FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 9, 2023
Driver Charged in Deadly Williamsburg Hit and Run
Allegedly Left Scene After Striking and Injuring Pedestrian
In Crosswalk Near the Brooklyn Navy Yard
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a Queens man has been indicted for second-degree manslaughter, second-degree reckless endangerment, and other related charges in connection with a fatal hit and run in Williamsburg in which he allegedly struck a 59-year-old pedestrian in the crosswalk. The victim, a grandmother, suffered severe head injuries and later died.
District Attorney Gonzalez said, “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. 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.”
The District Attorney identified the defendant as Daniel K. Buckley, 67, of Queens. He was arraigned today before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Matthew Sciarrino 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. The judge ordered the defendant to be released without bail and to return to court on May 19, 2023. He faces up to five to 15 years in prison if convicted of the top count.
The District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, on November 28, 2022, at about 5:45 p.m., the defendant was driving his 2005 GMC Envoy out of the Brooklyn Navy Yard where he was employed as a swing truck operator for the television series “The Blacklist.” Based on video surveillance obtained during the investigation, the defendant took the exit onto Kent Avenue, driving across the two-way street and into oncoming traffic. In order to avoid colliding with two vehicles travelling on Kent Avenue, the defendant allegedly made an illegal turn onto Taylor Street where he struck a pedestrian, Leah Kohn, 59, in the crosswalk.
Furthermore, according to the investigation, video surveillance shows the defendant driving off without stopping as the victim, who had the right of way, lay bleeding on the pavement.
The victim was taken to Bellevue Hospital Center where she died on December 17, 2022, due to complications from blunt force trauma to the head.
This case was investigated by New York City Police Department Detective Curt Cunningham, of the Collision Investigation Squad and Detective Investigators for the District Attorney’s office.
This case is being prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Joseph T. Tillman, and Assistant District Attorney Molly Sheehan, both of the Grey Zone Trial Bureau, under the supervision of Courtney Hogg, Deputy Bureau Chief, Grey Zone, Robert Walsh, Bureau Chief Grey Zone, and Jennifer Nocella, Deputy Bureau Chief, Street Safety Bureau.
An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.