A pedestrian was crushed to death in a terrible accident in Brooklyn on Friday, March 5, 2021. 61-year-old Estelle Davis was struck by a backhoe (a large construction vehicle) when it backed into her and its shovel knocked her to the ground. Shocking video of the incident shows the backhoe continuing to reverse, with the driver seemingly unaware that he has struck a pedestrian. Davis was dragged under the vehicle to the corner of New Lots and Van Sinderen Avenues in East New York, where she was left unconscious when the backhoe drove away.
Police arrived on the scene around 2:20 p.m., initially reporting that Davis may have been hit by a car. Although she was rushed to Brookdale Hospital, nothing could be done and she was, tragically, pronounced dead. The police are continuing to investigate the accident.
Our hearts go out to the victim’s loved ones in the aftermath of this heartbreaking accident. We wish them peace and comfort during this difficult time.
Although we don’t know all the details of this accident, we do know that there are certain safety procedures that must be followed when using large construction vehicles like backhoes. A backhoe is a tractor-like vehicle that has a large shovel (or “hoe”) attached to the back. As with all construction vehicles and equipment, the person operating them should be properly trained before use. Additionally, the site and the vehicle should be inspected for any potential hazards before operation.
These are common safety procedures before performing most construction work, but there are other hazards involved when using a backhoe, one of which is hitting a person or object. There are a few recommended precautions to ensure accidents like this don’t occur. Some of these include:
- The operator should have full visibility when operating the vehicle or moving loads
- The operator should always check blind spots before moving the vehicle
- When moving loads, they should be low and close to the ground
- While driving the vehicle on a construction site, speed should not exceed 5 miles per hour
In addition to these, Part 23-1.33 of the New York Industrial Code states that “Reasonable and adequate protection and safety shall be provided for all persons passing by areas, buildings or other structures in which construction, demolition or excavation work is being performed.” Construction site managers, contractors, and workers have a responsibility to ensure that pedestrians passing by their work site will not be harmed or be put at risk of injury. If they do not abide by this code, they could be found liable.
The loss of any loved one is heartbreaking, but it is made even more tragic when the loss could have been prevented. If the proper safety precautions aren’t taken on construction sites, both workers and pedestrians are at risk of harm. If you or a loved one has been injured in a construction accident and you believe there was negligence involved, you may be able to obtain compensation. The construction accident lawyers at Block O’Toole & Murphy know how difficult this process can be, and are ready to discuss your case.