A young pedestrian was critically injured in a truck accident in New York City last Thursday around 1:00 pm. The 11 year old girl was in a crosswalk and had the right of way when she was run over by a box truck . The driver, 51 year old Douglas Watson of Maryland, was stoned behind the wheels. He hit the young girl as he was making a left turn from Wythe Ave onto Rutledge in Brooklyn. The girl fell on the ground and the driver ran over her body with the front left wheel. The young pedestrian suffered a collapsed lung, a lacerated spleen and very bad injuries to her torso. She was rushed to the emergency room in critical condition. The driver was arrested by the police. The police found out that the man had one prior sealed arrest in New York City and that he was driving with a suspended licensed. He was charged with operating a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs, aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle failure to yield and failure to exercise due care.
3 pedestrians died and another one was critically injured in New York City last Tuesday. The carnage started at 6:00 am in the morning in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. 71 year old Joseph Ramieri was crossing Meeker Avenue between Bridgewater Street and Gardner Avenue when he was struck by a car. He was transported unresponsive to the hospital. He died there. The driver stayed at the scene of the accident and wasn’t charged by the police.
3 hours later, at 9:00 am, 81 year old Carmen Velez was crossing E. Fordham Road when she was struck by a car making a left turn from Hughes Avenue onto Fordham Avenue, Bronx. She was taken to the hospital with severe trauma to her body. She was declared dead upon her arrival. The driver of the car was charged with failure to yield to a pedestrian and failure to exercise due care.
The third fatal pedestrian accident of the day occurred at night in Gerritsen Beach, Brooklyn. A woman in her 50s was fatally hit by a pick up truck at the intersection of Gerritsen Avenue and Whitney Avenue. No charges were filed against the driver.
Vision Zero was launched in an attempt to reduce pedestrian and bicyclists deaths in NYC. However, in an unexpected twist, the program primarily helped in curbing motorists deaths.
Back in 2013 before Vision Zero started, 286 people died and 54,818 suffered personal injury in motor vehicle accidents in New York City. Among the 286 deaths were 168 pedestrians, many of them children and elderly. In New York City, car accidents have been the leading cause of child deaths for many years. According to statistics, two thirds of the children involved in fatal accidents were child pedestrians being struck by cars. Elderly are also at higher risk of being struck by cars in New York City, especially after sunset when the visibility is reduced.
When Bill de Blasio became Mayor on January 1st 2014, he pledged to change this situation and provide safe streets for New York families. Vision Zero was launched for this purpose in January 2014 and is still ongoing. The program includes various initiatives such as speed limit reduction, dangerous streets re-design and more forceful prosecution of traffic violations. Since the program started, the total number of traffic deaths gradually declined from 286 in 2013 before the program to 250 in 2014, 235 in 2015 and 223 in 2016. From the beginning of 2014 to the end of 2016, the total number of traffic deaths declined by 22% in New York City.
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.
A 49 year old man was fatally struck by a car yesterday in New York City. The man was trying to cross the Van Wyck Expressway near Jewel Ave in Queens. The man climbed the median and was about to cross the Northbound lane of the Highway when he was hit by a car. The victim died at the scene of the accident. The driver who stopped after the accident wasn’t charged. The accident occurred during rush hour yesterday afternoon. Both lanes were shutdown creating a major traffic jam up to JFK airport. (see video on PIX11)
Earlier during the week, on Monday, 7 pedestrians were injured by a reckless car driver who was fleeing the police in Brooklyn. 20 year old Diego Williams was chased by the police after fleeing a traffic stop. During the chase Williams crashed into a police car and 5 other vehicles. 7 pedestrians were also injured. One suffered severe injury and six minor injury. Williams tried to escape by foot but was captured by the police. (read more in the NY Daily News)
A 59 year old man is in critical condition after he was struck by a car in New York City. The accident took place on Sunday around 5.20 pm. The pedestrian was crossing Ralph Ave at the intersection of Macon Street when a car hit him. The driver didn’t stop. The pedestrian was transported to the hospital in critical condition. The police are still looking for the car which may possibly be a red sedan. Read more in the NY Daily News