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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.

Articles Posted in Auto Accidents

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Two years ago one of our clients, actress Ruthie Ann Miles and her five year old daughter were struck by a reckless driver as they were crossing the street in the crosswalk with the light in their favor. The daughter was killed and the actress who was pregnant at the time of the accident, later on lost the baby she was carrying. Another 1 year old child was also killed in the accident. The driver, Dorothy Burns, had a history of reckless driving. In the year preceding the accident she was caught 4 times speeding in school zone areas and 4 other times running a red light.

Despite the many Vision Zero Initiatives implemented since 2014, the number of people dying in traffic accidents increased again last year after 4 years of decline. Many accidents were caused by reckless driving.

In an effort to address this problem, the City Council is about to adopt a new program that targets reckless drivers. The reckless driving initiative is expected to start as a 3 years pilot. During that time any owner of a vehicle that is charged with 5 red light camera violations or 15 speed camera violations in a year will have to complete a safety course developed by the DOT. If a reckless driver refuses to attend the safety course his vehicle may be seized.

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location of the pedestrian accident in NYCA pedestrian died after being rolled over by a car backing out of a driveway in NYC. The accident occurred at 30-23 69th Street in Jackson Heights, Queens around 6:15 pm on February 2nd. The driver of a Honda backed out of his driveway, struck a 57 year old man who was standing on the sidewalk and rolled over him.  The man was rushed to the hospital but he could not be saved. His identity was not released by the police. The victim is the first pedestrian to die in a car accident in February 2020. Last month 14 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents in New York City: 5 in Brooklyn, 5 in Queens, 2 in the Bronx and 2 in Manhattan.

The driver whose identity wasn’t released either, stayed at the scene of the accident and was not charged.

Drivers must exercise due care while backing out of a driveway especially when it is dark outside

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Reckless driving caused two people to die in separate car accidents in the New York area at the end of last week.

In the first accident, 39 year old Lisettte Quintanilla was driving home with her 8-year-old son when they were rear ended by a speeding drunk driver identified as 26-year-old Nicole Pollock. The accident occurred a little bit after midnight on Sunday morning. Quintanilla was driving on the Meadowbrook State Parkway. She was in the northbound lane just after exit M7 when Pollock rear ended her, causing the car to leave the road and crash into a tree. Quintanilla was rushed to the hospital where she died. Her 8-year-old son suffered a broken arm.

Pollok first tried to walk  away from the scene of the accident when the police was attending to the victims. She then resisted arrest, fought with the police and tried to slip out of her handcuffs. She was charged with vehicular manslaughter, DWI and assault. When she appeared in front of the judge yesterday she pleaded not guilty to the charges. The judge deemed her a flight risk and ordered her held in jail instead of a $200,000 bond.

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was-it-worth-itLast year 28 cyclists died in traffic accidents in New York City and more than half of them were killed by trucks  and SUVs. Most of the time the driver was a man.

Last Friday, the DOT announced that it invested 4 million in a new campaign targeting men driving trucks and SUVs. The “Was it Worth it?” campaign depicts images of pedestrian and bicycle accidents with a male driver in shock and the message “Was it worth it?” in various languages. Additional audio campaigns will also be run in English, Spanish, and Haitian Creole on several local radio stations during commuting time.

Since Mayor de Blasio launched Vision Zero in 2014, traffic fatalities decreased over the years except for last year. 203 people died in car accidents in 2019. More than half of them were pedestrians. On average over the last few years, men were found to be responsible for 75% of the fatalities with 41% of them driving a truck or a SUV.

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A 91 year old pedestrian died in a car accident in New York last Saturday morning. The elderly man was crossing Canal Street at the intersection of Elizabeth Street around 6:30 am when he was struck by a car belonging to the NYC Sanitation Department.

The man was rushed to the hospital in critical condition with trauma all over his body. He later on died from his injuries.

The 61 year old sanitation worker who was driving the car stayed at the scene of the accident and was not charged.

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aerial-view-of-the-Grand-Central-Parkway-and-Cross-Island-Parkway-exit3 people died and one person was seriously injured in a wrong-way car accident in Queens, NYC. The accident took place on Saturday morning around 5:40 am. 27 year old Divante New was driving the car of 36 year old Sayquan Hallums who was in the passenger seat. They were driving the wrong way on the Grand Central Parkway near the Cross Island Parkway exit in Queens when they crashed into another car. 26 year old Megan Ann Smith who was in the passenger seat was killed. Her boyfriend who was driving the car was critically injured. The police didn’t release his identity. Megan Ann Smith graduated in 2011 from St. John’s Preparatory School in Astoria, Queens. She was an an honor student and a member of the softball team. Her family declined to talk to the media.

Foggy windshield might have play a role in the deadly accident

According to the brother of Sayquan, the Honda car driven by Divante had an old defective windshield that would fog up easily. He said that when the heat was up inside the car the old windshield would fog up so badly that only Sayquan was able to drive the car.

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A NYPD cop in plainclothes was injured in a hit and run car accident in New York on Monday.

The accident occurred around 7:45 pm. Two undercover officers in a disguised Uber car stopped the driver of a Mercedes who ran a red light on East Houston Street.   The two officers were outside of their car talking to the driver of the Mercedes when a speeding black minivan driver lost control of his vehicle and rear-ended the fake Uber car belonging to the Police. One of the officers got pinned between the Mercedes and his car and the other one fell on the ground but wasn’t hurt. The driver of the Mercedes wasn’t hurt either. He was also out of his car but had time to to jump on the side to avoid  being stuck between the two vehicles. The driver of the minivan pulled away and took off. He was arrested 3 blocks away from the accident and taken into custody. The officer who was injured suffered a fractured leg and was taken to the hospital.

 

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Third-avenueTo reduce pedestrian and cyclist fatalities caused by cars and trucks on two of the busiest and most dangerous avenues in Brooklyn, the NYC DOT announced that the maximum speed limit was lowered from 30 mph to 25 mph. New signs are up and speed cameras have been re-calibrated on Third Ave and Hamilton Avenue in Brooklyn. The DOT decided to take action after 6 people including 3 cyclists and 3 pedestrians died in traffic accidents on Third Avenue last year. Two of them were killed in the same week in December.

The area around Third avenue and Hamilton Avenue has been changing a lot in the past years with more and more residential properties being developed. However there are still a lot of trucks coming in and out of the Gowanus, making the area particularly dangerous.

Half of the 2019 fatalities involved trucks

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6675222117_3499f967c4_3k29 cyclists and 122 pedestrians were among the 219 victims who died in traffic accidents in New York City last year. The yearly number of traffic fatalities in the city increased last year for the first time since Vision Zero was launched in 2014. The year earlier, in 2018, 203 people died in NYC motor vehicle accidents.

Brooklyn had the highest number of fatalities with 74 victims including 18 cyclists and 34 pedestrians. 64 people died in vehicle crashes occurring in Queens. 41 auto accident deaths were recorded in Manhattan, 27 in the Bronx and 6 in Staten Island.  According to  Streetblog, reckless driving remains the main cause of fatal crashes but drivers are rarely charged. It is often difficult to understand why some drivers are charged when others are let off the hook. Among the 148 drivers who killed a pedestrian or a cyclist 76 were not charged. In a tribute to those who have passed in NYC auto accidents, Street Blog listed all the accidents by months with the name of the victims if released, a description of the accident and if the driver was charged or not.

A summary of pedestrian and cyclists fatalities in 2019 by month

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Lexus-IS-300 A pedestrian who was standing between two parked cars was crushed to death by one of the car after it was remotely started by its owner. 21 year old Michael Kosanovich was standing between two parked Lexus cars on 148th Street in South Jamaica, Queens, NYC,  Friday night around 10:00 pm when one of them was remotely started by its owner and started to roll forward. Kosanovich was pinned between the Lexus and the other car. Bystanders ran to the rescue and pushed the car back but then the car moved forward again causing additional trauma to the pedestrian.  He suffered critical injuries and died in the hospital the following day.

A driver should never remotely start a vehicle without being aware of its surroundings

The remote engine starter is a common add-on on Lexus cars. It allows the owner to start the engine from outside the vehicle, to activate the air conditioner, the heater or the defroster before the driver gets in the car. The vehicle is not supposed to move after it is being remotely turned on. However, the user manual specifies the following:   “NEVER remotely start the engine if you are unaware of the circumstances surrounding the vehicle as it may cause a life threatening situation for those located in the vehicle’s vicinity.” The police didn’t release the identity of the owner of the Lexus who hasn’t been charged so far even though failure to exercise due care could probably apply to this case.