Photo: Andrés Correa Guatarasma / Courtesy
Raife Milligan, a 21-year-old New York University (NYU) student, died while hospitalized after being hit by a drunk driver in Manhattan’s East Village.
Milligan was crossing E. Houston St. near First Ave. around 2:45 a.m. Monday when he was struck by a luxurious sports car Chevrolet Camaro hosted by Michael de Guzmán, a resident of Queens, the police said.
The young Jasper, Indiana native was studying biochemistry at NYU and he dreamed of becoming a doctor. He suffered a massive head injury on impact. He was rushed to Bellevue Hospital, where he died the next day, the NYPD reported yesterday.
After hitting Milligan, De Guzman collided with a Honda CR-V driven by a 52-year-old man. Both drivers, as well as two passengers, were taken to Bellevue Hospital, along with the young pedestrian.
Police charged de Guzmán with drunk driving and vehicular assault. He was released without bail after a brief arraignment. Neither charge was eligible for bail, authorities said, reported DailyNews.
According to the traffic safety advocacy group “Transportation Alternatives,” Milligan was the sixth person to be killed in New York in just three daysincluding a 16-year-old girl as she left her home in the Bronx on Tuesday.
Last week there was also a tragic streak in NYC at an average of one person killed by a run over every day. So far this year, 74 people have been killed in the city.
In addition to gun violence, traffic accidents are another big challenge for the new mayor, Eric Adams, after a disastrous legacy from his predecessor, Bill De Blasio. New York City has experienced a 35% increase in traffic accidents so far this year, stated NYPD in mid-April.
“Raife was one in a million. Brilliant beyond her years,” family friend Donna Begle wrote on a GoFundMe page seeking donations to cover the victim’s funeral. “To say that he will be missed is an understatement. He impacted so many lives in a positive way.”
When he wasn’t studying, Milligan delivered food to the elderly. She also had a passion for playing volleyball. “He loved his family with all his heart,” Begle added.