Despite New York City Mayor de Blasio's Vision Zero program, which was implemented to prevent traffic fatalities, the streets recently claimed another victim only two blocks from the site where a 9-year-old boy lost his life in January. His death was the impetus for the mayor's initiative, but for one 61-year-old retired commercial artist, it wasn't enough.
The former New York Times artist was attempting to cross West End Avenue around 11 a.m. with the traffic signal when a man driving a 2004 Ford Expedition made a left turn onto the avenue from West 95th Street, striking her. According to witness accounts, the pedestrian accident was horrific.
One 23-year-old bystander reported, "I heard a ‘boom.' Everybody standing around screamed. The woman was knocked out instantly; her head and face were covered in blood."
The woman was dragged underneath of the SUV for almost a block before the driver stopped. The witness added that the 50-year-old driver, whom police have not charged in the fatal wreck, was noticeably disturbed by the incident.
Emergency responders transported the woman to St. Luke's Hospital, where she was pronounced dead. She was only three blocks from her home on Riverside Drive when she was hit.
Despite Mayor de Blasio's program, the streets of New York City remain fraught with danger for pedestrians. A heightened awareness of traffic patterns and reduced driver speeds may reduce serious injuries and deaths, but for those unfortunate enough to tangle with traffic and lose, it is not enough.
Survivors of those killed in traffic may get some solace by turning to the civil court system of New York to seek redress for their loved one's untimely deaths. These options are available to those who are injured as well.
Source: New York Daily News, "Artist killed after SUV drags her half a block in area where cab struck boy" Laura Dimon, Corinne Lestch and Thomas Tracy, Jul. 10, 2014