Our Town Pedestrian hit, killed on York by LAURA HANRAHAN
A longtime Upper East Side market manager was struck and killed by a yellow cab as he crossed York Avenue and 78th Street Saturday night, the second such fatal incident at that intersection in 15 months.
Manikkam Srymanean, 50, was crossing York when he was hit about 9:30 p.m., police said. He presumably had just left the Super-Del Market, on the east side of the avenue just north of 78th Street, where he had worked for 30 years.
Srymanean was taken to NewYork-Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead shortly afterward. The cab driver, who remained at the scene, was not arrested. Police did not say if he was cited. The NYPD Highway Collision Investigation Squad is investigating.
Srymanean, who lived nearby on East 78th Street, was well-known in the community. On Sunday and Monday, friends and acquaintances gathered in front of the market, where a growing, makeshift memorial of bouquets of flowers, signs and notes had assembled since Saturday night. The market was closed Sunday.
Known to residents as “Mano,” Srymanean was described as kind and generous. Notes on the market windows read, “A great man with a generous heart, Mano was a friend to all and loved by Yorkville,” and “Mano: You will always be in our hearts” were stuck to the windows.
He was recalled at Sunday Mass at nearby St. Monica’s Church, and Karyn Delay, an Upper East Side resident, started a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for Srymanean’s family.
“He was truly a wonderful human being,” she said.
The York Avenue corridor, particularly in the 70s, is notorious for the number of pedestrians and motor-vehicle incidents that happen there.
In January 2016, a Fort Lee, N.J., woman who was a regular customer at the Super-Del Market was struck and killed at York and 78th.
According to Vision Zero data, there have been 281 incidents along York from East 69th and East 82nd Street since 2009.
Council Member Ben Kallos said his office is working with police to increase oversight of that stretch of York.
Kallos said his office worked to eliminate asymmetric lights at East 79th Street and York, and recently installed leading pedestrian intervals at the intersection where the collision took place, which allow pedestrians to enter the intersection before vehicles.
“I think the key thing here is following this collision and others, we are working closely with the Department of Transportation and the 19th precinct to identify exactly what went wrong here and what we can do to keep it from happening again,” Kallos said. “We hope to work with P.S. 158 and the children there, who all had a strong relationship with the victim, to do a survey to reignite our 2014 survey of dangerous intersections and identify which places still need additional attention.”
In a statement, Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright said her office “will continue” to work with the city’s Department of Transportation and the 19th Precinct to improve safety.
“This is the second fatality that occurred at this intersection within the past 15 months,” Seawright said. “This is unacceptable and the safety of our streets is not something on which any community can compromise.”
Lily Haight contributed to this report.