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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 Truck Accidents

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Two men died in a NY box truck accident early Monday last week.  One of the victims was the driver of the truck and the other victim was the passenger. The two men were aboard a Boar’s Head box truck belonging to Top Shelf Provision, an independent authorized purveyor. They were driving on the Long Island Expressway in North Hills near exit 36 when the truck struck the overpass for Shelter Rock Road and rolled over. Both men died at the scene of the accident. Read more in theislandnow.com

High risk of rollover accidents

box-truck-scaledBecause there are so many box trucks in New York, accidents are quite common. Box trucks are used for deliveries of merchandise to restaurants, stores and business . Box trucks are heavy and because they have a very boxy shape in order to carry a maximum of merchandise, their center of gravity is high, making them prone to rollover accidents like the one in which these two men were killed last Monday. When loading the truck, it is important that goods on board are proprely secured as unsecured merchandise also increases the risk of a rollover.

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Location-of-the-distributing-centerThird Avenue in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, has a long history of truck accidents and it might get even worse with the creation of a new distribution center that has been dubbed the largest distribution center in the country by its developers. Located inside Sunset Industrial Park on Third Avenue between 19th and 21st Street, the future building  will occupy a space that is the equivalent of 22 football fields. The huge 4-story building will feature a ramp system that will allow the transport of goods to awaiting trucks and dispatch merchandise for same day delivery.

Sunset Park residents who were already upset with the actual traffic conditions on Third Avenue, have been asking the city to conduct an impact study but nothing has been done. Since 2019, 6 people were killed in traffic accidents on Third Avenue.

One of the worst street segments in  NYC

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Pedestrian and cyclist injuries and fatalities were lower than usual last February and so were motorcyclist, bus and truck accidents.

Traffic Accident injuries reached a record low in New York City in January and February. While February car accident injuries always reach a yearly low, the number of NYC car accident injuries was at its lowest since Vision Zero started. 2,503 people were injured in traffic accidents in New York City compared to 3,028 a month earlier and 4,006 in February 2020. The number of traffic accident injuries mostly dropped over the last 12 months because of the Covid19 crisis that affected the City and slow down activities. (click on graphs for full sizes)

Traffic Accident Injuries NYC February 2021
Motor vehicle accident injuries in NYC in February 2021 by category
After reaching annual record highs over the summer of 2020, the number of New York auto accident deaths also declined and stabilized to numbers somewhat similar to previous years despite the slowdown. 10 people died in traffic accidents last February compared to 13 in January and 17 in February 2020.  Since Vision Zero was launched in 2014, the number of traffic accident fatalities in February has been oscillating between 17 and 10 with 10 last month being the lowest. Fatalities were mostly pedestrian fatalities.

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In 2020, New York saw a record high in motorist (driver) deaths and bicycle injuries and deaths, a record low in pedestrian deaths and a much lower number of truck and bus accidents than usual. The Covid 19 crisis that lasted during most of 2020 had a significant impact on New Yorkers commuting habits around the city. Emptier streets have lead to reckless driving and as a result more deaths related to speed. A surge in bicycle accident injuries was also recorded as many New Yorkers are now using bicycles instead of riding the subway.

Surge in traffic accident deaths in NYC

Despite a slowdown in activity in the city , 239 people died in traffic accidents in New York City, compared to 214 in 2019, 199 in 2018, 209 in 2017, 223 in 2016, 235 in 2015, 250 in 2014 and 286 in 2013. The number of car accident deaths was almost back to the level it was when the Vision Zero program started. If it was not for a significant decrease in pedestrian deaths, the number of fatalities would have been over this level with all other categories of road users reaching record high number of fatalities.

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accident sceneA pedestrian was fatally hit by a dump truck last week in Times Square, Midtown Manhattan. The accident occurred Saturday afternoon around 3:00 pm. The pedestrian, a 64 year old woman whose name was not released, was crossing 7th Avenue at the intersection of 45th Street when she was struck by a large dump truck. The driver did not stop immediately and the pedestrian got stuck under the vehicle and dragged by the truck while horrified witnesses started to scream at the driver who then stopped and remained at the scene of the accident.

A street vendor with a stand right at the corner of the intersection told the NY Daily News that there was a lot of blood and when EMS removed the victim from under the truck she was not moving. However she was still alive and rushed to the hospital with critical injuries including severe leg trauma. She later died from her injuries at the hospital.

Truck side guards might have prevented the victim to get dragged under the truck

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accident sceneA man who stopped to help a stranger died after being struck by a hit and run driver in Queens, NYC. Last Friday night around 8:30 pm, 51 year old Mike Agurkis was driving his car on the Nassau Expressway in Springfield Gardens when he saw a motorist stranded along the side of the highway. The good Samaritan pulled in front of the stranger got out of his car and offered to help him.

As he was standing in between the two cars stopped on the side of the highway, the driver of a blue minivan hit the vehicle of the stranded driver which in a chain reaction slammed into Mike and killed him. The driver of the blue minivan abandoned the blue van and ran away on foot. The police are still looking for him.

Mike Agurkis’s children and his ex-wife are heartbroken. They told journalists that that’s how their dad was. He would always stop to help people. Mike’s landlord and a neighbor also confirmed that Mike lived his life to help people.

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location of the collision between the truck and the bicyclistA bicyclist died after being struck by a truck in Harlem, New York on Friday morning around 8:30 am

The driver of the truck was driving illegally on the bus-only lane on First Avenue near 118th Street when he  struck the 41 year old bicyclist. The police also mentioned that the bicyclist was riding the wrong way.  The truck driver stayed at the scene of the accident and was asked to submit himself to the breathalyzer which came out negative. He was not charged despite recklessly travelling on the bus lane while he was supposed to drive on the 3 other traffic lanes of First Ave.

While looking at past traffic violations, the truck has a a history of recklessness with 159 violations since 2014 including red lights and speeding.  The cyclist seemed to have been crushed between the truck and a car that was illegally parked in front of a “No Standing Anytime” sign. The victim is the 24th bicyclists to die in a traffic accident this year. He is also was one of two victims who died in a traffic accident in East Harlem this week-end. Read more in the Gothamist

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No turn for trucks signalA delivery worker on a moped was killed in a truck accident in Queens, NYC  . The accident occurred last Thursday around 8:30 am at the intersection of Astoria Boulevard and Crescent Street.  The driver of a Bud Light delivery truck made a right turn from Astoria Boulevard onto Crescent Street and struck 35 year old, Alfredo Cabrea Licona, a delivery worker riding a red scooter. Alfredo skidded beneath the tractor trailer and it took 10 minutes for  the emergency team to extricate him from under the truck. He was rushed to the hospital with critical injuries and died shortly after his admission to the hospital. Alfredo left behind a wife and two children living in Mexico depending fully on his financial support. He spent 11 years working in the city and was planning his return to Mexico for the end of the year. People who knew him said he was a good and honest man who was working hard to take care of his family.

The accident was preventable

The truck driver stayed at the scene of the accident and so far was not charged. At the time of the accident, the truck made a right turn onto Crescent Street despite a signal forbidding trucks to turn on the street except for local delivery (see picture). There are only residences and a church on the segment of Crescent Street where the truck made a turn, therefore the turn was probably illegal.  Additionally while making the turn onto Crescent street the truck went over the “supposedly” protected bike lane. For months before the accident, street safety activists have been asking the Department of Transportation to adequately protect the two way bike lanes on Crescent Street because trucks and cars would constantly interfere with cyclists. The bike lane is only protected by “flex declineators which flex down to the ground when cars drive over them and as a result do not offer real protection to bike lane users.`

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location of the deadly tractor trailer accidentA 71 year old pedestrian was fatally struck by a tractor-trailer in the Bronx, NYC, just one one week after a cyclist was killed by a big rig in the same borough. The victim was crossing the dangerous intersection of East 38th Street and Exterior Street around 4:00 pm yesterday when a MAC tractor-trailer truck travelling South hit the pedestrian and fled the scene of the accident leaving behind him the victim dying on the ground.  The NYPD was alerted by a 911 call of  and when they arrived at the scene of the accident, they found the man lying on the street, unconscious and with severe head trauma. The senior pedestrian was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead. The police are still looking for the truck which had a white rig and a red trailer and the truck driver.

Fatal crashes have been on the rise recently in the Bronx

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location of the deadly crash between a cyclist and a tractor trailer truckA 34 year old man died in a bicycle accident in the Bronx, NYC, yesterday. The cyclist collided with a tractor-trailer truck on Bruckner Boulevard around 1:45 pm.  It is still not clear how the accident occurred. An initial police report indicates that the cyclist was riding westbound on Bruckner Boulevard and that the Tractor Trailer Truck driver was heading South on Brown Place. No information was provided about who had the light. The report just concludes that the cyclist ran into the back of the truck. The area is often congested as road users use this part of the Bruckner Boulevard to access the Willis Avenue Bridge.

Why would a cyclist run into the back of a truck?

This seems  to be a very strange conclusion and hopefully further investigation will reveal what exactly led to the death of this cyclist. Unfortunately the NYPD has a long history of blaming cyclists for crashes and giving slack to faulty drivers. Last year, Mario Venezuela, a Queens teenager, was fatally hit by a negligent truck driver. The police blamed the teenager for his own death however surveillance footage of the crash shows that the truck driver was reckless and cause the death of the teenager. A video of the crash shows the truck driver veering to his left before cutting hard into a right turn without using his turn signal and crashing into Venezuela.