A man killed in Brooklyn when a runaway unlicensed driver ran a red light and obliterated the victim’s truck, also killing a pedestrian, was an immigrant from Bulgaria who drove for Uber and loved to travel.
Stancho Stanchev, 51, probably never saw the Toyota Camry coming before he ran a red light in Bensonhurst and crashed into his Honda CR-V, his devastated family said.
The chain-reaction crash caught on camera sent Stanchev’s SUV spinning like a top at 18th Ave. and 64th St., where it fatally struck a 60-year-old pedestrian before leaving Stanchev dead behind the wheel. The pedestrian’s name has not been released.
Stanchev’s stepson, Rezo Bunturi, 26, said the accident destroyed his family.
“I want justice done,” Bunturi said. “I eat directly. Since he destroyed my family, I can’t say I wish him the same, I don’t want to wish ill on anyone, but he fucked up my life. There is nothing to tell him. What is going to change? He already screwed up my life.”
Stanchev had his wife with him in the van and was not driving for Uber at the time. His wife was hospitalized in stable condition.
Police charged Vitaliy Konoplyov, 49, with manslaughter and aggravated operation without a license.
“I really hope he realizes what he’s done and wrestles with it,” Bunturi said.
Konoplyov was heading south on 18th Avenue when he ran a steady red light on 64th Street around 12:45 p.m. Monday and collided with Bunturi’s truck heading east on 64th Street, knocking him which set off a deadly chain reaction, police said. The accident left five survivors hospitalized.
Konoplyov was not seriously injured and remained at the scene before being taken into custody.
Rezo was working in an immigration court where she is a law clerk to a judge when she learned of the accident.
“I got a call: ‘Your mom is in the hospital. Maybe you should come,’ and I just went,” Bunturi said.
Doctors at NYU Langone Hospital-Brooklyn told him that his stepfather did not survive, and he told his mother.
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“It was tough,” Bunturi said.
Bunturi’s mother, Tina Lomsadze, immigrated to the US from Tbilisi, Georgia, about 20 years ago. Bunturi stayed in Georgia and was raised by his grandparents.
While in the US, Lomsadze met her husband Stanchev, who was an immigrant from Sofia, Bulgaria.
“I love him like a father,” Bunturi said. “I never had a father.”
He said his parents lived to travel.
“We had a lot of dinners, sometimes we would go to a restaurant,” Bunturi said. “My mom and Stan sometimes traveled. They had something planned for the next week. They usually go to the old towns. Now I don’t have the opportunity to travel with them. I always thought I would have the chance to do it.”