A man sitting on his walker killed by a Queens hit-and-run driver trying to run down a woman she was feuding with was mourned Sunday by his stunned roommate.
Victim Milton Storch was just a couple blocks from his Far Rockaway home when he was run down sitting on his walker on the sidewalk outside the deli he frequented at about 7:15 a.m. Saturday. He never returned home that night, instead dying at St. John’s Hospital.
Storch, 59, lived just blocks from where he was killed. His roommate began to feel as if something was wrong when he didn’t come home.
“I thought he was at a friend’s house,” Storch’s roommate, Jose Rodriguez, said Sunday. “I got up in the night and saw the room door open, and I was like, ‘Why is he not here?’ He hangs out during the day, but nighttime he comes home because he can’t see that well during the night.”
Storch had a buildup of fat in his leg, which left him with limited mobility and unable to work.
“I thought he was with his girlfriend or something, so I didn’t worry that much,” Rodriguez said. “When I found out what happened, then that’s when I stood frozen.”
Storch was hanging out outside the deli on Beach 20th St. near New Haven Ave. when two women, 27 and 26, got into an argument at about 7:20 p.m., police said.
The older woman, along with a passenger, got into her Honda sedan and vaulted the sidewalk, aiming at the younger woman, police said.
Surveillance video shows bystanders scatter, but Storch remained helplessly seated on his walker.
The doomed man watched as others ran — including the woman’s target, who ducked into the deli.
“There’s not much he could’ve done — couldn’t move fast,” said Tatiyana Temple, who lives near the deli. “I watched the video so many times today, and I’m just like, this is crazy.”
After fatally striking Storch, the driver put the car into reverse and struck a 37-year-old man walking behind her, police said.
“I was in the back. I just heard a loud thud,” said a man who was working inside the deli. “The car got on the sidewalk, and the guy got hit.”
The driver took off, but the woman she was aiming for identified her to police, sources said. She was still being sought Sunday, and her name has not been released.
Medics rushed both men to St. John’s Hospital.
Storch suffered critical head injuries and could not be saved. The younger man had minor back injuries and is expected to recover, cops said.
“That fight is so drastic that you feel you had to mow people down?” asked neighbor Marsha Green. “I hope they catch her. I hope!”
Neighbors often saw Storch pushing his walker to the deli, where he would stop every morning to pick up candy and mini cakes.
“He’s a nice pleasant guy, respectful. He’s always outside in the front minding his business, said Temple, 23. “I just seen him two days before that happened. I always greet him every time I see him.”
Storch and Rodriguez lived with each other for about a year.
“I was shocked. I couldn’t believe that happened,” Rodriguez said. “I thought he was going to go catch the bus. He would come and go.”
Storch had a sister who Rodriguez had never met.
Neighbors set up a small memorial in honor of Storch outside the deli Sunday.
“People are just crazy and evil. Like what in your mind tells you to get in your car and run someone over?” Temple said. “You have to be that emotional and irrational to do that. People are just crazy.”