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Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf is a New York Plaintiff's personal injury law firm specializing in automobile accidents, construction accidents, medical malpractice, products liability, police misconduct and all types of New York personal injury litigation.

Articles Tagged with wrongful death NYC

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garbage truck accident Brooklyn TwitA 62 year old man was killed in a garbage truck accident in Brooklyn, NYC, on Friday afternoon. The accident occurred around 3:30 pm in front of the Atlantic Terminal Mall near the Barclay Center.  The pedestrian was crossing Flatbush Avenue at the intersection of Atlantic Avenue when he was struck by a commercial garbage truck belonging to the private hauler Safeway Services Corp. The 37 year old driver remained at the scene of the accident.

The pedestrian was struck a few feet away from the faded crosswalk and pictures from the accident scene on social media may indicate that the pedestrian was using a walker. It is not clear if the garbage was driving through the intersection and was on Flatbush Avenue with the light in his favor or if he made a right turn from Atlantic Avenue onto Flatbush and both pedestrians and turning traffic had the green light when the accident occurred.  In that case the truck driver should have yielded to the pedestrian. It is not clear either if the garbage truck was equipped with guardrails.  The law requires that all garbage trucks above 10,000 pounds be equipped with guardrails by 2024.

The intersection remains dangerous despite structural improvements in 2018

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car accident scene in ManhattanThere are multiple ways to reduce car accident deaths in New York City.  One of the most successful ones has been the implementation of speed cameras and red light cameras in the city and the lowering of the speed limit to 25mph. The camera program as well as the speed limit control are in the hands of the state legislature and governor in Albany and as a result, not only the city of New York has to seek re-authorization for its automated enforcement program every 4 years as Albany still considers them “demonstrations” but also the city has to beg Albany any time it wants to make a change to this program.

As car accident fatalities in New York City are reaching highs never seen since the beginning of Vision Zero,  street safety advocate organization Transportation Alternatives is recommending Albany to:

  • Immediately authorizing home rule for the City of New York to have control over life-saving automated enforcement programs and speed limits.
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road defect killed cyclistA senior cyclist died in a accident caused by a road defect in Queens, NYC, last Thursday. 77 year old Lin Wen-Chiang was riding his bicycle on 40th Driver in Elmhurst when he hit a broken cave-in pavement  and fell off his bike. He suffered severe head trauma and died from his injuries.

6 complaints were previously logged in with the Department of Transportation as the cave-in pavement was never properly addressed

After the accident occurred, city workers were seen patching the defect which had been poorly addressed despite multiple complaints to the city.

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Sara-Perez18 year old Sara Perez was fatally struck by a by a 16 year old driver in Queens NYC. The accident occurred last Thursday in front of the Northern Lube and Tire Shop at 106 Northern Boulevard near 107th street.  A video  shows the pedestrian on the sidewalk  waiting for the pick up truck to back out of the garage. After the truck moved out of the way, the young woman proceeded to walk again. As she was doing so, the driver of the pick up truck suddenly reversed into drive, accelerated and crashed into her at a high rate speed. She was crushed against a fence in front of several horrified witnesses. One of them got so upset that he  opened the door of the truck, pulled the driver out and pinned his hand behind his back.

When EMS arrived Sara was unresponsive. She was rushed to the hospital but she could not be saved and was pronounced dead. The young woman was heading home after buying some food for her 10 kittens. She lived just a block away. Sara was fostering stray cats kittens so they could be adopted. She was planning on becoming a veterinarian. She loved animals. The family of Sara set up a gofundme  (picture) to help with the funeral costs and other bills related to the accident.

The driver of the Ford F-150 pickup truck stayed at the scene of the accident. So far he has not been charged or arrested.  It seemed that the young man  backed the car out into the heavy traffic of Northern Boulevard, almost hitting another car, panicked, reversed into drive, pressed the gas and slammed into the pedestrian.

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location of the fatal hit and run accidentLast May, a man behind the wheel of a Rolls Royce fatally struck a pedestrian crossing  Bayard Street at the intersection of McGuiness Boulevard and sped away. The pedestrian was 58 year old Matthew  Jensen. He was a beloved teacher at PS 110 and the Greenpoint community was very moved by his death. After the accident (see previous blog). 

The negligent driver is a 30 year old FDNY EMT

The NYPD announced yesterday that they identified the hit-and-run driver as Tariq Witherspoon, a 30 year old FDNY EMT. They arrested him and charged him with speeding, reckless endangerment, leaving the scene of an accident and criminally negligent homicide.

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dangerous intersection of Cypress and CooperReckless driving in New York City continues and another pedestrian died in a horrific car accident last Saturday night in Queens. A video posted on Twitter (see below) shows the pedestrian crossing in front of a white SUV who did not yield to him and knocked him down on the ground. Then the driver of a black SUV whose car was so tall that he probably did not see the pedestrian lying on the ground, rolled over him and dragged him under his car for a few feet.  The 57 year old pedestrian was still breathing when the EMS rescued him but he died shortly later at the hospital. The driver of the white SUV, a 40 year old man received a summons for failure to yield. The NYPD did not say if the driver of the black SUV was charged. Large SUVs and trucks are responsible for a large number of pedestrian injuries and deaths in New York City.

The accident occurred at the intersection of Cypress and Cooper which is close to Glendale, Queens as well as Ridgewood and Bushwick in Brooklyn. Both cars were making a left turn from Cooper Avenue onto Cypress while other cars coming from the other direction were also turning right onto Cypress. The video shows the white SUV cutting really short in front of another car making a right turn and then the black SUV driving over the pedestrian to avoid a collision with another car turning right as well.

The intersection is notoriously dangerous but except for new pavement last year, it was never redesigned. During the de Blasio administration, according to NYC Crash Mapper, 153 crashes occurred at this location resulting in 73 people injured. Among them were 56 motorists, 10 pedestrians and 7 cyclists.

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Ydanis_Rodriguez26 people died in traffic crashes in  NYC this month according to the NYPD. This is a 63% increase compared to January 2021 when 16 people died in auto accidents in the city. This is the highest number of car accident fatalities since Vision Zero started in February 2014. 28 people died in car accidents in January 2013 and 21 in January 2014. After that the number of car accident deaths in January remained below 20 with respectively 13, 17, 18, 11, 19 and 19 fatalities in January 2015, 2016, 2017. 2018. 2019 and 2020. Among the victims were a 99 year old holocaust survivor and a teenager struck by a school bus on her way to school. After  this horrible accident, Mayor Adams said the NYPD would crack down on drivers who fail to yield to pedestrians and the new Transportation Commissioner, Ydanis Rodriguez said “At DOT the team is working 24/7 to come out with a different way of how we redesign the streets, reorganize the signal system, everything we have in our agency to address this epidemic”. January numbers however show a different story: less tickets were issued for failure to yield in January 2022 than in January 2021 and among the 3,000 to 6,000 reckless drivers who have been listed in the new “Dangerous Vehicle Abatement Program” managed by the DOT, only 97 took the mandated driving class so far.

Additionnally,  last Thursday, a DOT crew tried to dismantle a popular  Open Street on Willoughby Avenue in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn without informing the community. Residents immediately reacted and protested with anger. As a result the same day at night, DOT workers were reinstalling the Open Street signs that had been removed hours earlier. The residents were extremely surprised by the DOT reaction as the Open Street experience on Willoughby Avenue was very popular and the first open street to receive “Light Touch” treatment by the DOT such as planters, signage, curb extension and other safety amenities.  The dismantlement came a few days after the DOT announced that it was postponing the creation of a well needed pedestrian lane on the Queensboro bridge.

This is definitely not a good start for the DOT.

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According to the most recent NYPD collision statistics, a total of 254 people died in motor vehicle accidents in New York City last year. Among them were 108 pedestrians, 15 cyclists, 33 vehicle passengers and 98 motor vehicle drivers.  Before Vision Zero started in  2014, 286 people died in auto accidents in 2013. Then the number of deaths went down to 250 in 2014, 235 in 2015, 223 in 2016. It reached its lowest in 2018 with 199 traffic accident fatalities and then gradually increased to 214 deaths in 2019 and 239 in 2020.

While pedestrians remain the category of road users recording the highest number of deaths of all road users with 108 of them dying last year, the numbers that caused the total traffic fatalities in New York City to be so high last year were the record number of motorists and passengers fatalities. 98 motorists died and 33 passengers were killed in car accidents last year compared to 84 and 23 in 2013 before Vision Zero started. Distracted driving, speeding and recklessness are the causes of most of these fatalities.

car accident fatalities NYC 2021
Traffic accidents injuries remain lower than usual but however a little bit higher than last year with a total of 50,617 people injured in car accidents in 2021 compared to respectively 43,601, 60,234, 60,646, 58,990, 58,526, 51,255, 50,886 and 54,818 in 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013. A diminution of the day to day activity in the city because of the ongoing Covid19 crisis may be a factor behind these lower than usual numbers.

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OSHA logoAfter a hard hat fatally fell 60 feet during demolition work on one of its construction sites, Richmond Construction, based in Queens, NYC, was hit by a $374,603 OSHA fine. This is the second highest OSHA fine for the last quarter of  2021.

Last May, a 49 year old worker hired by Richmond Construction was working on the demolition of the Flatbush Bank Building in Brooklyn. He had just finished breaking apart a section of the roof with a jackhammer and was  walking on the top of the exposed side when a piece of concrete on which he was standing broke apart. The man fell 60 feet down to the ground and died. The worker was not using proper safety equipment and had no training to execute such a dangerous job.

The OSHA investigators found that Richmond Construction failed to provide lifesaving fall protection and did not train employees to recognize and avoid fall hazards. The contractor was cited for 9 willful, repeat and serious violations including:

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Caption Description File URL: https://www.newyorkpersonalinjuryattorneysblog.com/files/2022/02/dangerous-road-conditions-NYC-scaled.jpg Copy URL to clipboard ATTACHMENT DISPLAY SETTINGS Alignment None Link To Media File URL https://www.newyorkpersonalinjuryattorneysblog.com/files/2022/02/dangerous-road-conditions-NYC-scaled.jpg Size Full Size – 2383 × 2560 Selected media actions 1 item selected Clear Insert into postA Brooklyn woman is the 12th pedestrian to die in a car accident in New York City since the beginning of this year. In a very graphic video the 64 year old pedestrian is seen walking West on the North sidewalk of Foster Avenue. As she arrives at the intersection of East 17th Avenue, she waits for the light to turn green and then proceeds to walk on the snowy street. At the same time, the driver of a grey Chevy makes a right turn from Foster onto 17th Street, does not yield  or slows down and slams into the pedestrian.

The driver, a 57 year old woman,  stayed at the scene of the accident and so far was not charged. The victim was rushed to the hospital where she died.

While the video clearly shows that the driver did not yield to the pedestrian, the snow that had not been proprely removed from the intersection made the area even more dangerous to navigate for pedestrians and vehicles.