Family of Woman Killed in Crosswalk, Wants Tougher Punishment

The intersection at Hylan and Wiman Avenue brings back terrible memories for Robert Cerqua and his wife.

His mother, 73-year-old Mary Lou Cerqua, was hit when she was crossing the street on April 12th, 2016.

She later died, and a memorial now stands in her memory.

"It is a painful reminder of a horrible tragedy,” said Robert Cerqua, the victim’s son.

"I know accidents happen but based on the footage I've seen there was nothing obstructing this person from seeing my mother crossing the street."

The deadly incident was caught on surveillance video. In it, you can see Cerqua cross the street, just before getting hit by an SUV making a left Turn on Hylan.

The Driver, 54-year-old Deborah Pecoraro pleaded guilty last week to a misdemeanor charge, failing to yield to a pedestrian. Cerqua and his wife don't think justice was served.

"The Vision Zero law needs to change it needs a whole new approach. This law has been knocked down constantly by the courts. We really need a law to protect people like my mother-in-law," said the Vvictim’s daughter-in-law, Laura Piile-Cerqua.

Under Mayor De Blasio's “Vision Zero Action plan” passed in 2014, The "Right of Way Law" makes a criminal misdemeanor charge possible for any driver who hits someone with the right of way at a street crossing.

If the driver causes injury, the fine is up to $250.

"Having people only get a fine of $250 when unfortunately you kill somebody to me is not justice," said Piile Cerqua.

 The Cerqua's are now calling local leaders to take more serious action. 

“Something that happened to my mother, could maybe be prevented if people were just a little more scared of being punished more harshly,” said Cerqua.

As for Pecoraro, she will be sentenced July 6, 2017.

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