Woman seriously injured by van on Fifth Avenue

Police respond to the scene of the accident at Fifth Avenue and 21st Street. (Photo by Dan Orlando)

Police respond to the scene of the accident at Fifth Avenue and 21st Street. (Photo by Dan Orlando)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

A 51-year-old woman is in serious condition after a van hit her while she was crossing Fifth Avenue near 21st Street on Monday morning. A spokesperson for the FDNY said that the call about the incident came in at 8:48 a.m. and the victim was taken to Bellevue Hospital. No further information about her condition was made available.

Police said that the victim was crossing the avenue when she was struck by the driver, who was turning left from 21st Street, and it was unclear if she was in the crosswalk at the time of the collision.

According to Gothamist, the driver remained on the scene. Police said that the driver has not been charged.

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Biden takes aim at rape kit backlog

(L-R) “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” Actress Mariska Hargitay, United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Vice President Joe Biden at a press conference at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner to discuss grants that would reduce the backlog of untested rape kits. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

(L-R) “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” Actress Mariska Hargitay, United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Vice President Joe Biden at a press conference at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner to discuss grants that would reduce the backlog of untested rape kits. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Vice President Joe Biden and US Attorney General Loretta Lynch joined Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance last Thursday to announce $38 million in grants that will be going to states across the country to eliminate the backlog of untested rape kits.

The announcement about the grant money, which came from an initiative by the Manhattan DA’s office, was made at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner on First Avenue and East 26th Street last Thursday. There, Biden and Lynch also took the opportunity to announce the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance’s separate but complementary grant program that awards $41 million in federal funding for the testing of sexual assault kits, for a total of $80 million in funding to address the national rape kit backlog.

The initiative from the Manhattan District Attorney’s office awarded grants to 32 jurisdictions in 20 states to test an estimated 56,475 rape kits and the initiative from BJA, known as the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (“SAKI”) Grant Program, is expected to test about 13,500 sexual assault kits in 20 jurisdictions.

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