A young man died in a NYC car accident early last Saturday. Hassan Jones, a 28 year old US Army veteran, was driving with his cousin on the Grand Central Parkway in Queens when they bumped into a SUV in front of them. Both cars stopped on the side of the road. The two occupants of the SUV stepped out and as Hassan and his cousin did the same. An argument followed. One of the SUV passengers punched Jones. He fell to the ground. He was struck by a car and dragged several feet on the road. He died at the scene of the accident. After realizing what happened, the driver stopped. He panicked, abandoned his car and ran away on foot. He was later on found by the police and identified as 19 year old Starlyn Colon-Burgess. He was arrested and charged with leaving the scene of a fatal accident. According to the NY Daily News both cars involved in the first accident also fled the scene of the accident but the police were able to find them.
A NYPD officer died and a sergeant was seriously injured in a car accident that occurred last week in the Bronx. 27 year old rookie officer Bianca Bennett was a passenger in a car driven by Sergeant Randolph Price. Both cops were off-duty. They were returning from a diner with friends in City Island. Price who was speeding, lost control of his vehicle and careened into a tree stump. The car flipped upside down and burst into flames. Two other cops on their way home from the firing range saw the accident and ran to the rescue. They were able to pull Price out of the flames but it was too late to save Bennett. According to them she was so badly burned that it was impossible to determine if she was a woman or a man. 27 year old Bennett was fiancee to her high school sweetheart Micheal Coleman, they were about to get married in April. A vigil was held yesterday in the East Village. Read more in the NY Daily News
The number of pedestrians hit by cars in The NYC 112th Precinct increased by 64% in January 2017 compared to January 2016. Last month 23 people were struck by cars in Forest Hill and Rego Park in Queens compared to 14 during the same period of 2016. Many of the pedestrian accidents occurred during a turn. In order to try to reduce these types of crashes, the NYPD 112th Precinct launched a campaign to tell motorists to be careful while driving through an intersection or trough crosswalks. Last week officers handed flyers to motorists containing Zero Vision information and also specific reminder about speed, not cutting corners and being especially on the look out for pedestrians after sunset. Read more in DNA Info
9 people including 7 pedestrians and bicyclists died in NYC car crashes in the first 10 days of 2017. In a recent statement, Paul Steely White, the Transportation Alternatives Executive Director, expressed his outrage and asked the city of New York to accelerate street redesigns. He also wants the New York police to change their attitude and be more accountable.
In his statement, Steely White, noted that 7 of the 9 fatal crashes occurred in locations that have been previously identified by Vision Zero as “priority areas”. Transportation Alternatives asks the city to allocate immediate funding to redesign these high crashes locations.
Steely White also expressed his outrage towards NYPD investigators behavior. The NYPD has a horrible habit of blaming the victims and exonerating drivers. For example, the driver of the box truck who fatally struck Rafael Nieves last week and left the scene of the accident was let go without his case being referred to the district attorney (see previous blog). The police also didn’t charge the driver who killed 43 year old Marlon Palacios. The driver told the police his leg had become stiff and got stuck on the accelerator. The police have the power to act as a judge and a jury while a court should make such decision. Additionally the police are supposed to deter dangerous driving in New York City but they often blame the victims and let go reckless drivers.
- A 13 year old pedestrian was injured in a NYC car accident last Thursday. Gittie Hershenbaum was waiting for her school bus on a sidewalk when a car jumped the curb and hit her. The driver who was working for Uber, suffered a cardiac arrest and lost control of his vehicle. The accident took place at the intersection of 55th street and 18th Ave in Borough Park, Brooklyn. A video surveillance shows the girl landing on the hood of the car after being struck by it. The impact was extremely strong. The parents told The NY Daily News that girl was probably saved by her backpack that was full of books and acted as a cushion as she landed with her back on the car. She suffered a fractured leg. The driver of the car was transported to the hospital in critical condition.
37 pedestrians and one bicyclist were among the 50 victims who died in NYC traffic accidents last fall (September, October, November). This is 15 less accident fatalities than in the fall of 2015, 21 less than in the fall of 2014 and 34 less than in the fall of 2013. Since 2013, the number of people dying on the road has been decreasing each fall in the city.
While less people are dying in NYC car accidents, more are getting injured. After recording a decline in 2014, the number of people injured in traffic accidents during the fall months went back up slightly in 2015 and reached its highest in 2016. 15,480 people were injured in traffic accidents in New York City during the 3-month period of September, October and November 2016 compared to 13,693 during the same period of 2015, 13,350 during the same period of 2014 and 14,449 during the same period of 2013.
The total number of motor vehicle accidents in New York City is continuing to rise as well.
A NYC pedestrian was fatally struck by a dump truck. A bicyclist died after being clipped by a box truck. A pedestrian lost his life after being hit by a car. All 3 accidents occurred in Brooklyn Monday afternoon.
85 year old Rafael Nieves was walking back home from a trip to the supermarket around 1pm in Williamsburg. As he was crossing Grand Street near Lorimer a dump truck ran over him. The driver didn’t even stop. The police located him later on. According to their investigation the truck driver didn’t know he hit someone. Nieves, a Puerto Rican military veteran leaves behind him two children and five grand children.
A few hours later, around 4:45 pm, a 70 year old bicyclist died after being hit by a delivery truck. Iosif Plazinsky was riding his bike on Avenue X near Coney Island Ave. The bicyclist was hit twice by the truck. After the first collision he lost balance and fell. Then the truck veered to the right and struck him again. Plazinsky was rushed to the hospital but he couldn’t be saved. The truck driver stayed at the scene of the accident. Plazinsky was a retired construction worker from Odessa. He lived in Brighton Beach with his family. He had 3 grand children and one about to be born.
An elderly woman was injured in a car accident in New York City on Tuesday. The accident was caused by two police officers who were chasing a robbery suspect. The police officers received a radio order to stop the pursuit but ignored it. They continued to chase the suspect on Graham Ave, a busy Williamsburg street in Brooklyn. During the pursuit, the suspect lost control of his vehicle on Myrtle Ave. He hit two police cars and jumped the curb. He struck a 71 year old woman on the sidewalk. The woman and two other police officers were injured and transported to the hospital. According to witnesses talking to the NY Daily News, it’s a miracle that no other pedestrians were hurt.
After a young bicyclist was struck by a car in New York City, the Court of Appeals held the city of New York liable for failing to install traffic calming measures in a street the city knew was dangerous. The Court of Appeals decision is related to a crash between a bicyclist and a car that occurred back in 2004 on Gerritsen Avenue in Brooklyn, NYC.
On December 5 2004 around 6:30 pm, 12 year old Anthony Turturro was riding his bike on Gerritsen Avenue. At the time of the accident, Gerritsen Ave was a four lane avenue with two lanes of traffic going in each direction. As he was attempting to cross the avenue at mid-block, the young boy was struck by a car. The driver, Louis Pascarella, was speeding. The police investigation established that when the crash occurred, the driver’s speed was 54 mph, 24 mph over the 30 mph speed limit at this location. Turturro suffered serious injury. The driver pleaded guilty to assault in the second degree.
RECKLESS DRIVING AND SPEEDING
3 men were struck by a minivan as they were changing a flat tire on a highway. One of them died and the two others suffered serious injury. They were expected to survive. The car accident occurred around 2:00 am this morning on a segment of the New England Thruway in the Bronx, NYC. After one of their tires broke, 3 men in a car pulled over on a narrow shoulder of the highway. As they were changing the tire, a 52 year old man driving a minivan struck all 3 men. The driver remained at the scene of the accident. He wasn’t charged. Read more in AMNY