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By Sarina Trangle

A man died Thursday night when a van backing out of a driveway in Maspeth struck him, police said.

The New York Police Department said a man who appeared to be in his 50s was hit by a 2008 Ford Econoline van which was pulling out of driveway near 72-40 60th Lane. The pedestrian fell to the pavement and was run over by the rear wheel on the driver’s side of the van, according to the NYPD.

Officers arriving at the scene said the victim was unresponsive. He was rushed to Elmhurst Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The NYPD has not yet identified the victim.

Officers issued the 25-year-old man driving the van a summons for unsafe backing. Police said he passed a sobriety test and possessed a valid driver’s license.

Hector and Leticia Bruno said they had just fallen asleep when sirens sounded. The couple said the victim’s body was no longer in the street, but their neighborhood was flooded with firefighters, detectives and other emergency personnel.

“We saw the Fire Department actually spraying away the blood, washing it off the street,” Hector Bruno said.

Cars speeding around the bend from where 60th Lane and 61st Road meet have worried the couple for years. In his dozen years on the block, Hector Bruno said he has counted two to three accidents a year near 72-40 60th Lane.

He approached Community Board 5 about turning 60th Lane into a one-way street or installing speed bumps nearby about two years ago. He said the proposal never went anywhere.

“In the summertime, all the kids are out here playing and you’ll hear the breaks screeching when the cars come by,” he said. “It’s very dangerous.”

As of Friday, the NYPD’s Highway Patrol Collision Investigation Squad was still investigating the accident.

Reach reporter Sarina Trangle at 718-260-4546 or by e-mail at strangle@cnglocal.com.

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