Man pleads guilty in Staten Island crash that killed elderly pedestrian

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STATEN ISLAND, NEW YORK, NY – A man has pleaded guilty in connection with a crash on Staten Island last year that killed an elderly pedestrian, the Staten Island Advance reports.

Johnson Kim entered the plea Friday in state Supreme Court to a felony charge of leaving the scene of an incident in which injuries were sustained.

The incident happened April 20, 2019 in the area of Bradley Avenue and Purdy Avenue in the Meiers Corners section of the borough.

Investigators said Kim was driving a Toyota Sienna minivan at about 10:30 p.m. when he struck 89-year-old Anastasia Diaz as she was crossing Bradley Avenue in the crosswalk.  Diaz, who had been returning from an Easter vigil, died of her injuries.

Police said Kim, now 76, did not stop after the accident and continued driving toward Victory Boulevard.

With the help of surveillance footage gathered from several cameras, police were able to apprehend Kim three days after the crash.

Prosecutors said he had gone to a body shop in New Jersey the day after the incident to have the minivan fixed. Defense attorneys said Kim did not know that he had hit anyone, and went to the shop to have a side mirror repaired.

The indictment against Kim included a felony count of tampering with physical evidence, but he pleaded guilty to the top charge of leaving the scene.

As part of the guilty plea, Kim will be sentenced to five years probation, will be ordered to pay a $5,000 fine, and will have his driver’s license permanently suspended.

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