Man Indicted in Fatal Hit-and-Run in Williamsburg

By Hamodia Staff

This arrow shows the approximate path allegedly driven by the driver, before he fatally struck Leah Kohn in the crosswalk.

A Queens man has been indicted on manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide for allegedly driving in the wrong direction, making an illegal turn, fatally striking a pedestrian, and fleeing the scene.

The incident occurred on November 28, 2022, around 5:45 p.m., when suspect Daniel K. Buckley, 67, was leaving the Brooklyn Navy Yard in Williamsburg, where he worked as a swing truck operator for a TV show, the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office said in a statement Thursday.

According to the DA, surveillance video allegedly shows Buckley taking the exit onto Kent Avenue, driving across the two-way street and into oncoming traffic, and, as he faced two vehicles driving toward him, making an illegal turn left onto Taylor Street, where he struck Leah Kohn, 59, of as she was crossing Taylor Street.

There is a concrete island near the intersection to prevent illegal left turns, but the driver had crossed into the other lane of traffic before the beginning of the barrier.

After striking Mrs. Kohn, the driver fled the scene as she lay bleeding on the pavement.

Mrs. Kohn suffered blunt head injuries, and was taken to Bellevue Hospital, where she passed away on December 17 — several weeks before the wedding of her youngest child.

“Instead of stopping to call an ambulance or offer aid, this defendant heartlessly left the scene after he allegedly struck and fatally injured a beloved grandmother and cherished member of the community,” District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said in a statement announcing the indictment. “After a thorough investigation, we will now seek to hold the defendant accountable for his dangerous and criminal conduct. I am committed to keeping Brooklyn’s streets safe for all people.”

Buckley was arraigned Thursday on an indictment in which he is charged with second-degree manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, three counts of leaving the scene of an incident without reporting, second-degree reckless endangerment, reckless driving, two counts of failure to yield, improper driving on roadways laned for traffic, violating a pedestrian’s right of way in a crosswalk, and making an illegal left turn. If convicted of the top charge, he faces up to five to 15 years in prison.

Buckley was released without bail. His next court appearance is scheduled for May 19, 2023.

Buckley’s attorney was not immediately available Wednesday to respond to Hamodia’s request for comment.

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