Unlicensed Brooklyn driver charged with manslaughter for caught-on-camera sidewalk crash that killed two, injured five
The unlicensed driver who sparked a horrific caught-on-camera Brooklyn crash that killed two and left five people hospitalized has been charged with manslaughter, police said Tuesday.
Vitaliy Konoplyov is also charged with aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle for the Monday afternoon crash at 18th Ave. and 64th St. in Bensonhurst.
Konoplyov, 49, was heading south on 18th Ave. in his Toyota Camry when he blew through a steady red light at 64th St. about 12:45 p.m. and T-boned a Honda CRV heading east on 64th St., sparking a deadly chain reaction, cops said.
Konoplyov lives in Coney Island, police said. He was not seriously harmed and remained at the scene before he was taken into custody.
“He came down flying this way,” Vito Conigliaro, who works at a nearby pizza shop, told the Daily News Monday. “There was a big explosion ... He hit that car and then that light pole and went up on the sidewalk.”
The 51-year-old driver of the Honda CRV spun out of control and struck a 60-year-old woman crossing the intersection, cops said.
“She was bleeding on the floor all over the place,” Conigliaro said about the pedestrian. “They were pounding her chest but she wasn’t responding.”
Konoplyov’s Toyota veered to the right and struck a passing Chevy Equinox driven by a 71-year-old man before vaulting the sidewalk and crashing into a light pole, shocking surveillance video obtained by the Daily News shows.
“There were two passengers in the [Toyota],” Conigliaro said. “The guy in the rear flew into the front and his head went through the windshield. It was sticking out of the windshield.”
Parts of the wrecked automobiles flew through the air, crashing down on parked vehicles on the bustling commercial strip.
The 60-year-old pedestrian and the 51-year-old Honda driver who struck her were taken to Maimonides Hospital, where they both died.
Another victim was taken to the same hospital, where the person was clinging to life Tuesday. Four other people were transported to area hospitals and are expected to survive cops said.
“Each and every single time a life is lost on our streets, impacted families and communities need us to pursue swift justice,” City Council Transportation Committee Chair Selvena Brooks-Powers said Monday. “Beyond the courtroom, this must also include looking at where street safety infrastructure improvements can help save lives.”
The city’s Department of Transportation had designated 18th Ave. as a priority corridor for street safety improvement but announced last month it was removing the corridor from its list of Vision Zero priority corridors.
Konoplyov’s arraignment in Brooklyn Criminal Court was pending Tuesday.
With Evan Simko-Bednarski