Man ticketed in Niskayuna pedestrian death
NISKAYUNA The man who struck and killed a Niskayuna woman Monday was driving without a full driver’s license and struck the woman as she was in a crosswalk, police said Wednesday.
Rafael Garcia, 72, of Schenectady was issued three tickets in Monday’s noontime accident that killed 75-year-old Niskayuna resident Ellen Fogarty.
Fogarty was struck about 12:30 p.m. as she used the Nott Street crosswalk that connects a parking lot with the Niskayuna Co-op and other nearby businesses.
Garcia faces charges of being an unlicensed driver, failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk and having an obstructed view.
Garcia’s license requires another licensed driver be in the car when he is driving, police said, but he was alone at the time of the accident.
Niskayuna Deputy Police Chief Daniel McManus described the obstructed view as something hanging from Garcia’s rearview mirror. Whether the obstructed view contributed to the accident was not yet clear. The final report was still being completed.
There was no indication of speed or alcohol involvement, McManus said. The investigation is continuing, and authorities are trying to determine if more charges should be filed.
Schenectady County District Attorney Robert Carney said Wednesday his office has asked police to provide documents and video from the case for them to review.
“We’ll make our own independent determination whether or not anything further is possible or appropriate,” Carney said.
Fogarty, police concluded, was crossing inside the mid-block crosswalk, west of the Nott Street intersection with Balltown Road. They determined that with the help of witness statements and evidence from area surveillance video, authorities said.
The state Department of Motor Vehicles listed Garcia as having a valid learner’s permit. He previously had a full license, but that was revoked in April 2013 “for failing to pass a road test.” Why Garcia was required to take a road test was not included in his public record, an unidentified spokesman said.
Garcia received the learner’s permit in August, the DMV spokesman said.
The permit required Garcia to have a licensed driver age 21 or older in the vehicle with him at all times.
Because Garcia had a learner’s permit, he was not charged with the more serious misdemeanor offense of aggravated unlicensed operation, McManus said.
The misdemeanor charge is reserved for those driving under a revoked status. While Garcia is accused of driving without meeting a requirement of his permit, he did have valid operating privilege, McManus said, resulting in the lower-level infraction.