03/23/2001

NY man, 81, hit by police car, dies of head injuries

By Richard Weir Daily News Staff Writer
March 21, 2001, Wednesday Sports Final Edition Copyright 2001 Daily News, L.P.
Daily News (New York)
March 21, 2001, Wednesday Sports Final Edition

(NEW YORK) - An 81-year-old man died yesterday in the Bronx after being struck by a police cruiser that was responding to an accident, police said. William Davila was brushed by the passenger side of the 43rd Precinct patrol car as he tried to cross Westchester Ave. near Stratford Ave. in the Bronx River section about noon, said Sgt. Richard Kemmler, a police spokesman. Davila, of the Bronx, fell to the ground. He died of head injuries at Jacobi Medical Center shortly afterward, Kemmler said.

"He spun around and hit his head on a manhole cover," Kemmler said. "It's an unfortunate accident."

Kemmler said the patrol car was en route to Westchester and Manor Aves. a block away, where a tractor-trailer had gotten wedged under the elevated subways tracks.

With traffic backed up, the westbound patrol car was driving in the eastbound lane when it hit Davila, he said.

Davila, who was blind in his left eye, had stepped from between a stopped bus and car and was struck by the police car, cops said.

"There was no misconduct on the part of the police. They were not traveling at an excessive rate of speed, and their lights and siren were activated," Kemmler said.

James Davila, 56, said his uncle, a retired Wall Street building worker, usually took a midday jaunt to a local OTB parlor to play the horses and grab lunch.

William Davila was a bright man who read six to seven newspapers a day in English and Spanish, his nephew said.

He added that his uncle had deep gashes on his head and he questioned the police account, saying witnesses told him that his uncle "was airborne."

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