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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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accident sceneA pedestrian was killed  by a car and a cyclist was seriously injured after being struck by a van in New York City last week. Both accidents were caused by reckless drivers.

A man walking his dog in Bay Ridge died after he was struck by a speeding 19 year old driver. 66 year old Frank Decolvenaere was crossing in the crosswalk at the intersection of Fourth Ave and 101 Street around 7:00 pm on Thursday when he was struck by a speeding Mercedez Benz 350. Since 2019, the car had 4 school speeding violations, 4 parking tickets and an expired inspection sticker. Frank was found lying in the crosswalk covered in blood. His dog ran 10 blocks home to alert his wife.  (Read more in Street Blog)

Earlier during the week, on Tuesday, a 25 year old driver backing her car out of a driveway hit a 57 year old pedestrian. The accident occurred at a private driveway locate at 30-23 69th Street in Elmhurst, Queens. The man was transported to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. The woman stayed at the scene of the accident and wasn’t charged (Read more in QNS)

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24 cyclists, 116 pedestrians, 17 motor vehicle passengers and 57 drivers were killed in 209,291 auto accidents in New York City in 2019. The total number of accidents recorded last year was significantly lower than the 3 previous years during which it was above 227,000 however traffic fatalities were higher last year than the two previous years.


auto accidents NYC 2019

After reaching a record low at 199 in 2018, crash fatalities in New York increased to 214 last year. Since 2013 traffic fatalities gradually went down every year. This is the first year since Vision Zero was implemented in 2014 that fatalities went back up from one year to the other. While fatalities are globally on a declining trend despite the recent increase last year, the number of people injured in car accidents in New York is on a rising trend. NYC Auto accident injuries  reached a record high last year and were above 6,000 for the first time. They slightly decreased in 2019 but kept around the 6,000 level. The increase in injuries sustained in car crashes is mostly due to a rising number of drivers being injured. One reason might be that because the speed limit was lower in the city, less people are dying in car accidents but more are injured. Distracted driving might be another reason why more drivers are getting injured in auto accidents in New York.

Traffic fatalities and injuries in New York City in 2019
Bicyclists are the only category of  New York road users who continue to experience a rising trend of accidents, injuries and deaths. After cyclists fatalities reached a record low at 9 in 2018, they reached a record high at 24 in 2019.  Last year as bicycle fatalities were surging quickly, Mayor de Blasio announced a new bike safety plan entitled the Green Wave. The plan is:

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location of the child pedestrian accidentA 7 year old male pedestrian was fatally struck by a car in New York City on Thursday.

Payson Lott was walking to school with his mom. They were in the crosswalk with the light in their favor at the intersection of Blake Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue when a Jeep recklessly struck them. Payson died in the accident. Her mother Shadeen Lott suffered personal injury.

RECKLESS DRIVER

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On Monday we wrote about the death of 3 pedestrians over the weekend and now we learned that two additional female pedestrians died after being struck by cars in New York City on Sunday and Monday. Since last Thursday, NYC recorded one pedestrian death everyday and two on Sunday. This is intolerable.

No charge in the Bronx fatality

On Monday night a 59 year old female pedestrian was struck by a car while she was crossing at the intersection of Sampson Ave and Tremont Ave in the Bronx, around 7 pm. The woman whose identity has not been released so far, was rushed to the hospital but could not be saved. The driver stayed at the scene of the accident and wasn’t charged. The police are still investigating the cause of the accident. Read more in PIX11

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car-that-killed-jose-contla3 pedestrians died and two other were injured after being hit by motor vehicles in New York City over the weekend. Another pedestrian also died from injuries he sustained earlier in the month last Thursday.

The police are still looking for the reckless speeding hit and run driver who killed a pedestrian in Bensonhurst on Sunday morning around 7:25 am

26 year old Jose Contla was standing next to his vehicle parked on 19th Avenue near 86th Street when a driver hit him and took off. He was on his way to open the family bakery where he was working part time to pay for his degree in criminal justice at John Jay College.  Contla fell on the ground and was found unconscious on the road by the EMTs. He was rushed to the hospital but could not be saved. The police are still looking for the driver of a black sedan (see picture).

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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.