A grandmother who was pushing her 2-year-old granddaughter in a stroller was fatally struck by the driver of a pickup truck who failed to yield to them. The pedestrian accident occurred yesterday afternoon around 1:00 p.m. at the intersection of Bay 25th Street and Bath Avenue in Brooklyn. The 56-year-old driver of the pick-up truck, identified as Faheem Shabazz, was making a left turn when he struck the grandmother and her goddaughter. He remained at the accident scene and was later charged with failing to yield to a pedestrian. According to How’s my driving, the pick-up truck has a history of recklessness. In the last 9 months, the pick-up truck received 9 violations for a total of $850 in fines. 4 of them were school zone speed camera violations.
The 66-year-old grandmother was transported to the hospital in critical condition but she did not survive. Miraculously her granddaughter survived and was not injured.
In New York City, the Right of Way or Failure to Yield Law was passed in May 2014 to reduce pedestrian fatalities. Under this law drivers who fail to yield to a pedestrian or a cyclist can be subjected to a fine of up to $150 and up to 15 days in jail. While this law and other initiatives such as the lowering of the city speed limit and the installation of speed cameras in school zones have led to a decrease in pedestrian fatalities in the city, large vehicles driven by reckless drivers remain a significant danger for pedestrians. Last year 116 pedestrians died in car accidents in New York City and 8,500 of them were injured. While these numbers are lower than in 2013, before Vision Zero, when 168 pedestrians were killed and 11,978 were injured they are far from the “zero” fatality goal of the Vision Zero program.
Drivers must be held accountable for failing to yield to pedestrians. This is a matter of safety for everyone on the road, and we must take it seriously. When drivers are held responsible for their actions, it sends a message that we prioritize the safety of all individuals, including pedestrians. As pedestrian accident attorneys in New York, we have a long experience representing pedestrians injured or killed by drivers who failed to yield to them. In a recent case, our attorneys obtained a record-setting $85 million verdict for a pedestrian who was struck by a bus driver as he was in the crosswalk with the light in his favor.
Zone of Danger Rule
In New York when a grandmother witnesses injury to the grandchild or the grandchild witnesses injury to the grandmother and they are within the “zone of danger” they are both entitled to recover money damages for the mental suffering that flows from the injuries. Our firm successfully changed the law on zone of danger damages making clear that grandparents and grandchildren are considered to be part of the immediate family allowing for such recovery.