On Tuesday, November 6, 2012, at approximately 2:15 PM, a National Guard truck carrying Guard members involved in Hurricane Sandy relief efforts struck and killed 82-year-old Queens resident Kwok Fu on Canal Street in Chinatown.
Kwok Fu suffered “severe body trauma” from the impact, and was pronounced dead at New York Downtown Hospital shortly after the accident, which occurred around 1:25 p.m. near the intersection with Centre Street.
“They were conducting a resupply mission when this unfortunate accident occurred,” said Eric Durr, a spokesman for the National Guard. He said the vehicle belonged to the 369th Sustainment Brigade, based out of the Harlem armory, and was part of a convoy.
The police said the truck, a personnel carrier, was traveling west on Canal Street when it struck the man, who was crossing Canal from north to south. It was not clear whether the man or the truck’s driver was disobeying a traffic signal; no summons was immediately issued and the police said the investigation was continuing. The driver was not publicly identified.
Mr. Durr said the convoy had been involved in carting supplies and was en route to the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center to pick up items donated by Wal-Mart and then take them to a relief staging area at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn for distribution.
“There was a police escort in front,” Mr. Durr said. “The truck that struck the gentleman was the last vehicle in the convoy.”
He added, “Apparently, the gentleman stepped off into traffic.”
However, eyewitness accounts state that the convoy was traveling at an unsafe speed in excess of 30 miles per hour, and ran the red light on the intersection, as well as the red light at the prior intersection.
We are grateful to New York's National Guard for their help as we recover from the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Still, the driver who ran over and killed Kwok Fu must be held responsible for his actions.
We, the undersigned, urge both the Army and the New York Police Department to fully investigate Kwok Fu's death, and to hold the driver of the National Guard truck responsible through military court martial and the extent of law. Wearing a uniform and serving one's country should not excuse one from liability for causing the death of an innocent civilian.