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 Pedestrian Accidents

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Despite an increase in bicycle accident fatalities and in motorist injuries the total number of NYC motor vehicle accidents and the total number of resulting injuries and deaths decreased during the third trimester of 2019 compared to the third trimester of 2018. The total number of accidents declined from 57,642 during the third trimester of 2018 to 52,567 during the third trimester of 2019. This is the lowest number of crashes since the same period of 2014.

auto accident NYC third trimester 2019
While a high number of fatal bicycle accidents painted a very negative picture of New York street safety, not all numbers are bad. For example pedestrians fatalities were at their lowest during the period of July, August and September 2019. Motorists fatalities were lower than the two previous years during this same period and passengers fatalities were stable.

traffic fatalities in NYC third trimester
The total number of auto accident related injuries were slightly lower than the previous year. A total of 167,083 people were injured in traffic accidents during over the summer 2019 compared to respectively 16,300, 15,860, 16,048, 13,998, 13,472, and 14,900 during the same 3 months of 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013. Motorists injuries account for almost half of the injuries and continue to increase. While efforts to protect pedestrians has led to a substantial decrease in pedestrian injuries and deaths, distracted driving remains the number one cause of  motor vehicle accidents in New York City and needs to be addressed.

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Donna Strum was fatally struck by a cyclistOn April 24th, 41 year old Dameon Doward was riding his bike on 57th Street.  He ran a red light at the mid-block traffic signal between Fifth and Sixth Ave and struck Donna Sturm who was crossing the street in the crosswalk after the light turned green for pedestrians. Sturm died two week later from her injuries. Daemon Doward  was initially issued a summons for running the red light. However, he was arrested yesterday by the police and charged with second degree reckless endangerment, a top level misdemeanor that could send him in jail for a year.

Doward was delivering food at the time of the accident. Those who hire bicyclists for deliveries of their products need to provide safety instructions, appropriate supervision and insurance coverage in the event of negligence leading to injuries and deaths.

Our managing partner, Ben Rubinowitz is representing the family of Dona Sturm and the following statement was issued after her death on behalf of the family:  “Donna Sturm was a vibrant, energetic and wonderful woman who died as a result of carelessness and negligence. She died because a bicyclist completely disregarded the law. She was crossing a street, in the crosswalk, with the light in her favor when she was struck. Unfortunately, she suffered horrific head injuries and, although the doctors tried their best over the last week, they were unable to save her life,”

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Corey_Johnson_2015To prevent pedestrian and bicycle accidents in New York City, a new bill proposed by Corey Johnson is expected to be approved today by the City Council after Mayor de Blasio gave its approval on a delayed version.  The bill entitled NYC Street Master Plan includes the construction of 250 miles of protected bike lanes, multiple pedestrian safety measures and 150 miles of dedicated bus lanes over a five year period. Mayor de Blasio finally gave his support to the bill but on the condition that it would not start this month but in December 2021 when a new mayor takes over. Corey Johnson is one of the candidates running for NYC mayor in 2021 and if he wins he would be the one in charge of implementing his own plan.

Mayor de Blasio was not in favor of the Street Master Plan when it was proposed at the beginning of the year, arguing that his Vision Zero program was enough to make pedestrians and bicyclists safe in the city. After multiple fatal bicycle accidents occurred during the first half of the year, proving him wrong, de Blasio unveiled a five year plan dubbed the “Green Wave Bicycle Plan”, a diluted version of the “Street Master Plan” in  July.

However after bicycle accident fatalities continued to rise to record numbers in the city over the fall and the summer,  the mayor changed his mind and agreed on a delayed version of the Street Master Plan. Delaying the plan for two years means that  NYC cyclists will continue to face dangerous riding conditions at least for another 2 or 3 years.

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location of the car accidentAn 18 year old girl driving a red Camaro ran a red light and was T-boned by a by a Chrysler minivan that had the green light, injuring passengers in both cars as well as  a pedestrian.

The car accident took place on Monday afternoon around 2:30 pm at the intersection of 54th Street and 4th Avenue in Sunset Park in Brooklyn, NYC.  5 teenage girls were riding in the Camaro and a man and his 5-year-old son were inside the minivan.  A female pedestrian in her 40ies who was crossing the street was also hit by the Camaro. Another car, a Honda Pilot was damaged in the crash.

The pedestrian suffered serious injury and was transported to the hospital. The father and his son as well as one of the teens aboard the Camaro were also transported to the hospital with minor injuries.

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Two elderly pedestrians died in Queens last week after they were struck by cars in two different accidents.

The first one occurred on Tuesday afternoon around 5:35 pm in a residential neighborhood of Jamaica. An 85 year old pedestrian was crossing 89th Avenue in the crosswalk when a car making a left turn from 170th Street fatally struck him. Despite violating the Right of Way Law, the driver who stayed at the scene of the accident wasn’t charged. The accident occurred in the 27th City Council District. This area is considered to be one of the most dangerous in New York City. Last year, more than five thousand crashes injuring 42 cyclists, 224 pedestrians, 1,447 motorists and killing 2 pedestrians and 4 motorists were reported in this district.  (Read more in StreetBlog).

The second deadly Queens pedestrian accident took place on Saturday. 75 year old Elou Rakhminov was crossing Jewel Avenue near the intersection of 141st Avenue in Kew Gardens Hills around 9:20 am when he was mowed down by a car. The 3o year old driver stayed at the scene of the accident and wasn’t charged.  The pedestrian was rushed to the hospital but he couldn’t be saved. (Read more in Street Blog)

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location of the reckless driving fatal accidentReckless driving killed another NYC pedestrian: a one year old girl who was in a stroller pushed by her mother on a Bronx sidewalk. The fatal accident occurred on Tuesday afternoon. The mother of 1 year old Djeneba Magassa was pushing her daughter in her stroller on the sidewalk of  East 215th Street near Mama G African Kitchen when a reckless 22 year old driver identified as Kier Boneparte lost control of his white BMW SUV, jumped the curb and pinned the stroller against the wall. A man sitting in front of a grocery store a few steps away heard a loud noise and a woman screaming for help. He ran to the corner and with another man they pushed the car to free the baby. The mother and the daughter were rushed to the hospital. When they arrived, one year old Djeneba was pronounced dead.

The driver of the BMW stayed at the scene of the accident. When the police arrived they tested him to check if he was intoxicated but he wasn’t. However the police found out that he didn’t have a driving license.

Last week 4 pedestrians including a 10 year old boy waiting at a bus stop, were killed by reckless drivers in New York City and none of them were charged (see previous blog).  In this case, the was charged with reckless driving, driving without a license or insurance and failing to yield to a pedestrian.  (Read more in the New York Times )

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Police are looking for a reckless driver who fatally struck a pedestrian in Brooklyn, NYC. The accident occurred on Albany Avenue near Park Place in Crown Heights on Sunday morning around 5:30 am. 30 year old Kaseem Mathhew, a father of two  was hit by a speeding car whose driver left him dying in the street. He was found dead in the street by a neighbor who called the police.

3 other pedestrians lost their life in NYC last week after being hit by a car. Last Thursday night 72 year old Juan Mendez, a Queen’s resident was working as a security guard in a booth located in front of a building located on Paidge Ave near Newton Creek in Greenpoint. He was in the booth when a 62 year old driver lost control of his SUV and crashed into the booth. Mendez was rushed to the hospital with severe injuries to his leg where he later died from his injuries. The SUV driver stayed at the scene of the accident and wasn’t immediately charged.

Earlier during the week, on Tuesday afternoon around 2:45 pm, 10 year old Enzo Farachio was standing at a bus stop located at the intersection of Ocean Avenue and Avenue L in Midwood, Brooklyn. He was fatally struck by a driver who lost control of his vehicle and jumped the curb. The 59 year old driver then crashed into a nearby building with a scaffolding causing the scaffolding to crash on the car. A 9 year old girl who was a passenger in the car suffred pelvic and arm injuries and was transported to the hospital. Again the driver wasn’t charged and the police told the media that “he possibly suffered a medical episode”.  However, reporters ran his license plates through “howsmydriving” and found he previously had 4 school zone speed camera violations.

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51 pedestrians, 13 cyclists 11 passengers and 28 motorists died in auto accidents in New York City during the first semester of 2019. After two consecutive years of decline, traffic fatalities in the city went back above 100 at 101 during the first six months of the year compared to respectively 84, 96, 107, 107, 97 and 121 in the same period of 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013. Fatalities increased for all categories of road users except for motorist deaths which stayed stable at 26 during the first semester of this year and the previous one. Auto-accident-fatalities-NYC-first-semester-2019

NYC Traffic injuries reached a record high at 29,081 during the first semester of the year compared to respectively 28,544, 27,923, 27,540, 23,530, 24,508 and 26,119 during the first semester of 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013. All category of road users except pedestrians suffered more injuries during this semester than during the previous one.

Car Accident Injuries New York first semester 2019
While the total number of bicycle accidents reported to the NYPD during the first semester of 2019 was slightly lower than the number of accidents reported during the same period of 2018, cyclist fatalities more than doubled during the first six months of the year compared to the first semester of 2018 to reach a record high of 13.  Bicycle accident injuries jumped to 1,907, a record high as well. These numbers came as a bad surprise as 6 months earlier, the de Blasio administration which had been promoting using bicycles to commute around the city was proudly announcing that the number of cyclists killed in the city reached a record low of 9 for the entire year of 2018 and that Vision Zero Initiatives were working. A similar pattern occurring in 2015 and 2016 is an indication that despite all Vision Zero improvements, the city remains a dangerous and deadly place to ride a bicycle.

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Speed Camera flyer nycTo prevent young pedestrians from being injured in car accidents, the NYPD announced that as kids go back to school today, they will be cracking down on drivers speeding or driving recklessly in school zones.

Not only the NYPD will be reinforcing its presence in school zones but more than hundreds of new speed cameras installed all over the city during the summer will provide extra protection for children as they are going back to school.

A total of 750 speed cameras are being installed in New York City school zones

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location-of-the-deadly-pick-up-truck-accidentA 67 year old pedestrian died from injuries sustained in a pick-up truck accident in New York.  On Saturday August 10th around 9.00 pm, Melissa McClure was in the crosswalk next to her sister at the corner of 15th Street and 6th Ave in Manhattan when a Chevrolet Silverado making a left turn slammed into them. Both women were transported to the hospital. The sister, 59 year old Dorry Chitwood who was visiting from Georgia, suffered a cut in the back of the head. She was treated at the hospital and released shortly after. Melissa sustained major head trauma during the accident.  After she arrived at the hospital, she was put on life support. She never woke up and died from her injuries almost a week later. Melissa who’s nickname was Missy, lived in Chelsea with her two cats. Her sister was visiting from Georgia. After her return flight was cancelled she decided to stay with her sister for an extra night. Both women were on their way for a dinner in Chinatown when the accident occured. The driver of the pick up truck stayed at the scene of the accident.

Dangerous Avenue

Busy 6th Avenue is dangerous for pedestrians and bicyclists alike. In June Robyn Hightman was riding her bike when she was fatally stuck by a truck near the intersection of 6th Ave and 23rd Street.  Then at the beginning of August another Chelsea resident, Michael Collopy, died after he was hit by a bicycle. Since January 2016, 18 pedestrians and 15 drivers were injured at this specific intersection.