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Shulem Benyosef, 44, Dies in Brooklyn Ladder Fall

A 44 year old Brooklyn man recently died in a fatal ladder accident. The deceased worker, Shulem Benyosef, was on a 30-foot extension ladder working on the roof at 449 20th Street in Brooklyn when he fell off the ladder. He sliiped while working more than three stories above the ground. Reportedly, after falling 30 feet, his head slammed into the unforgiving concrete. Benyosef was doing construction work at the location.

Did Building Code Violations Cause the NYC Gas Explosion?

The massive explosion in Manhattan's East Village last week left at least 50 people injured and two unaccounted for, according to news reports. In addition to its serious impact on the lives of the injured, the explosion also illustrates the complexity of the aging infrastructure of New York City and the challenge of identifying building code violations. .

Another Manhattan Pedestrian Struck by a Bus

It feels like open season on New York City pedestrians. If this sounds like a recently aired television program that is being shown again, that is because the story you are about to read about continues to happen over and over again on our streets.

Reports are surfacing that yet another innocent pedestrian was struck by a bus in midtown Manhattan this week. The defenseless female pedestrian was walking in the crosswalk at 3rd Avenue and E. 57th St. early yesterday evening when she was struck by an MTA Express Bus. The bus, the X22, hit the woman while it was making a left-hand turn onto 57th Street from 3rd Avenue. Witnesses indicate that the pedestrian was powerless to do anything to avoid the collision.

Justice for Victim of Fatal Brooklyn Truck-Bicycle Accident


This blog has frequently alluded to the seemingly light penalties for motor vehicle drivers who kill or injure pedestrians and bicyclists in New York City. One example of this, reported last week by, is the accident in East Williamsburg three years ago in which a truck driver struck and killed a cyclist in Brooklyn. We reported on the incident when it occurred in 2011.

According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, the truck driver had not done anything more egregious than fail to signal his right turn, the maneuver that killed the bicycle rider. The driver said that he did not notice that he had hit the cyclist.

Strange Type of Pedestrian Accident: Exploding Manhole Covers

One hazard of living or working in New York City is exploding manhole covers. It may sound outlandish, but it happens quite frequently. One such explosion occurred last month in Brooklyn, when a pedestrian was walking his dog in the Prospect Park neighborhood on a frosty morning. The man was rendered unconscious when the heavy metal manhole cover hit him as it fell after being lifted off the manhole by the force of the explosion.

Investigation Continues At Construction Site That Killed Manhattan's Tina Nguyen

The investigation into a tragedy at a Manhattan construction site continues. Earlier this week, we shared the grisly news that 37-year-old Tina Nguyen, an aspiring real estate broker and Manhattan resident, was killed while walking on W. 12th St. in Greenwich Village. Nguyen was on her cell phone when a 4 x 8' piece of plywood struck her, slamming her into a concrete wall. She died later that evening at Bellevue Hospital. The tragedy has gripped the city. Residents and commuters alike have since been wary walking the crowded streets of Manhattan because of the unexpected and sudden nature of this horrible accident.

The plywood came from a construction site at the former St. Vincent's Hospital location. There were very forceful winds, reaching speeds of approximately 40 mph, on the day of the accident. The theory being offered by investigators is that the strong winds lifted the unsecured piece of plywood from the construction site and caused it to fly towards and crash in to the unsuspecting victim as she was casually walking down the block. The location has been under construction for some time and the site has been the source of a series of complaints and open safety violations.

More Construction Accidents in 2014

The most recent construction accident statistics from the New York City Department of Buildings have been released for September 2014. As of the end of that month, 2014 construction accidents in NYC were on track to significantly exceed the number from the previous year.

By the end of September in 2013, there had been 137 construction accidents that resulted in 145 injuries and two fatalities. In contrast, the same period in 2014 showed 175 accidents, with 189 injuries and five fatalities.

Tina Nguyen Killed By Falling Debris

Pedestrian Tina Nguyen was walking through the bucolic tree-lined streets of Greenwich Village this week, talking on her cell phone when tragedy struck. Nguyen, a 37 year old real estate agent, was killed in a freak accident when massive winds caused a large piece of 4 foot by 8 foot plywood at a nearby construction state to fly away and slam into her.

The plywood reportedly came from the construction site at the former home of the now closed St. Vincent's Hospital. Nguyen was thrown into a wall outside of a parking garage, violently striking her head. She was rushed to Bellevue Hospital where she was later pronounced dead.

Is Failure to Yield a Criminal Offense?


Under Mayor Bill de Blassio's plan to eliminate traffic fatalities, known as Vision Zero, the failure of motor vehicle drivers to yield to pedestrians is now a criminal offense in New York City. However, prosecuting drivers who kill or injure pedestrians may become more controversial than many safety advocates anticipated.

For example, a bus driver charged under the law after his turning bus killed a pedestrian has not yet been tried because of advocacy from his union. The Brooklyn district attorney has charged only six drivers under the law since it went into effect in August 2014, including the bus driver whose case is now in limbo. However, even with criminalization of this traffic violation, family members of those killed have said that the penalty for killing a pedestrian is not enough.