New York City pedestrian accident attorney report: A Queens woman was killed when a bus from Nassau County turned right from Hillside Avenue into the pedestrian crosswalk of Merrick Boulevard, colliding with the woman. The unidentified woman was attempting to cross Merrick Blvd when she was struck. She was declared dead at the scene. This incident occurred on October 14, 2012, at approximately 7 p.m. The driver of the bus stayed at the scene of the accident and was not charged with any crimes, pending further investigation. The bus was identified as a Nassau Inter-County Express Bus. The bus in question is owned by Nassau County. In 2011, Nassau County transferred the operation of these buses to a private company, Veolia Transport, due to funding disputes with the previous operator.
According to New York City pedestrian accident attorney, Jonathan C. Reiter, who has handled many bus and pedestrian accidents, these all-too-common accidents are the result of several factors, working in concert to lead to tragic loss of life. Mr. Reiter stated as follows: The chances that a pedestrian will get killed by a vehicle turning into the street where the crosswalk is located, is enormous in New York City and all of its boroughs. A pedestrian literally takes their life in their hands when they cross the street at a corner such as where this tragic accident occurred, Hillside Avenue and Merrick Blvd. This accident’s multiple causes include the possibility of driver inattention, excessive speed under the circumstances in conjunction with poor lighting, inadequate signage or other design defects of the crosswalk and roadway.
Mr. Reiter went on to state that the City of New York must do more to prevent these type of tragic accidents, as follows: “The type of accident that occurred here has become all too common, over the years, in New York City. This location in Queens County is known to have experienced many accidents of this type. A multitude of traffic studies have been performed as a result of the high number of pedestrian accidents in Queens County. Mr. Reiter added: “While numerous studies have resulted in the City implementing safety measures, such as placement of more lights and signals at corners and pedestrian cross-walks, there are recent studies that recommend that cross-walks be moved to the middle of the block, rather than the end of the block, to further protect pedestrians. These recommendations have yet to be implemented in Queens County, and have only been used on a trial basis on a very few intersections located in Manhattan. The results of these traffic studies will be available as time goes on, to determine if moving crosswalks will result in fewer accidents. Mr. Reiter explains “It stands to reason that if cross-walks were moved to the middle of block that the pedestrian crossing at that location would have more distance of roadway to protect him from a turning vehicle”. Mr. Reiter also explained that “since there are multiple parties that could be held liable in an eventual lawsuit on behalf of the deceased victim, that both Nassau County and the private company that operates, the bus line, in addition to the bus driver would have to be sued in a lawsuit seeking damages for this accident.
The public can only hope that pedestrian crosswalks can be made as safe as possible by the City of New York, in order to minimize the dangers to life and limb of merely crossing the street, something every New Yorker does multiple times per day. Until the safety plans are implemented fully, each and every New Yorker takes his life in his hands when crossing the street in New York, says Mr. Reiter, the New York bus accident lawyer.