Eleonora Skulkina, a 62-year-old Brooklyn grandmother, was hit by a bus and killed yesterday in the Sheepshead Bay section of Brooklyn. The unsuspecting victim was carrying grocery bags to her house so she could feed her grandchildren. This fatal collision is another tragic crash involving an MTA bus.
Skulkina had just finished her shift as an employee in a Manhattan hotel. She then returned to Sheepshead Bay. She reportedly went to a local store to pick up groceries and stopped off at her son’s home, intending to then walk back to her house to feed her 2 young grandchildren. Her plans were thwarted when she was hit by a bus. News reports stated that she was in the crosswalk with the right-of-way.
A B36 bus slammed into her as she was crossing East 17th Street. The bus was making a left turn from Avenue Z while the defenseless victim was innocently walking legally in the pedestrian crosswalk.
Emergency personnel raced to the scene and tried to keep the victim alive. Witnesses observed EMS technicians performing CPR on her for several minutes before rushing her to Coney Island Hospital. She was in traumatic arrest, according to a spokesman with the Fire Department. Medical professionals were unable to prevent death and she was pronounced dead while at the hospital. Family and friends are understandably distraught. Our thoughts and prayers go out to anyone affected by this senseless loss.
The timing of this tragedy is ironic in that it came only moments before the City of New York announced a holiday crackdown on traffic violators to increase pedestrian safety. Investigators are looking into precisely why this particular crash occurred. There will undoubtedly be an accident reconstruction and witnesses will be interviewed to give authorities a sense of whether we can avoid tragedies like this in the future.
What is troubling is that bus accidents continue to be a serious epidemic in our city. Recently enacted laws have given prosecutors the authority to charge bus operators criminally if they fail to take appropriate precautions and hit a pedestrian crossing the street with the right-of-way. Understandably, prosecutors have been wary about wielding this power. The perception remains that many of these collisions are simply accidents and not criminal. But the administration has to recognize that their strategy is not having the anticipated impact they hoped for.
The idea thrown out by the mayor’s office, that our city would be free of any fatal accidents within 10 years of the “Vision Zero’ proposal, was a very lofty one to begin with. Now with the new approach being in place for a significant stretch of time, we are seeing some of the results. They are positive but not nearly as impactful as many believed. Since they were put into place ,pedestrian fatalities are down a mere 4% and that was off from an unusually high number. We have to do better, much better.
Block O’Toole & Murphy is a law firm with a track record for representing individuals who have been injured in serious accidents, like bus crashes. The firm has recorded nearly $1 billion in verdicts and settlements for their clients. Recently, the firm was recently recognized in the New York Law Journal for having the largest number of 7-figure results of any law firm in all of New York State during 2015. This is now the 4th year in a row that the firm has achieved the top billing in the competitive legal community that is New York. In fact, Block O’Toole & Murphy had 7 of the Top 25 results recorded in New York during all of 2015.
The firm is available for a free consultation at any time. You may reach them at 212.736.5300.
Source: NY Daily News