Last week, two traffic fatalities occurred on the same day. The incident that has received the most publicity involved a drunk driver and an MTA bus. The driver of the bus, William Pena, died when he was ejected from the bus after the driver slammed into the bus with a stolen truck. There has been significant publicity about this accident, partly because the driver of the stolen truck was related to a famous NYC model.
The second fatality, one that received much less publicity, involved an 80-year-old woman in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. She was crossing the street at Grand Street and Graham Avenue. She was hit by a GMC making a left turn onto Grand. The victim suffered severe head injuries and died at Bellevue Hospital. The driver of the GMC received a summons for failing to yield to a pedestrian and for careless driving.
The evidence indicates that the elderly woman was in the crosswalk and had the walk signal.
Pedestrian accidents caused by turning vehicles are not unusual. Since January 2013, at least 30 people have been killed by drivers making turns. In most instances, the drivers were not obeying the law, which requires them to yield to pedestrians. Last November, an almost identical accident occurred in East New York when a turning vehicle struck and killed a 72-year-old pedestrian crossing with the signal at Sutter and Euclid Avenue. The primary difference between the two collisions is that the driver who killed the pedestrian in East New York was driving without a license and faced criminal charges.
The recent fatal accident occurred in the 90th police precinct, where in 2013 officers cited 35 drivers for failing to yield to pedestrians.
Source: DNAInfo.com, “80-year old pedestrian and MTA bus driver killed in separate crashes,” Feb. 12, 2014.