Sarah Foster, 27, Hit and Killed by Delivery Truck in Murray Hill

Friday, February 15th, 2019

27-year-old Sarah Foster was tragically struck and killed by a delivery truck as she tried to cross the street in Manhattan on the early morning of Friday, February 15th, 2019.

An NYPD spokesperson said that the NYPD’s Collision Investigation Squad believes that Foster was walking at the intersection of 3rd Avenue and East 37th Street when the driver attempted to turn left onto 37th Street and struck her. First responders found the victim lying in the street with severe body trauma, and when emergency services arrived, she was officially pronounced dead at the scene.

The truck involved in this tragedy is owned by Approved Oil, a company based out of Brooklyn. “Unfortunately, one of our vehicles was involved in the incident this morning,” said Chris Fazio, vice president at Approved Oil. “It’s an unfortunate situation and our thoughts and prayers go out to the family. We’re just going to wait for further details from the investigation.”

The New York Post reports that Foster was pulling a suitcase and had the light in her favor when she was struck. Other witnesses said that Foster appeared to be wearing a hood and listening to headphones when she was struck, though police have not confirmed if this is true.

Police then arrested the truck driver, 51-year-old Steven McDermott, on charges of failure to yield to a pedestrian and failure to exercise due care. These two charges are misdemeanors which carry a penalty of up to $500 in fines and 30 days in jail.

Ellen McDermott, the Interim Executive Director for Transportation Alternatives, described Foster’s death as a “shocking, preventable tragedy” that highlights how dangerous Third Avenue can be for pedestrians.

“Third Avenue is a six-lane highway running through a pedestrian-dense and largely residential part of Manhattan,” she said. “If the New York City Department of Transportation had installed simple, commonsense, low-cost improvements to this dangerous street, this woman would be alive today.” Traffic-relief improvements such as pedestrian refuges and protected intersections “cost next to nothing and protect every New Yorker as they cross the street.”

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victim and their family as they try to cope with the kind of unspeakable tragedy that has become far-too-common in New York City as of late.

Just through the first 28 days of January 2019, there were 19 traffic fatalities in New York City, almost double what there was in the same time period in 2018. Since then, news of similar tragedies have occurred with alarming regularity — earlier this month, 72-year-old Joseph Chaim was struck and killed by an oil truck as he rode his bike through Times Square. Then, on Valentine’s Day, a 68-year-old woman was struck and killed by a school bus in the Bronx as she tried crossing the street.

For some time now, New York has been a relatively dangerous place for pedestrians. In 2016, for example, 59.6% of traffic fatalities in New York City were pedestrians, which is easily the highest ratio of pedestrian fatalities in the entire country, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

New Yorkers are eagerly waiting to see positive results from Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero campaign, which was launched in 2014 with the goal of finally ending traffic fatalities in New York. Despite some of the positive press that Vision Zero initiatives have received, however, positive changes regarding traffic safety feel very far off in the midst of a tragedy such as this.

Until substantial changes are made, and New York finally achieves its goal of ending traffic fatalities once and for all, the families of victims who are killed in traffic accidents deserve some measure of justice for their loss, even if their hurt can never truly be undone.

The attorneys at Block O’Toole & Murphy are dedicated to providing top-notch legal representation in fatal auto accident cases and are well-versed in wrongful death and vehicle accident laws in New York. While we cannot undo the tragedy, we can and will fight tirelessly to hold negligent parties responsible for their actions.

Our commitment to our clients have allowed us to maintain the top record in personal injury cases in our area. Since 2012, no other law firm in New York State attained more results exceeding $1 million than Block O’Toole & Murphy.

Select results in wrongful death auto accident cases include:

  • $7,525,000 settlement in a tragic Long Island case following the death of a mother and her son after a serious vehicle collision
  • $5,000,000 settlement for children of a mother who was walking in Manhattan when she was struck and killed by a truck
  • $3,000,000 recovery after an entrepreneur was killed in a car crash in Suffolk County, New York. The decedent left a loving wife and two adult children.
  • $2,625,000 settlement in a wrongful death case for children of an upstate New York couple killed by a tractor trailer
  • $2,558,000 recovery for the wife of a 31-year-old man killed in a crash at a Brooklyn intersection

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