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Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf is a New York Plaintiff's personal injury law firm specializing in automobile accidents, construction accidents, medical malpractice, products liability, police misconduct and all types of New York personal injury litigation.
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lithium-battery-can-be-deadly-2An e-bike battery explosion caused a deadly fire in Harlem, NYC, inside NYCHA’s Jackie Robinson Houses.

5 year old Erika Williams was sleeping in a an apartment with her dad Erik Williams and his 36 year old girlfriend Chanise Anderson when a little after 2:30 am on Wednesday morning, the lithium battery of an e-bike stored next to the apartment entrance door exploded and created a fire.

The fire and heavy smoke prevented the toddler and the girlfriend to escape while the father covered in flames ran into the hallway screaming for help. He is still in the hospital in critical condition. The 5 year old girl and the girlfriend both died. 3 dogs also died in the fire.

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Sherman-Avenue-were-the-deadly-crash-occuredTwo pedestrians are dead, and 5 car occupants are seriously injured including 3 in critical condition after two cars crashed on dangerous Sherman Avenue in Inwood. The accident occurred on Wednsday early morning around 4:00 am on Sherman Avenue near the intersection of West 207th Street. 31 year old Joel Adames from Manhattan and 40 year old David Fernandez from the Bronx were walking on the sidewalk of Sherman Avenue when two cars collided and one of them jumped the curb and fatally struck the two men. Fernandez was a beloved local barber and both friends had just left the barber shop location and were walking on the sidewalk when the accident occurred.

A total of 5 occupants were in the BMW and the Subaru, when the BMW driver who was travelling North on Sherman Avenue veered onto the Southbound lane and collided with the Subaru that was travelling South. The Subaru then jumped the curb and killed the two pedestrians.  The 3 occupants of the Subaru were critically injured and rushed to the hospital. Two other people who were car occupants were also injured.

Sherman Avenue is a dangerous speedway where crashes are common

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Traffic fatalities on the rise in the Bronx NYCAn 18 year old man was critically injured in an e-bike accident in the Bronx, NYC. The accident occurred on Saturday morning on Schley Avenue near the Throggs Neck Houses NYCHA complex. The young man who was was riding his e-bike on the sidewalk changed paths and moved onto the roadway when he got side-swiped by the SUV.  He was rushed to the hospital in critical condition where he is still struggling for his life. The driver stayed at the scene of the accident. He was questioned by the police and was not charged. (reads more in AMNY)

Micro-mobility device users need to be better protected in the Bronx

While the police do not suspect any criminality, the accident  clearly highlights that infrastructures protecting cyclists and pedestrians alike are still missing in the Bronx, especially in family housing areas where it is expected that young people are riding their bikes around.  Compared to Manhattan and Queens where 75% of the protected bike lanes are installed in the city, only 6% of the bike lanes are installed in the Bronx, even though an equal percentage of residents use micro-mobility devices in every borough. Every New Yorker should be equally protected while they ride their bike, e-bike or e-scooter.

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speed cameras to reduce crashes in NYCIn an effort to reduce car accident fatalities and serious injuries in New York City,  more than 2000 speed cameras located in 750 school zones throughout the 5 boroughs of New York City will be turned on 24/7 365 days a year, starting August 1st, 2022.

Speed cameras that used to be turned on weekdays from 6:00 am to 10:00 am have proven to be one of the most effective ways to reduce speeding in the city. Statistics from the NYC DOT show that speeding was reduced by more than 70% at locations where speed cameras were installed.

With many dangerous crashes caused by speeding occurring at night time and during week-ends, the DOT strongly believes that the new speed camera schedule will help curb these type of crashes.

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Location of the deadly CitiBike accidentA 28 year old woman riding a CitiBike was fatally struck by a tractor-trailer truck in New York.

The fatal collision between the truck and the cyclist occurred last Tuesday around 10:50 AM. 28 year old Carling Mott who lived a few blocks away, in Yorkville, on 84th Street, was riding a CitiBike on East 85th Street near the intersection of Madison Avenue when she was struck by a tractor trailer going in the same direction. The police initially stated she was riding in the opposite direction but corrected their statement later on.  Just before the accident the tractor trailer was waiting for the light to turn green and Carling was riding her bike on the right side of the truck when the driver took off (see video). The investigation is still ongoing as how exactly the accident took place . According to a recent article in the patch, Mott might have felt and gotten crushed by the truck as the light turned green and the driver moved forward. She was rushed to the hospital but she could not be saved.

https://vimeo.com/734040568

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McCarren Park PoolA five year old boy was seriously injured after he nearly drowned at a NYC pool and witnesses are pointing fingers at the lifeguards who remained seated on their chairs while a good Samaritan dove in the pool and saved the child.

The accident occurred last Sunday at the McCarren Park Pool in Brooklyn. 37 year old Anthony Torres, a former lifeguard, was enjoying the day at the pool with his family. He was swimming with his sister when he heard a lady  screaming about a child drowning.  He saw the child lying at the bottom of the pool and  immediately dove to pick up the child. As he got the young boy out, he started to scream for help but instead of running to the rescue, lifeguards just stayed seated on their chairs staring at him and not one of them would come down. Anthony took the child out of the water and  went to the deck where he put him on the side position in order for the child to be able to evacuate the water out of his body. As water started to pour out of the nose and the mouth of the child, a guard finally arrived and started to perform CPR on the child.

The boy was unconscious and it took at least 3 minutes until he opened his eyes and started to breath normally again. More lifeguards then arrived as well as the police and instead of thanking Anthony Torres for his help, they acted very aggressively toward him and pushed him away, telling him to go home and pretending they were the ones who saved the boy. (see video of  witness testimony in the Daily Mail).

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52 pedestrians, 5 cyclists, 27 passengers and 29 motor vehicle operators died in crashes in New York City during the first semester of 2022 compared to respectively 58, 5, 16 and 39 during the first 6 months of 2021.  The total number of fatalities comes to 113  for the period under review compared to 118 for the same period a year earlier. While the total number of crash fatalities slightly declined for the first six months of 2022 compared to the first six months of 2021, it remains much higher than any other years since Vision Zero started. Pedestrian fatalities slightly declined, cyclists fatalities remained stable and while drivers fatalities were less, passenger deaths hit a record high.

car accident deaths New York semester 1 2022
Crash injuries in New York City during the first semester increased from 22,898 in 2021 to 23,963 in 2022. While the increase is significant it remains below the number of injuries reported before the covid19 crisis. Pedestrian injuries went up from 3,128 to 4,005 as well as passenger injuries from 5,492 to 7,361. Cyclist injuries declined from 2,303 to 2,027 and driver injuries as well from 10,975 to 10,570.

NYC crash injuries sem 1 2022

New York Pedestrian fatalities remain above 50 during the first six months of the year

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Forsyth and Houston where the fatal hit and run crash occurred21 year old Andy Eduardo Gil was killed in a hit and run accident in Manhattan. The accident occurred on Houston Street at the intersection of Forsyth Street just one block away from where NYU student Raife Miligan was killed by a drunk driver  in May (see previous blog) and a few blocks away from where another hit and run driver killed 23 year old Borkot Ullah, a delivery cyclist in 2021. According to workers who were able to see a video surveillance of the accident, the car was speeding when the driver hit the pedestrian who was in the crosswalk.

According to a recent article in Transportation Alternatives, speeding is quite common on Houston Street. The speeding camera installed at the intersection of East Houston and Avenue C issued 18,870 tickets in the fiscal year of 2021 which is the equivalent of a ticket every 13 minutes of operations which is 6:00 am to 10:00 pm during weekdays only until August 1st. Starting August 1st speed cameras will be turned on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in the city and hopefully will deter drivers speeding at night or during the week-end.

Houston Street is a very dangerous corridor of downtown Manhattan and Transportation Alternatives mentions that it was redesigned and the width of the travel lanes were enlarged which resulted in increased speeding.  The city promised in late 2020 to install “enhanced crossing” for pedestrians but so far nothing has been done.

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leg crushed in car accidentA FDNY firefighter was seriously injured while trying to rescue victims of a car crash in Manhattan during which the driver of a black BMW with “Medical Doctor” plates drove over the side of a white SUV.

On Sunday afternoon, around 3:20 pm. Matthew Wahn and his wife Randy from Bayside, Queens were on their way to grab some food in downtown Manhattan. As they were sitting  in their SUV, waiting at the red light at the intersection of West 42nd Street and 11th Avenue,  a black BMW literally drove  up on the side of their car.  Miraculously the couple was not injured and was able to exit their car. However firefighters had to be called to the  to free the occupants of the BMW and one them got seriously injured during the rescue.

The injured firefighter is Ryan Warnock who, just a week before, found the little boy under the boat that capsized in the Hudson River

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where the bike lane ends on Centers StreetThe bike lane that exits on the Brooklyn Bridge and heads north on Center Street abruptly stops at the intersection of Worth Street and puts riders at high risks of  dangerous bicycle accidents. The area is so dangerous that cyclists commuting regularly through this road nicknamed it  “The Sluice” because crossing it is like entering an abattoir.

Not only the bike lane abruptly stops but also busy Court Houses located on both sides of the street, add to the chaos. The curbsides lanes are filled with placarded law enforcement and court cars and car services and taxis are constantly double parking, even sometime triple parking to drop customers going to court. Even experienced cyclists navigating this area are at high risk of  getting injured in accidents and the many tourists taking a ride of the famous New York City landmark  even more.

The DOT is well aware of the situation and a plan to end “the Sluice” was presented to Community Board 2 last March. This morning, an article in Street Blog confirms that  work has indeed started to continue the actual Center Street bike lane North of Worth and up to Kenmare Street.  The new protected bike lane will also help cyclists cross another high risk accident area around Canal Street.