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Car Accidents a Fact of Life on Ocean Parkway

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A high-speed car accident on Ocean Parkway killed the driver and injured his two passengers this weekend. The 20-year old slammed into a tree early on Sunday morning after losing control of the silver Lexus as he was driving north near Avenue J in the Midwood section of Brooklyn.

According to police, the driver died instantly. Witnesses said that his body was hard to see in the wreckage because the damage to the vehicle was so extensive. The two passengers were taken to Lutheran Hospital, where they were first listed in critical condition, but were subsequently upgraded to stable.

Local residents called upon state transportation officials just last week in an effort to get the DOT to implement safety improvements to Ocean Parkway in the Kensington neighborhood. The road is highway-like, luring drivers into speeding that results in car accidents. However, the state agency rejected the proposed modifications, saying they would not work. Money has been allocated for safety improvements to the roadway, but so far it has not been spent.

The roadway is not just hazardous to motor vehicle drivers, but to pedestrians as well. The unspent $200,000 was originally intended to fund improvements that would make it easier to cross the busy street. Several pedestrian fatalities over the years, including the death of a 73-year-old woman in June, prompted the neighborhood to seek funding for safety improvements such as a pedestrian island in the middle of the nine-lane road. The DOT rejected the proposal, saying it preferred to eliminate the crosswalk altogether.

Between 1995 and 2008, there were 36 pedestrian and bicycle accident injuries and four fatalities at the Kensington intersection, according to Transportation Alternatives CrashStat.

Source: The Daily News, "Ocean Pwky. Crash kills one in Brooklyn," Jul. 7, 2013.