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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imageLast week a young pedestrian died in a truck accident but the police said that the truck driver, despite leaving the scene of the accident, will not be charged.

21-year-old Noha Goldstein (picture) was crossing Broadway at the intersection of 61st Street near Columbus Circle in Manhattan, NYC, when hit by a garbage truck, suffering injuries resulting in his death. The driver never stopped. He continued on his way  leaving the young man dying in the street.  The police were able to find the driver a few days later by looking at video footage of the accident. However for some strange reason the video jumps and only footage of before and after the accident are available. The  police said that they believe that the truck driver wasn’t at fault and that he didn’t stop because he probably didn’t see the pedestrian and didn’t know that he hit him because of the nature of the garbage truck.

Read more in the Gothamist

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fdny14 people suffered personal injury after a fire truck struck a MTA bus in NYC.  The accident occurred Sunday in Astoria, Queens, NYC at the corner of Ditmars Blvd and 21st Street. A little bit after noon the fire truck  was heading down Ditmars Boulevard to respond to a blaze nearby. Sirens and emergency lights were on.  According to the NY Daily News, the truck passed a red light and  collided with the bus that had the green light and was crossing on 21st St.  Witnesses  said the crash sounded like a bomb.  The impact was so strong that the bus careened into two other parked cars and jumped the curb  before finally stopping two steps away from people sitting at an outdoor cafe. 12 bus passengers were injured and transported to the hospital.  Two firefighters were injured as well and also transported to the hospital.

Later on during the day  another fire truck collided with a car two blocks away.  One person suffered minor injury. The fire truck  also had emergency lights on when the accident happened.

Last year there were 382 fire truck accidents in NYC.

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Underride truck accidentUnderride truck accidents are among the most horrific traffic accidents.  They usually involved a car sliding under a truck, most often a tractor trailer truck.  These accidents are often deadly and gruesome. In many cases, pieces of metal from the truck intrude into the vehicle causing passengers severe  head trauma or decapitation.

Regulations requiring rear impact guards on most large trucks exist but they are 20 years old and in need of a serious upgrade.  Therefore a few months ago the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration  (NHTSA) proposed a new rule to update the Federal motor vehicle safety standards that address rear underride protection in crashes into trailers and semitrailers.

The NTHSA proposal requires that the impact guard be strengthened so that it doesn’t deform if a car crashes into it at a speed of 35 mph. This is basically the equivalent of the actual Canadian standards which are themselves 10 years old. 90%  of American trucks already conform to these standards. Many of them even have protective equipment that is superior to the Canadian standards. Therefore the NHTSA proposal seems obsolete before even being launched and it will not do much to reduce the actual number of deaths and injuries related to underride truck accidents.

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Three people were injured in a truck accident in New York City on Monday afternoon. The truck was driving on the Cross Bronx Expressway when it crashed though a guardrail on the westbound lane. The truck was driving in the middle lane of the highway when a black car which was trying to pass it hit the front wheel of the truck. The impact caused the truck driver to loose control of the vehicle. The truck hit another car before flipping over the guardrail. It ended dangling off the overpass on the top of the Sheridan Expressway. The driver was able to extricate himself out of the cabin after the accident. He suffered head injuries and was transported to the hospital where he received 7 stitches to the top of his head. Two other people were also transported to the hospital with minor injuries. Both the Cross Bronx Expressway and the Sheridan Expressway were closed to traffic for hours. A crane had to be brought to the scene of the accident to lift the truck back to the highway. The police are still investigating the exact cause of the accident.

Read more here


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Heather29 year old Heather Lough died from critical injuries sustained after she was struck by a truck while riding her bike in Brooklyn, NYC. The young woman had just been hired to work at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens and was on her way to work when the accident happened.  Heater was coming out of the Metro North station and was riding her bicycle on Southern Boulevard when she was hit by a truck making a left turn at high speed. The bicyclist got stuck under the wheels and she was dragged for some distance under the truck until the driver stopped.  She was taken to the hospital in critical condition where she died from her injuries after five days of pain and suffering. The truck driver, 45 year old Robert Owens from Upper Manhattan was charged with reckless driving and failure to yield.

Heather’s best friend set up a fundraiser to pay for a natural burial near her family in Washington State. If you wish you can donate here.

The picture is from the fundraising page

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bicycle truck accidentA bicyclist died after being struck by a tractor-trailer truck in Brooklyn, NYC, on Wednesday morning around 9:00 am. The accident occurred at the intersection of Sterling Place and 6th Ave in Park Slope in an area where tractor-trailers are not authorized to drive except if they have a special permit. In NYC, tractor-trailers can only drive on designated truck roads but according to local residents it is common to see big rigs driving on 6th Avenue especially since the Atlantic Yards has been developed.(see video below). The NYPD doesn’t seem to really care about this issue as so far since the beginning of the year no tickets for truck route violations have been issued by the 78th precinct where the accident happened. Instead of admitting that the truck wasn’t supposed to be driving in a narrow residential avenue, the NYPD blamed the bicyclist for his own death.

In a first statement the police implied that the cyclist was at fault and hit the rear wheel as he was trying to grab the side of the truck to hitch a ride. In a second statement the NYPD changed its version and said that the bicyclist was pulled under the wheel of the truck by a wind force. For this to happen, the truck would have to have been driving at a speed that would likely be impossible to reach on this narrow Brooklyn Ave.  It seems pretty obvious to us hat the big rig wasn’t supposed to drive in the residential area and that he recklessly passed the bicyclist too close. Additionally, witnesses reported that he was driving with headphones on.

Read more in the Gothamist

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February showed an increase in pedestrian accidents, bicycle accidents and motorcycle accidents in NYC while bus accidents and truck accidents were lower than the previous years during the same month. Was the usually warm weather a contributing factor or is Vision Zero  not really working?

After two years of decrease, the monthly number of pedestrians injured in NYC crashes in February is back to the level where it was 3 years ago. Last month 980 pedestrians were injured in traffic accidents in the city compared to 735 in February 2015, 820 in February 2014 and 983 in February 2013.  11 pedestrians died in motor vehicle accidents in NYC last month. The same number of people died the previous month and in February 2015. After Zero Vision was launched in 2014, the number of pedestrians killed in the month of February initially decreased from 13 to 8 between February 2013 and February 2014 and went back up above 10 for the last two years.

Even though the trend is still showing a decline of pedestrians injuries since the beginning of 2013, the 3-month moving average is back around 1,000 while for the same period last year it was around 900. A similar observation can be made for the 3-month moving average of pedestrians killed in traffic accidents. While the moving average was below or at the level of the trend line in February 2015 and 2014 it is now back above the level of the trend line in February 2016.

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A pedestrian was fatally struck by a sanitation truck in New York yesterday morning around 6:00 am. The pedestrian, a 55 year old woman had the right of way. She was crossing First Avenue in the crosswalk with the walk sign on when she was struck by a sanitation truck driver who was making a left turn from 92nd Street onto First Ave. After the accident the police indicated that the victim was injured but conscious. She had a deep cut on her forehead and she also complained of leg and wrist pain. She was taken to the hospital where she was pronounced dead 20 minutes later.  She may have suffered fatal internal bleeding.

The driver of the sanitation truck stayed at the scene of the accident. So far he hasn’t been arrested or charged. Under the Right of Way Law, New York drivers injure or kill a pedestrian who has the right of way can be criminally charged.

MTS rampResidents of Yorkville had long predicted that such an accident would happened when in 2014 they tried to oppose the construction of the East 91st Street Marine Transfer Station, a massive garbage site visited by hundreds of garbage trucks every day.

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There are usually less personal injuries and deaths related to motor vehicle accidents in New York City during the month of January than during most other months. This January there were 17,798 traffic accidents compared to 15,977 in January 2015, 16,597 in January 2014 and 15,599. Even though motor vehicle accidents decreased from January 2014 to 2015 the number of monthly accidents has been on an increasing trend. It is the first time that the number of traffic accidents is above 17,000 for the month of January.

Traffic Accidents NYC January 2016
Despite an increasing number of traffic accidents the number of injuries and deaths related to theses accidents have decreased. This is hopefully related to the introduction of various initiatives to make the streets safer launched under the NYC Vision Zero project. As motorists are driving slower and in a safer way, accidents still happen but less road users are injured or die.

3,624 people were injured in a traffic crash in New York this past January.  This is more than in January 2015 (2,449) but less than in January 2014 (3,899) and in January 2013 (3,993).  Globally over the last 3 years the monthly number of people injured in NYC auto accidents has been decreasing. However during the last few months, the number of injuries have been picking up again. For example, In December 2015 there were 4,519 people injured in auto accidents in NYC compared to 4,117 in December 2014 and 4,277 in December 2013. It was the first time that the number of injuries related to traffic accidents in NYC was above the trend line in December.

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A man suffered serious personal injury after a dozen bricks fell on his head in the Bronx and a tractor trailer flipped over on the George Washington Bridge yesterday night as a heavy storm ravaged the New York City Metro Area, New Jersey, Long Island, Southern Connecticut and the Lower Hudson Valley.

Strong winds with gusts over 50mph caused a tractor-trailer truck to flip over on the George Washington Bridge yesterday night a little before 10;00 pm. Thankfully nobody was injured in the truck accident. A man in the Bronx was less fortunate. As he was heading home bricks from a building fell on his head. He was seriously injured according to the NYPD. A witness said that after the accident the man could barely move and had blood all over his face. The police also investigated the possibility that the wind may have caused an entire building to collapse in the Bronx as well.

A sidewalk shed collapsed in Brooklyn.