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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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Claremont Park where the pedestrian was hit by a car58 year old Cristina Emiliano was hit by a car in the Bronx and sustained life-threatening injuries. The pedestrian was walking her dog Rocco in Claremont Park in Morrisania around 6:50 am on Saturday morning when a car drove on the pedestrian path and struck her. The car driver was identified as  21 year old Becan Floyd. The young man who lives in a shelter nearby, saw the car parked outside of the shelter and stole it for a joy ride.

According to the police, after stealing the car, Floyd first sped down a pedestrian path in the park, then drove on the grass and hit a tree. He then continued to drive and according to the police intentionally struck the woman.

“When she moved over to the side to avoid being in his line of trajectory, he steered his vehicle directly towards her, accelerated his speed, and struck her head on,” Assistant District Attorney Briana Pryce said, adding police officers saw it “with their own eyes.”

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Pennslylvania Blvd and Linden Blvd where the pedestrian was killedAnother pedestrian died in a a car accident in Brooklyn, NYC, early Tuesday morning.  The 62 year old  woman stepped off the curb on Pennsylvania Avenue near the intersection of Linden Boulevard stumbled and fell on the road around 12:58 am. Shortly after a car ran over her and kept going. The police said it was not clear if the driver knew he hit someone. The woman suffered massive traumatic brain injury and died at the scene of the accident.  Located in East New York, Pennsylvania Boulevard is a massive speedway that did not receive the type of Vision Zero safety treatment that can be seen in wealthier areas of New York. (read more in the NY Daily News).

Additionnally on Sunday around 4:00 am a reckless driver totaled his a car and a war monument  in a massive explosion in Brooklyn. The driver of a BMW with a Texas license plate was speeding when he lost control of his vehicle and crashed into the war memorial in the center of Bartel Pritchard Square near Prospect Park.  Two people were in the car, the driver and a 23 year old female passenger. The young woman was injured and transported to the hospital while the driver refused medical attention.  It is difficult to understand why the driver of this car was still allowed to drive. The license plates show that the car had 145 violations since January 14 2021.including 95 speed camera tickets and 25 red light cameras tickets. The car was also issued two dozen parking tickets but was never impounded despite being way above the $350 threshold in unpaid tickets for being towed away.

People are getting killed  and injured in car accidents in New York City at a rate never seen since Vision Zero started in 2014.   NYPD data indicate that between January 1st and March 6 2022 car accident injuries increased by 12.1 % compared to the same period a year earlier. Since the beginning of the year, a total of 6,977 people were injured in car accidents. This indicate that every day, in average, 107 people are injured  in NYC car accidents.

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car accident scene in ManhattanThere are multiple ways to reduce car accident deaths in New York City.  One of the most successful ones has been the implementation of speed cameras and red light cameras in the city and the lowering of the speed limit to 25mph. The camera program as well as the speed limit control are in the hands of the state legislature and governor in Albany and as a result, not only the city of New York has to seek re-authorization for its automated enforcement program every 4 years as Albany still considers them “demonstrations” but also the city has to beg Albany any time it wants to make a change to this program.

As car accident fatalities in New York City are reaching highs never seen since the beginning of Vision Zero,  street safety advocate organization Transportation Alternatives is recommending Albany to:

  • Immediately authorizing home rule for the City of New York to have control over life-saving automated enforcement programs and speed limits.
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location of the two houses destroyed in the crash6 people were injured and two houses were destroyed after a car driver lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a residential building in Staten Island. The driver, identified as 38-year-old Mark Robles, was initially pulled over by the police for a broken brake light. One of the officers said he  saw a crack pipe in the car and the police attempted to get the man out of the car. Robles did not comply and sped away behind the wheels of his 2007 Jeep Patriot and the police started to chase him.

Residents were sleeping when the jeep crashed in their house

The chase took place at 3:30 am on Thursday morning during a rainstorm. Robles sped down on St Pauls Avenue, hit a patch of water, skidded, rotated 360 degrees and ended crashing into two houses located at the intersection of St Pauls and Van Duzer Street. 6 people suffered minor injuries.

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car accidentDespite a significant decline  in the number of average miles driven on American roads during the pandemic, the number of car accident fatalities exploded. While multiple studies found that most fatal car accidents during the pandemic were caused by reckless behaviors such as speeding, drunk driving or drugged driving, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety tried, in a new study to find out the underlying mechanisms leading to this increase in dangerous driving.

In 2020, the foundation collected data from 2,888 drivers who had been driving between October 23rd 2020 and November 23rd 2020.  Drivers were asked if they reduced, increased or did not change their driving habits because of the pandemic. Participants were also asked if over the 30 days under study they had engaged in risky behavior such as talking on a cellphone, texting, emailing, speeding on highways, speeding on residential streets, running red lights, switching lanes aggressively, drowsy driving, driving without a seatbelt, driving after drinking alcohol, driving after using marijuana.

The study found that drivers who reduced the most their driving habits were 50 year old female drivers and the ones who increased the most their driving habits were males 39 year old and younger.  50 year+ females were also the category of drivers that were taking the less risks on the road while 39- males were the category taking the most risks on the road.

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Reckless driving  and speeding caused 6 people to die and several to be injured in multiple car accidents all over the city. On Monday early morning, around 2:00 am, a black BMW landed on the Amtrak tracks below the Henry Hudson parkway around 183rd Street. The driver lost control of the vehicle and went over the barriers of the highway. When the car landed on the tracks it exploded, killing the driver and the passenger. The police was seen at the scene investigating the accident while Amtrak published a service advisory signaling delays for the trains travelling between Pen Station and Albany.

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Sara-Perez18 year old Sara Perez was fatally struck by a by a 16 year old driver in Queens NYC. The accident occurred last Thursday in front of the Northern Lube and Tire Shop at 106 Northern Boulevard near 107th street.  A video  shows the pedestrian on the sidewalk  waiting for the pick up truck to back out of the garage. After the truck moved out of the way, the young woman proceeded to walk again. As she was doing so, the driver of the pick up truck suddenly reversed into drive, accelerated and crashed into her at a high rate speed. She was crushed against a fence in front of several horrified witnesses. One of them got so upset that he  opened the door of the truck, pulled the driver out and pinned his hand behind his back.

When EMS arrived Sara was unresponsive. She was rushed to the hospital but she could not be saved and was pronounced dead. The young woman was heading home after buying some food for her 10 kittens. She lived just a block away. Sara was fostering stray cats kittens so they could be adopted. She was planning on becoming a veterinarian. She loved animals. The family of Sara set up a gofundme  (picture) to help with the funeral costs and other bills related to the accident.

The driver of the Ford F-150 pickup truck stayed at the scene of the accident. So far he has not been charged or arrested.  It seemed that the young man  backed the car out into the heavy traffic of Northern Boulevard, almost hitting another car, panicked, reversed into drive, pressed the gas and slammed into the pedestrian.

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location of the fatal hit and run accidentLast May, a man behind the wheel of a Rolls Royce fatally struck a pedestrian crossing  Bayard Street at the intersection of McGuiness Boulevard and sped away. The pedestrian was 58 year old Matthew  Jensen. He was a beloved teacher at PS 110 and the Greenpoint community was very moved by his death. After the accident (see previous blog). 

The negligent driver is a 30 year old FDNY EMT

The NYPD announced yesterday that they identified the hit-and-run driver as Tariq Witherspoon, a 30 year old FDNY EMT. They arrested him and charged him with speeding, reckless endangerment, leaving the scene of an accident and criminally negligent homicide.

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college point boulevard where the cyclist was struckOn June 4 2021, 16 year old Darwin Durazno died in a bicycle accident in Queens, NYC. The driver never stopped and Darwin was rushed to the hospital in critical condition. He died from his injuries 3 days later.  According to the police report, Darwin was riding his bicycle southbound on College Point Boulevard near 18th Avenue  when the driver of a Toyota Camry swerved into the ongoing traffic lane and crashed head-on into the bicyclist.  He then sped off leaving Darwin lying in the street with severe head trauma.

Witnesses of the accident were able to provide a detailed description of the car and of the driver, a male in his 20-30 as well as what the driver was wearing. The police found that the car was a rental from Enterprise that the driver left a block away from the accident scene before fleeing on foot.

It took 8 more months for the police to establish that the driver who killed Darwin was 27 year old Christian Soriano, a Corona resident. Soriano was arrested last week and was charged with driving without a license, leaving the scene of an accident and criminally negligent homicide.  (Read more in StreetBlog)

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dangerous intersection of Cypress and CooperReckless driving in New York City continues and another pedestrian died in a horrific car accident last Saturday night in Queens. A video posted on Twitter (see below) shows the pedestrian crossing in front of a white SUV who did not yield to him and knocked him down on the ground. Then the driver of a black SUV whose car was so tall that he probably did not see the pedestrian lying on the ground, rolled over him and dragged him under his car for a few feet.  The 57 year old pedestrian was still breathing when the EMS rescued him but he died shortly later at the hospital. The driver of the white SUV, a 40 year old man received a summons for failure to yield. The NYPD did not say if the driver of the black SUV was charged. Large SUVs and trucks are responsible for a large number of pedestrian injuries and deaths in New York City.

The accident occurred at the intersection of Cypress and Cooper which is close to Glendale, Queens as well as Ridgewood and Bushwick in Brooklyn. Both cars were making a left turn from Cooper Avenue onto Cypress while other cars coming from the other direction were also turning right onto Cypress. The video shows the white SUV cutting really short in front of another car making a right turn and then the black SUV driving over the pedestrian to avoid a collision with another car turning right as well.

The intersection is notoriously dangerous but except for new pavement last year, it was never redesigned. During the de Blasio administration, according to NYC Crash Mapper, 153 crashes occurred at this location resulting in 73 people injured. Among them were 56 motorists, 10 pedestrians and 7 cyclists.