Yesterday morning, a 7-year-old boy lost his life in Brooklyn, NYC, after being struck by a New York Police Department (NYPD) tow truck. The accident occurred at the northern border of Fort Greene Park.
The collision occurred at approximately 7:45 a.m. when the young boy and his mother crossed Myrtle Avenue in a marked crosswalk. The tow truck driver, identified as Stephanie Sharp, a 54-year-old traffic enforcement agent with the NYPD, attempted to make a right turn onto North Portland Avenue and tragically struck the boy, who was on his way to school. Despite the swift arrival of emergency medical workers, they were unable to save the young life, and the boy was pronounced dead at the scene.
Stephanie Sharp, the driver of the NYPD tow truck, now faces serious charges, including failure to yield to a pedestrian and failure to exercise due care. She has been issued a desk appearance ticket and is set to appear in court at a later date. These charges highlight the gravity of the situation and the potential legal consequences for the driver involved in such a devastating accident.
The community of Fort Greene, Brooklyn, has been deeply affected by this tragedy. Eyewitnesses report the scene of the mother chasing the tow truck down the street, desperately screaming that the driver had taken her child’s life. This accident has reignited concerns about road safety and the need for improved measures to protect pedestrians, especially in areas heavily populated by schoolchildren.
Council member Crystal Hudson criticized the Police Department for what she called “a lack of discipline and care in the field” and expressed her distress at having to witness such tragedies all too frequently.
The tragic death of this young boy is not an isolated incident. According to Transportation Alternatives, a safe-streets advocacy group, this child is the 73rd pedestrian to lose their life in a traffic collision in New York City this year alone. While this number is slightly lower than the same period last year, it’s still an alarming statistic that demands attention.
Since 2014, when the city initiated its Vision Zero program aimed at reducing traffic fatalities, at least 26 children have lost their lives in traffic accidents while walking to or from school. This raises serious questions about the effectiveness of current safety measures and calls for a more comprehensive approach to protecting pedestrians.
Suing the NYPD After an Accident
Navigating the legal terrain when contemplating legal action against a law enforcement agency like the NYPD following a vehicular accident is no straightforward matter. While individuals retain their fundamental right to seek compensation when they believe negligence or misconduct by law enforcement officers has caused them harm, pursuing a claim against a government entity introduces a labyrinth of legal intricacies. This intricate process often commences with the submission of a notice of claim, formally notifying the city of one’s intention to sue. Subsequently, a comprehensive investigation becomes imperative to establish liability. Success in these cases frequently hinges on the ability to substantiate claims of negligence, recklessness, or wrongdoing on the part of the involved officers. To navigate this complex terrain effectively, seeking guidance from an adept attorney specializing in cases involving government entities is indispensable in assessing the feasibility of pursuing a lawsuit against the NYPD following a tragic accident.
At Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman, and Mackauf, our legal team boasts a wealth of experience representing families who have lost loved ones in accidents involving NYPD vehicles. One such case involved Mary Beth Kelly, the widow of a doctor turned Transportation Alternative activist after her husband tragically lost his life in a collision with an NYPD tow truck. Trusting our attorneys to handle her case against the NYPD, we secured for a significant settlement for wrongful death.
Additionally, last year, our NYPD Vehicle Accident Lawyers achieved a remarkable $20 million settlement for a 57-year-old man who sustained a spinal cord injury when struck by an on-duty NYPD patrol vehicle. These outcomes underscore our dedication and commitment to seeking justice for those affected by tragic incidents involving law enforcement vehicles.
Short deadline to sue the NYPD
In the unfortunate event that you have been involved in an accident with an NYPD vehicle resulting in injury or death, it’s crucial to act swiftly within the legally mandated timelines. You must file a Notice of Claim with the City of New York within 90 days from the date of the accident. Furthermore, you have a limited window of one year and 90 days to initiate a civil lawsuit against the city. These stringent deadlines underscore the paramount importance of taking prompt legal action if you seek compensation for your losses in such cases.
Picture of the location of the NYPD tow truck fatal accident: courtesy of Google Map.
— New York Post (@nypost) October 26, 2023