Shruti Udeshi, a 51-year-old kindergarten teacher, was tragically struck and killed by a car while attempting to cross the street during her morning commute on January 24, 2022. Reports say she was pronounced dead at the scene.
The accident occurred at approximately 6:30 a.m. on Monday morning. Udeshi was crossing the street within a crosswalk at East 76th Street and Third Avenue on her way to the Spence School in the Upper East Side when she was struck by an Audi sedan, according to police.
The driver of the sedan, identified as Connette Bercik, 59, remained at the scene and was given a desk appearance ticket for failing to yield to a pedestrian.
We offer our deepest condolences to the victim’s family after this devastating loss.
Monday’s accident sadly adds to the growing number of traffic deaths in New York City. Despite Former Mayor de Blasio’s promise to improve traffic safety citywide through the Vision Zero initiative, his final year in office ended with more traffic deaths than his first.
According to the New York Times, on average, a pedestrian was killed by a car every three days on city streets in 2021. Despite these shocking numbers, police traffic enforcement has decreased. The number of traffic violation tickets reported in the first six months of 2021 was less than half of the amount issued in the same period in 2019. Notably, the number of violations issued for failing to yield the right of way to pedestrians decreased to 14,980 from 32,383 during that period.
Traffic safety experts believe that factors contributing to the increase in deaths may include:
- Increased reckless driving resulting from decreased enforcement and emptier streets during the COVID-19 pandemic
- High numbers of newly registered vehicles in the city, increasing the chance of crashes
- City’s failure to quickly create safer infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists
With the introduction of Mayor Eric Adams, we hope increased efforts will be made towards improving traffic safety. In a recent announcement, Mayor Adams stated, “After the tragedy of 2021, when traffic fatalities in New York City reached their highest level in nearly a decade, we clearly need to turbo-charge Vision Zero – and fast.”
Adams says the city’s focus will be on enforcement and design within intersections, which are where 79 percent of pedestrian accidents occur. Adams along with the Department of Transportation (DOT) committed to making 1,000 city intersections safer.
Pedestrians who are injured due to the negligent actions of a reckless driver have a legal right to compensation for their injuries and damages. Damages associated with pedestrian accidents may include medical costs, loss of wages, and pain and suffering.
To receive compensation, an injured pedestrian must be able to prove the driver acted negligently and thereby breached their duty of care, causing the victim’s injuries. Accident victims who have suffered substantial losses may wish to consult a pedestrian accident lawyer who can review the details of their case and guide them through the legal process.
To discuss your case with one of our skilled attorneys, call 212-736-5300 or fill out our contact form online.