Northern Blvd screams for inclusion into Vision Zero. It must be included in the first 50 selections,” Van Bramer said.

Van Bramer called out for more speed cameras in New York, since there are only 20 at present.

The number of speed cameras in New York City is determined by the state legislature, something Van Bramer would like changed.

“We need the authority to have many more speed cameras,” Van Bramer said.

The state has provided Nassau and Suffolk counties with 120 speed cameras.

Gianaris, who also said there is a need for more speed cameras, said 120 cameras on Long Island was the equivalent of 400 cameras across the city. He said that New York deserves more.

Gianaris continued to advocate for stronger punishments for reckless drivers, especially those who drive without or on a suspended license.

“We need to change the laws,” State Sen. Mike Gianaris said.

email the author: [email protected]


Click for Comments 

I agree with Gary completely and someone needs to follow the councilman too cause he was also seen speeding around the area as we’ll he’s not exempt.


The people that are calling for more cameras couldn’t be dumber if they tried.
The answer is not cameras, the answer would be to pave the streets properly so that cars don’t have to speed over the bumps to feel less of them. Speed cameras are only designed to help the city make money because there are no signs that say “speed camera Ahead. ” it’s essentially designed as a trap to generate money.
I believe that paving the streets properly and putting up signs would be a great start and save many lives.
I am also a driver who does not want to drive too slow on a bumpy road to have my organs knocked around even though I am driving a brand-new car.
It is a drivers natural instinct to move a little quicker over the bumps to feel less of them. Also, the pedestrians need to be responsible for their actions as well and follow the law while crossing streets


I started driving a car recently in the city, and the big elephant in the room is pedestrians crowding the streets and jaywalking.

Especially in the rain, snow or night, especially since many of us wear black when going out at night – I recommend you stay on the sidewalks!

Saving 2 seconds is not worth your life.

* I am not saying jaywalking is what happened in this particular case.

* See this study which indicates as much as 80% of pedestrian accidents are due to jaywalking:

* Obviously, if there aren’t good crosswalks (I’m looking at you Center Blvd) then all bets are off.


yes. Not only this but the cars in my Dutch Kills neighborhood (where this incident occurred) face speeding traffic heading onto and off of Northern Blvd as well. There are yield signs where there should be stop signs but even stop signs are treated as optional.


Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Gunman who fired shots at the Ravenswood Houses in Long Island City remains at large: NYPD

Police from the 114th Precinct in Astoria and PSA 9 are continuing their search for a gunman who allegedly opened fire at the Ravenswood Houses in Long Island City last month.

The incident occurred during the early morning hours of Wednesday, Jan. 18, when officers responded to a 911 call and a ShotSpotter activation for multiple shots fired at 21-25 35 Ave. at the Ravenswood Houses NYCHA complex just after 2 a.m., according to authorities.

Popular places where you can watch the Super Bowl in Queens

Feb. 2, 2023 By Tammy Scileppi

Hey, football fans! Game time is fast approaching, and across the city and here in Queens, you can feel the excitement brewing as the two teams prepare to take the field on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 12. So, kick back and watch the big game, and don’t miss Rihanna’s exciting performance during halftime. 

Borough president hears from community members on budget needs throughout Queens

During a two-day public hearing on the mayor’s 2024 preliminary budget, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. listened to testimonies from 14 community board representatives, community stakeholders and members of the public on where the money should be spent in Queens. 

The public hearings were held both in-person and via Zoom on Monday, Jan. 30, and Tuesday, Jan. 31, at Queens Borough Hall. The testimonials will be used to develop the Queens Borough Board’s FY24 preliminary budget priorities in the coming weeks. 

‘He didn’t deserve to die’: Borough President Richards leads emotional candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards held a candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols outside Queens Borough Hall Monday, Jan. 30 after Nichols’ death at the hands of police officers in Memphis, Tenn., made national headlines for the brutality in which the officers beat him.

Almost immediately after news broke about Nichols’ death, the Memphis police officers who beat him to death were fired and charged with murder. The police department released the body cam footage of the fatal beating on Jan. 27, but many people, including some at the vigil, have refused to watch it due to its extremely graphic nature.

Long Island City teen sentenced in fatal shooting of ‘beloved’ school teacher at Queensbridge Houses in 2020: DA

A Long Island City man on Friday, Jan. 28, was sentenced to 19 years in prison for the 2020 fatal shooting of a public school social studies teacher who was out walking his dog when he was caught in the crossfire during a confrontation between gang rivals in broad daylight, just blocks from his home, according to Queens District Attorney’s office.

Ike Ford, 19, of 12th Street, in Long Island City, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the first degree before Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Holder. The teacher, George Rosa, 53, was shot in his abdomen by a stray bullet fired by Ford, who was just 17 years old at the time of the shooting but was sentenced as an adult given the severity of the crime, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.