The investigation is still ongoing in the NYC car accident during which Dorothy Burns drove into a group of pedestrians and killed two young children on March 5th. According to a new article in the NY Daily News, a medical crew was dispatched to Burns’ apartment on March 2nd after receiving a call about a cardiac condition. It wasn’t the first time that emergency responders showed up at this address. Investigators found that they were previously called to the rescue for cardiac condition on December 22nd and November 19th. The health of Dorothy Burns had deteriorated so much at the beginning of the year that she had to ask for a medical leave from her job in January. She didn’t return until February after she received a medical clearance. The investigators are now trying to find out if the doctors told Burns she had to stop driving because of her condition. The woman who suffers from multiple sclerosis had a seizure before crashing into a group of pedestrians who were crossing the road in Park Slope. Two young children died and three other people were injured in the accident (see previous blog)
Dorothy Burns, the woman who killed two children and sent their mothers to the hospital after going through a red light, had a history of reckless driving. She was caught four times for running a red light and four other times for speeding in school zones. However she was still able to drive around the city.
In Today’s editorial, the New York Daily News is pointing out several cases of dangerous drivers who have been caught multiple times endangering pedestrians lives but still have their driving licence.
Drivers who are being caught by speed or red-light cameras only risk a $50 fine in New York City. There are no other consequences whatever the number of times they are caught doing it. The Daily News found out that a dozen drivers have accumulated more than 45 tickets each and are still able to drive in the city. Privacy Laws prevented the Daily News from obtaining the names of these drivers. However they found out that the same car in Queens got 74 tickets for speeding in school zone and 1 for going through a red light. A white van got 59 speeding tickets and 7 red light violations. Two livery cars with TLC licenses had a total of 22 red light violations and 25 speeding tickets.
A hard hat died at a NYC construction site after being crushed between a forklift and and a flatbed truck. 46 year old Jorge Castaneda from Queens was working at a Brooklyn construction site located at the intersection of Stewart Street and Broadway in Buschwick, Saturday afternoon around 3:00 pm. The construction worker walked between a flatbed truck and a forklift that was carrying scaffolding pipes. The forklift tipped over as it was passing next to Castaneda, crushing him against the truck. Emergency responders lifted the forklift, liberated the poor man and rushed him to the hospital. Unfortunately the worker couldn’t be saved. He died from his injuries. Read more in the NY Daily News
Forklifts are dangerous machines and unfortunately accidents involving workers on foot struck by such machines are all too common. Very often accidents occur because safety protocols established by the New York State Department of Labor were not followed. In the case of the death of Jorge Castaneda, the forklift may have tipped because it was not in compliance with Industrial Code §23-9.8(b) stating that forklifts may not be overloaded.
Picture of the site of the accident courtesy of Google Map
NYC Fatal traffic accidents were at their lowest last January. During the first month of 2018, 11 people died in a traffic accident compared to respectively 18, 17, 13, 21 and 28 in January 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013. The only months when the number of monthly fatal auto accidents in New York City was this low was in March 2016 and in May 2017. The monthly number of traffic deaths never went below 11 in the city.
While traffic fatalities have been on a declining trend since Vision Zero started, the opposite occurred with traffic injuries. They have been on a rising trend. However recent numbers seem to show some signs of stabilization. 4,351 people were injured in a car accident in New York City in January 2018. That’s a little bit less than the 4,383 people injured in January 2017 but more than respectively the 3,654, 3,449, 3,899 and 3,993 people injured in January 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013.
Globally, traffic accidents continue to increase in New York City. Despite being lower than most previous months, the number of traffic accidents in New York City reached 17,762 in January 2018 compared to respectively 17,126, 17,798, 15,977, 16,597, 15,599 in January 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013. January is usually a month during which traffic accidents are lower than other months. The number of accidents is usually below the trend line in January.
Two people died and 9 were injured in a fire accident in New York City. The fire started on the first floor of a building located on Hoffman Street near 87th Street in Belmont, Bronx around 1:30 am on Monday morning. After the fire broke out in one of the apartments on the first floor, tenants ran away without closing the door behind them to prevent flames from spreading. The fire quickly engulfed the rest of the building trapping residents on the second floor. The scene was extremely chaotic as firefighters had to fight the flames to make their way upstairs to save the residents. 11 of them including a 7 year old girl were transported to the hospital, some with critical burn injuries. Two of them died shortly after.
Last December a similar fire accident occurred in the same neighborhood killing 13 people. The fire propagated in a similar manner in the building after a door was left opened by tenants as they were escaping their burning apartment. (Read previous post).
A man scavenging for construction material in a half demolished building was seriously injured after he fell through the floor. The accident occurred at a dilapidated Brooklyn building located at the intersection of Rutland Road and Brooklyn Ave in Prospect Lefferts Gardens. The floor gave way under the weight of the 33 year old man and he got trapped. It took an hour for the paramedics and the firefighters to shore up the basement to take him out. The man was then rushed to the hospital where he was listed in serious condition.
Before being bought by the church next door, the building was a lounge. The church received a violation from the city Environmental Control Board for failure to maintain the building after it partially collapsed. Concerned neighbors told the DOB at the end of January that the structure “was leaning”. The owner was supposed to raze the entire building but only half of it was demolished.
After the accident the DOB issued 3 violations to the church:
36 year old Steven Morales was pedaling on Runway Drive near Laguardia Airport around 7:00 pm when he was mowed down by a vehicle that never stopped. The emergency crew gave him CPR and rushed him to a nearby hospital but he couldn’t be saved.
Runway drive which is an access road to Laguardia Airport was shut down for a few hours for investigation purposes. The police also searched surveillance camera and were able to find the shuttle and the driver who allegedly hit the cyclist. The driver denied hitting anyone. He wasn’t arrested. According to the police the bicyclist may have been hit by the rear wheel of the shuttle bus.
A young man died in a car crash in Queens, NYC Saturday around 12:45 am.
The 21 year old man whose identity wasn’t released lost control of his vehicle while driving on Union Turnpike in Forest Hills near Woodhaven Boulevard. He hit a divider near the Stop & Shop supermarket and slammed into an edge of the supermarket’s loading dock (see picture from Google Map). His car burst on fire. By the time the emergency crew responded to the accident it was already too late. The victim was rushed to the hospital but he couldn’t be saved.
Read more in the NY Daily News
In 2017, 102 pedestrians, 20 cyclists, 24 passengers and 63 drivers died in auto accidents in New York City compared to respectively 134, 18, 17 and 54 in 2016.
According to the traffic collision data released monthly by the NYPD, a total of 209 people died in traffic accidents in 2017 compared to a total of 223 in 2016 and 286 in 2013 before Vision Zero was launched. This is the lowest number of motor vehicle accident fatalities ever recorded since the city started to create statistics in 1910.
The decline in traffic fatalities is mostly due to the decline in pedestrian deaths that went down by 39% from 168 in 2013 before Vision Zero to 102 in 2017. During that same time fatal bicycle accidents almost doubled going from 11 to 20. Passenger deaths stayed almost stable from 23 to 24 and motorists fatalities declined by 25%.
After 13 people died and 4 were critically injured in a fire accident in New York City, the FDNY reminds New Yorkers that a simple move can save lives. If you are fleeing a room on fire, shut the door behind you! In apartment buildings this simple action can prevent the fire from spreading to hallways and stairs. In houses, closing a door can save the whole structure. Above all all it can prevent others from being injured or from dying.
Last month, a fire started in the kitchen of an apartment located at 2363 Prospect Ave in Belmont. A young mother was in the kitchen and ran away leaving the kitchen door opened behind her. This allowed the fire to spread upstairs and then throughout the entire building. 12 people died in the fire including four children. 4 other people were critically injured. Among them was a man who died from his injuries a few days later. The FDNY believes that if the kitchen door had been closed, the deaths and injuries may have been prevented.
If you find yourself in a situation were you have to flee from a fire just remember one thing: Close the Door!