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 Drunk Driving Accidents

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accident sceneA construction worker suffered two broken legs after he was struck by a drunk driver early Saturday morning in Staten Island, NYC. The driver, 28 year old Keith Hayes was driving his 2015 Nissan Altima on Midland Ave and made a right turn onto Hyland Boulevard. As he was turning he lost control of his car and hit several orange cones protecting a construction zone. He then struck a flag man barreled into the construction site and flipped his car into a ditch.  The flagman was part of a crew of construction workers who were repairing a water main. He was rushed to the hospital to be treated. The driver was tested for alcohol and breathalyzer showed 0.163, twice the legal limit. He was charged with drunk driving, vehicular assault and reckless endangerment.

Read more in the NY Daily News

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accident sceneThe cyclist struck by a drunk and unlicensed driver in New York last Sunday is still in a coma. 55-year-old Nancy Pease was part of a group of 6,000 cyclists who were participating in the “NYC Century bike tour” organized by Transportation Alternatives. Nancy and a group of around 25 cyclists were waiting at a red light at 12th Ave and 39th Street in Borough Park, Brooklyn, when a minivan plowed into them. Several bicyclists were injured. Among them, Nancy who disappeared under the minivan as the driver literally drove over her.

The driver, 39-year-old Antonio Pina, was highly intoxicated. According to the police who arrested him he had a blood alcohol level of .287, three times the legal limit. Pina also told the police he didn’t have a driver’s license. He had been drinking margaritas and Coors light before driving his van. Witnesses saw him getting out of his parking space and crashing into another vehicle before accelerating and intentionally plowing into the group of cyclists. After he ran over the woman he got out of his car with bloodshot eyes and a disheveled appearance. As the police took him away he stuck his tongue out of his mouth looking crazy.

The FDNY had to remove Nancy Pease from under the van (see video below). Pease suffered serious physical injuries including a lacerated liver, abdominal bleeding and a traumatic brain injury. She had to undergo surgery and her spleen was removed. She is still in a coma according to the most recent news from the New York Post. A few other bicyclists also suffered injuries during the   accident.  They were treated for minor injuries at the scene of the accident and declined to go to the hospital.

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aerial view of drunk driving accident locationA man died in an accident after a drunk driver lost control of his SUV and crashed into a parked backhoe on a NYC highway. The man who died was identified as Abe Prior, a 30-year-old resident of Norwalk, Connecticut. He was among the 3 passengers of a car driven by 30-year-old Jorge Viteri, also from Norwalk, Connecticut. Police said Viteri was  intoxicated at the time of the accident. He is now in custody. The accident occurred yesterday night around 6:30 pm on the Bruckner Expressway in the Bronx, NYC.  The SUV was heading North. As the SUV approached exit 7 C, the driver tried to change lanes. He hit a barrier and crashed into a large construction vehicle that was parked on the white lined center median between the Bruckner Expressway and the Throgs Neck Expressway (see picture on the left) . The impact was intense. All occupants were injured and rushed to the hospital. Abe Prior didn’t survive and died from his injuries while at the hospital. The two other passengers were expected to survive. The driver only suffered minor injuries and was arrested by the police. We question why such a large construction vehicle was left parked on the center median on a weekend. An accident such as this should have been anticipated. Read more on CBS News .

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Daniel-Pollack-1In many States if you want to become a foster parent, you can not have a DUI or a DWI  conviction during the 5 years before you apply. Is this enough to protect foster children? In a recent article, Daniel Pollack, a professor at Yeshiva University’s School of Social Work in New York City suggests the mandatory installation of an ignition interlock, which measures the blood alcohol content in a person’s system, for any foster parent who has a history of being convicted for drunk driving. These interlocks temporarily lock the cars ignition if the blood alcohol content exceeds a prescribed limit. Ignition interlocks can reduce DUI recidivism by 67%. Additionally if an ignition interlock was mandatory for all DUI offenders, it is estimated that DUI deaths would decrease by 15%.

The complete article can be read here 

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accident sceneTwo people died and several others were injured in a NYC car accident caused by a drunk driver who was speeding. 34-year-old Andrew Shakespeare was driving back from a wedding on Sunday morning. He had 4 other passengers in his car. He was allegedly drunk and was speeding on the Grand Central Parkway in Queens, NYC. As he approached the 188th street exit, Shakespeare changed lanes and side-wiped a Nissan Sentra driven by a 59-year-old woman. He then lost control of his BMW X5 SUV and careened into a Nissan Rogue driven by a 52-year-old man. Both cars crashed into the center guard rail. A 38-year-old woman driving a Mercedes was then struck by the BMW despite trying to swerve to avoid hitting the two cars. The impact sent her car into trees on the side of the road and back rolling over on the road.

The BMW front passenger, 34-year-old Layon Campbell was transported to the hospital with critical head and body injury. He was pronounced dead upon his arrival. 16-year-old Akeam Grant who was sitting on the rear right seat of the BMW died at the scene of the accident. The two other passengers, a 21-year-old and a 16-year-old survived. One of them fractured his pelvis and his right arm. The other lacerated his right arm. They were both transported to a hospital to be treated.

Among the people in the 3 other cars involved in the crash, both drivers of the Nissans were taken to the hospital for neck and back injuries but were listed in stable condition. The two passengers of the Nissan Rogue were also rushed to the hospital. The front passenger, a 50-year-old man injured his right leg. The rear passenger, a 63-year-old man fractured his rib and his neck. He also suffered from neck and back pain. Both passengers are in stable condition. The Mercedes-Benz driver was also transported to the hospital to be treated for pain in her right shoulder.

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accident sceneA 46 old pedestrian died in NYC after a drugged driver struck him as he was crossing the street. 67 year old Jihne Niu was crossing the street at the intersection of 46th Ave and 149th Street in Flushing, Queens when the accident occurred. The driver, a 46 year old man who was drugged behind the wheel hit him with his car. He stayed at the scene of the accident and was arrested shortly after the police found out he was under the influence of drugs. Jihne Niu was rushed to the emergency room but couldn’t be saved. Read more in the NY Daily News.

Unfortunately, more people than usual were driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol during the celebration of Memorial Day. On Friday, Governor Cuomo announced that the New York State Police would be cracking down on this type of dangerous driving behaviour over the long week-end. Patrols were added all over the State of New York and sobriety check points were use to identify and arrest people driving under the influence. Unfortunately they couldn’t prevent all accidents. Last year during a similar operation over the Memorial Day Weekend York State Police arrested 225 drunk drivers and issued 12,000 tickets for various other violations  during the Hoilday. New York City also targeted drunk drivers. (read more here). In New York City, the NYPD, the DOT, the TLC and mayor de Blasio announced on Friday that the NYPD would also be cracking down on drunk drivers. Additionally the City of New York was offering  $10 off the ride of anyone taking a taxi on Friday night or Saturday night. Entitled “Know your limit” the campaign was encouraging New York City drivers to ride home in a taxi rather than drive back home under the influence. It seems strange though that the rebate was dd  not apply on Sunday night, one of the most busy nights of the long week-end (read more here).

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accident scene34 year old Jonatan Segura was drunk and speeding the night he killed one pedestrian and injured another in a car accident in New York last January. Segura plead guilty to manslaughter, two counts of assault, homicide, leaving the scene, and drunk driving as well as misdemeanor assault and misdemeanor leaving the scene of an accident. He is facing 4 to 12 years in prison.

On January 30th around 4:00 am, Segura was driving on 181st Street near Amsterdam Avenue when he lost control of his BMW sedan. He was drunk and he was speeding. He hit a pick-up truck and two pedestrians. One of them, Encarnation died form his injury at the hospital, the other one, a 46 year old woman was seriously injured.

Segura fled the scene of the accident on foot leaving behind him two seriously injured people and his car completely destroyed by the high speed impact.

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Amanda Miner killed in a NYC drunk driving accidentA 26 year old NYPD traffic agent was charged with drunk driving, vehicular manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide this morning when he appeared at his arraignment. Stefan Hoyt was drunk when he crashed his car into a divider of the Williamsburg bridge on March 16th around 3:15 am.   21 year old Amanda Miner who was sitting in the back seat (see previous blog ) was killed in the accident. While the speed limit is 35 mph, Hoyt was driving at a speed of 111 mph when he lost control of his vehicle. Videos from that night show Hoyt drinking at least 10 drinks including 8 shots of vodka. Hoyt’s bail was originally set at $100,000 but the judge reset it at $250,000.

Read more in the NY Daily News  

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Every year in the US approximately 10,000 people die in car accidents caused by drunk drivers.  In an effort to prevent these types of accidents, states have been introducing Ignition Interlock Laws.  The ignition interlock is a device that is connected to the ignition of a car. When a driver wants to start a car with this type of device he has to breath in the ignition interlock. If alcohol is detected and is above the legal BAC limit for the state, the car doesn’t start. All states now have ignition interlock laws but some are more permissive than others. Globally there are 3 types of laws. “Permissive” laws are at the discretion of the judge or other sentencing authority. “Partial Laws” apply only to a certain type of offenders for example only repeat DUI offenders. Mandatory Laws apply to all drivers convicted of DUI. At the beginning of last year, 26 states had mandatory laws, 22 had partial laws and 2 had permissive laws.

A recent study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that states with mandatory ignition interlock laws had a 7% decline in fatal crashes related to DUI.  The study was conducted by Emma E. McGinty, PhD, MS; Gregory Tung, PhD, MPH,; Juliana Shulman-Laniel, MPH; Rose Hardy, MPH; Lainie Rutkow, JD, PhD, MPH; Shannon Frattaroli, PhD, MPH; and Jon S. Vernick, JD, MPH all from  Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Colorado School of Public Health.

The researches analyzed crash data  from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) over a 32 year period. They compared the number of alcohol related fatal crashes before and after the ignition interlock laws were adopted by the various states. The study demonstrates that mandatory ignition laws are much more effective than the permissive or partial laws at preventing drunk driving fatal accidents.

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Vanessa Raghubar died in a drunk driving accident in NYCA 22 year old woman died from her injury  after a drunk driver crashed into her car in NYC. The drunk driver, 32 year old Neville Smith is a NYPD detective. He was off duty when he crashed into Vanessa Raghubar’s car.  The accident occurred around 4:00 am Sunday morning on the Van Wick Expressway.  Vanessa  was returning from her sister’s birthday party when the drunk detective crashed his Mercedes into her Honda. The impact was so strong that Vanessa’s car was propelled against a light pole and a tree. She and her two passengers, her sister and her sister’s boyfriend suffered critical injuries. All 3 were transported to the hospital where Vanessa died the following day.

Smith was charged with vehicular assault, assault, driving while intoxicated and refusal to take a Breathalyzer test. More charges are expected.

Vanessa who studied psychology was supposed to graduate in June. Her family wants justice.