72-year-old Chaim Joseph of the East Village was out for an early-morning bike ride near Times Square when he was struck and killed in a hit-and-run at the corner of West 45th Street and Eighth Avenue at around 6 a.m. on Monday, February 4th, 2019.
Joseph was riding northbound on Eighth Avenue at the time he was struck, even though Eighth Avenue is officially recognized as a Protected Bike Lane by the City of New York. The intersection was briefly closed down while the NYPD’s Midtown North precinct investigated the accident. After looking at surveillance video, police determined that the vehicle involved in the hit-and-run may have been a private oil truck. The NY Post reported that the driver and truck involved in the accident have been identified but not yet located, and no arrests have been made at this time.
Emergency services rushed Joseph to Bellevue Hospital, where he was tragically pronounced dead upon arrival; our thoughts and prayers go out to his friends and family.
City data shows that there have been 20 traffic injuries at the intersection of Eighth Avenue and West 45th Street since 2014, although this is the first traffic fatality at the intersection since 2009. In the aftermath of the accident, authorities were handing out Vision Zero safety cards urging motorists, pedestrians and cyclists to be careful on the road, particularly in the presence of a turning vehicle.
This accident comes in the wake of a report that January traffic fatalities in NYC nearly doubled in 2019, up to 19 deaths compared to 10 in the same time frame in 2018. Additionally, 191 cyclists were injured in traffic accidents in just the first 28 days of 2019, up nearly 20% from 2018.
To help combat this disturbing trend, the Department of Transportation will soon release updated safety action plans “which will refocus where we target our interventions, safety engineering, enforcement action, and education initiatives,” said a spokeswoman from the Department of Transportation.
Change in the traffic safety trends of New York City can’t come soon enough. The city is five years into Mayor Bill de Blasio’s ambitious Vision Zero campaign to put a complete stop to traffic fatalities, yet pedestrian traffic fatalities actually rose 6.5% from 2017 to 2018. The beginning of 2019 has been a sad reminder of the human suffering that results when motorists behave irresponsibly on the roads.
When these accidents do happen, however, victims and their families deserve top-notch legal representation so that they may recover compensation for the damages they have suffered, and so that all New Yorkers can understand that there will be real financial consequences of a traffic accident caused by negligence.
Across all New York State, Block O’Toole & Murphy secured more results exceeding $1,000,000 than any other law firm every year since 2012. Our lawyers also have extensive experience litigating and winning bike accident cases such as:
- $2,100,000 settlement for a cyclist who was struck by a garbage truck that was trying to make a right-hand turn in Long Island City, Queens
- $1,300,000 settlement for a bike rider who was hit by a turning van, causing severe injuries to his leg and spine
- $1,250,000 settlement for a 28-year-old bike messenger who was hit by an SUV in Upper Manhattan, causing a compound fracture to his right tibia and fibula
To speak with an experienced attorney who can provide sound legal advice in the wake of a traumatic traffic accident, call 212-736-5300 for a free, no-obligation consultation.