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Two Fatal Pedestrian Accidents on Upper West Side

Two fatal pedestrian accidents on New York City's Upper West Side - just a block and 30 minutes from each other - left a young boy and an elderly man dead on Friday evening. One was caused by an apparently distracted taxi driver, another by a tour bus.

The first accident occurred when a tour bus dragged a 73-year-old man down 96th Street. The Shafer Tour bus struck the man, who has not been identified. The driver apparently never saw the man and dragged him under the bus for many yards before halting at Amsterdam Avenue after witnesses began shouting at the driver. The bus had been making a left turn onto 96th Street from Broadway when he hit the man, who was crossing the street.

The second accident also involved a vehicle making a turn. In this case, a taxicab turned onto West End Avenue from 97th Street, hitting a nine-year-old boy in front of his horrified father. Witnesses jumped out of their vehicles to prevent the cab driver from leaving, although he appeared stunned and did not attempt to flee the scene.

There have already been nine traffic deaths in New York City in 2014. These latest resulted in calls to address the traffic problems around West 96th Street, both a bottleneck and a dangerous intersection. City Comptroller Scott Stringer, form Manhattan borough president, said, "Last night's tragic pedestrian deaths on the Upper West Side send a clear and urgent message: The time for studying the 96th Street traffic corridor is over, and New York City needs to take action now that will prevent such fatalities in the future."

Source: DNAInfo New York, "Elderly Man Hit by Tour Bus on Upper West Side," Jan. 11, 2014.