On the morning of August 4th, Yelena Gervolskaya, a 75-year-old pedestrian and a beloved family member, lost her life after being struck by both a dump truck and a Jeep at the intersection of Shore Parkway and Shell Road in Gravesend, Brooklyn. Both drivers fled the scene; however, they have now been identified by the police. As of now, no charges have been filed against either of them.
Last week 15 people were injured in a bus accident and a teenager was killed when the car she was in collided with a truck. Both accidents took place near JFK Airport, which is currently undergoing a major makeover. The aim of this $19 billion project is to rejuvenate the airport by providing modern facilities and improved terminals. However, this extensive renovation comes at a cost: roadways are being torn up and closed, resulting in significant traffic disruptions that are projected to last for several years. Consequently, various modes of transportation, including driving, public transit, taxis, and ride-hailing services, will be affected, potentially causing substantial congestion, delays, and safety concerns.
Last Friday a collision occurred between a Delta Airlines bus and a commuter van on the Van Wyck Expressway, resulting in 15 injuries. This incident serves as a stark reminder of the dangers faced by commuters in and around JFK Airport and southeast Queens. Local leaders, such as Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, have been advocating for clearer signs, speed warnings, and overall safer street designs as part of the JFK Airport overhaul. Additionally, Richards highlighted the peril of driving on North and South Conduit Avenue, where a 14-year-old girl was killed in a car accident just two days prior. The accident took place on North Conduit Avenue near 160th Street. The 14-year-old was a passenger in a BMW driven by a 16-year-old driver. The young driver, who was not supposed to be driving alone, lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a UPS truck, resulting in the death of his passenger and friend.
As predicted by Frommers, commuting to JFK airport, is currently and will continue to be a nightmare for years to come.
A total of 11,176 people were injured in NYC crashes during the first quarter of 2023 according to monthly statistics from the NYPD including 809 cyclists, 2,163 pedestrians, 3,310 passengers and 4,894 motorists. This is compared to 10,501, 8,984, 12,997, 12,920, 12,608, 11,936, 10,805, and 11,676 during Q1 of 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013 respectively. The number of people injured in traffic accidents during Q1 of each year shows how injuries first declined after Vision Zero started in 2014 and 2015, compared to 2013, and then jumped again in 2016. The number gradually increased to pass 12,000 in 2017 and reach a record high of 12,997 in 2019 due to the increase in distracted driving accidents caused by cellphones and other electronic devices. Crash injuries dropped again in Q1 of 2020 and 2021 due to the decline in activity in the city caused by the pandemic, and gradually increased again in Q1 of 2022 and 2023 as the city gradually became more active again.
Since Vision Zero started in 2014, the number of people dying in car accidents during the first quarter of the year has never gone back to 69, the number of crash fatalities reached during Q1 2013. However, after Vision Zero started, traffic fatalities reached a record high at 58 during the first quarter of last year and remained high during the first quarter of this year with 47 fatalities.
While the number of passenger fatalities dropped significantly from 17 to 6, the number of bicyclist fatalities reached a record high during the first three months of the year. The warm winter, the increased popularity of e-bikes, as well as the more intense truck traffic generated by internet shoppers, are among the factors that contributed to this explosion of fatalities among cyclists.
More pedestrians and more passengers died in auto accidents in 2022 than in 2021 while cyclists and motor vehicle operators fatalities declined. Bus accidents increased while truck accidents remained stable. Motorcycle accidents remain at record levels.
After reaching a record high in 2021, NYC traffic deaths reached their second highest number since Vision Zero started in 2014
According to traffic collision data provided by the NYPD, 251 people died in crashes in the city in 2022 compared to respectively 254, 239, 214, 199, 209, 223, 235, 250 and 286 in 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013. As a reminder, NYPD traffic collision data might differ slightly from the real data, especially for fatalities as sometimes people died from their injuries several days or weeks after the accident occurred.
The first accident occurred early morning in Queens. Around 6:00 am, a pedestrian was fatally struck by a car driver on 84th St near 153rd Ave in Howard Beach. The pedestrian who was found lying unconscious on the ground by EMS was identified as 53 year old Cristina Ana Acosta. She was rushed to the hospital but did not survive. The victim was killed a block away from her home.
The 45 year old driver of the Nissan Rogue who struck her remained at the scene of the accident and was not charged. A picture of the car that struck her in the NY Post shows that the car that struck her had plates reading “JOVILOCO”. It appears that the car driver is a repeated speeding offender and has accumulated almost 30 school zone camera violations in 3 years according to howsmydriving.
A car driver died in a fiery NYC crash that occurred in the Mount Even section of the Cross Bronx Expressway, underneath University Avenue, around 12:30 am on Monday night.
According to media, 49 year old Shelly Vilsaint from Bayonne, New Jersey, was driving her 2019 Range Rover west bound of the Cross Bronx Expressway in the middle lane when she rear-ended a tractor trailer contracted by the U.S. Postal Service. Both drivers got out of their vehicles to talk.
The accident was a minor fender-bender for which usually the NYPD does not respond anymore but the woman insisted on waiting for the police. The driver of the truck suggested they pull over but she refused. Both got back in their vehicles and shortly after another tractor trailer rear-ended the Range Rover. The car was crushed between the two trucks and Shelly Vilsaint died at the scene of the accident.
A cyclist was killed in a hit-and-run tractor trailer accident in New York City on Thanksgiving day. The victim was riding her bike East on Liberty Avenue near the intersection of the Van Wick Expressway Service Road in Queens, NYC when she was struck by a tractor trailer truck making a left turn onto the Van Wick Expressway Service Road.
The victim, a 43 year old woman, was knocked down from her bicycle, and fell under the truck where she got trapped. She was then dragged several feet by the truck. The truck driver never stopped. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.
The truck driver who was behind the wheel of a 2014 Kenworth T8 Series tractor trailer truck is a 48 -year old man who was later on identified by the police. The accident is still being investigated by the police. The intersection of Liberty Avenue and Van Wick Expressway is extremely dangerous, especially for people on micro mobility devices.
Another cyclist was fatally struck by a tractor trailer in NYC on Wednesday. The tractor trailer was on a non truck route. The victim was identified as 25 year old Kala Santiago, a mother of 2 children, 2months and 1 and half year old. She was on her way to work and was riding her bicycle on Parkside Avenue near Parade Place in the vicinity of Prospect Park when the fatal accident occurred.
Truck driver blames the victim even though he failed to yield to her
So far the police did not charge the truck driver who was identified as Saeed Ahmed. He told the police that the cyclist fell under his truck after she hit a vehicle parked on the side of the road. He also said he saw the cyclist in front of him and she seemed nervous. The driver also told Liam Quigley from the NY Daily News (see twitter post below) that he saw the cyclist and overtook her but stopped as soon as he saw she fell under the wheels of the truck. Pictures of the accident seemed to indicate that Kala Santiago might have been crushed between a parked truck on the right side and the tractor trailer on her left side. Another surveillance video shows that the tractor trailer failed to yield to her and overpassed her with oncoming traffic in the other direction. As a result there was not enough space and the cyclist might have been crushed between the two trucks.
A reckless truck driver fatally struck a NYC pedestrian as he was in the crosswalk with the light in his favor. The truck accident occurred early morning around 6:30 am on October 4th.
63 year old Benjamin Berger was crossing the street at the intersection of Flushing Avenue and Bedford Avenue. He was in the crosswalk with the greenlight in his favor when a box truck turning left from Flushing Avenue onto Bedford Avenue literally rolled over him. A surveillance video posted by Williamsburg News shows the truck turning recklessly without slowing down and driving over the victim. When paramedics arrived at the scene of the accident they found the victim dead with severe body and head injuries. The man was living just a block away.
The driver was identified as 44 year old Torriez Bailey from Maryland. He was arrested by the police and charged with failure to use due care and failure to yield to a pedestrian.
17 pedestrians, 4 cyclists, 14 passengers and 22 motorists died in auto accidents in NYC during the two hottest months of the summer. Truck accidents were close to record highs while bus accidents were slightly lower than usual.
35 people died in car accidents in New York City in July and 22 in August for a total of 57 fatalities compared to respectively 51, 42, 39, 32, 43, 44, 41, 50 and 56 during the months of July and August 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013. The number of fatalities was even higher this summer than what it was during the summer of 2013 before Vision Zero started.
The month of July was particularly bad with a record 35 people dying during this month. The only time since 2013 that this number of people were killed in traffic accidents was in September 2020. Since the Covid19 crisis of 2020, traffic accidents fatalities have been much higher than what they were the years before. Among those who died in July were 11 pedestrians, 3 cyclists, 7 motor vehicle passengers and 14 motor vehicle operators. The number of motor vehicle operator deaths in July reached a level never seen since the beginning of Vision Zero except again in September 2020.