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Fatal Brooklyn Car Accident Results in Calls for Improved Safety

A fatal auto accident at McGuinness Boulevard and Nassau Avenue in Brooklyn last weekend has galvanized street safety advocates to action; they have called for safety improvements to prevent similar car accidents. The busy road feeds the Pulaski Bridge that connects Brooklyn and Queens, and traffic coming off the bridge moves very quickly, according to local residents and leaders.

The crash killed 32-year-old Nicole Detweiler, who lived in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn. She was using the crosswalk when she was hit, first by a BMW and then by a box truck. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver of the box truck was later arrested for driving without a license, according to police. He had been arrested on December 23th in Manhattan after he hit a cab on West End Avenue and was charged with driving with a suspended license. His license had been suspended in May because he did not pay a driver responsibility assessment of $100, a fee the drivers pay the DMV after receiving citations for a variety of violations.

The same intersection has been the scene of three fatal pedestrian-car accidents and two fatal bike accidents since 1995, according to the road safety group Transportation Alternatives. This group has called the intersection the most dangerous in Williamsburg and Greenpoint.

Suggestions to improve the safety of the roadway include left-turn signals, red light cameras, speed cameras and traffic calming devices.

Incoming Mayor Bill DeBlasio has promised to tackle the issue of traffic fatalities, pledging to bring them to zero by 2024.

Source: DNA Info, "Truck Driver Arrested in Fatal Greenpoint Crash Had Suspended License: NYPD," Dec. 30, 2013.