Private Project

Killed By Auto: The Ephemeral Life of Guler Ugur and the Ubiquity of Vehicular Violence

On December 31, 2014, photographer Güler Ugur was fatally struck by an unlicensed hit-and-run driver. Director/Producer Derek Steven Rose utilized information attained during the prosecution and combined it with interviews among the friends and family of the victim. The film compares this crime with numerous other incidents of traffic violence in and around New York City.

  • Derek Steven Rose
  • Derek Steven Rose
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 29 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    October 23, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    5,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English, German
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Derek Steven Rose

Derek Steven Rose earned a degree in Cinema & Photography from Ithaca College in 1994. As a full-time video producer since 2008, he recently completed his first feature-length documentary, "Killed By Auto: The Ephemeral Life of Guler Ugur and the Ubiquity of Vehicular Violence".

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Director Statement

Approximately 1.24 million people are killed by automobiles every year. During the year 2014, there were 32,625 automobile fatalities in the United States. 269 of those were killed in New York City. This film explores the life and death of the last New Yorker who was "killed by auto" that year.

Guler Ugur was fatally struck by an unlicensed hit-and-run driver on December 31, 2014. She was a friend and personal colleague of filmmaker Derek Steven Rose. He documented the immediate aftermath of this crime, interviewing families and friends of victim, as well as numerous others who lost loved ones due to traffic violence.

Rose brings an inside view of how the criminal justice system approaches traffic violence. He was a leading voice in communicating with the prosecuting attorney for this case, and he also attended every single court hearing of the defendant. On October 17, 2016, he read an impact statement from the victim's family to the court during the sentencing of the convicted driver.

"Accidents" are often used to described incidents where illegal and/or irresponsible behavior has a direct result in human carnage. Sadly, the laws in place regarding automobile deaths are often lax or unenforced. With this film, perhaps that will change.