05/22/2012 // New York City, New York, USA // New York City Accident Lawyer // Jonathan C Reiter // (press release)
On Sunday, April 29, 2012, an SUV careened off an elevated portion of New York’s Bronx River Parkway, falling over 50 feet and landing in the Bronx Zoo, explains New York City auto accident attorney Jonathan C Reiter. The crash occurred at approximately 12:30 pm, EST, and killed seven people.
According to reports, the SUV was traveling south when it struck the median, bounced back across all southbound lanes and over the guardrail. The vehicle flipped off the ramp and into a trail yard facility near the Bronx Zoo.
The victims of the horrific crash included Maria Gonzalez, 45; her parents Jacob Nunez, 85, and Ana Julia Martinez, 81; her sister, Maria Nunez, 39; her daughter Jazlyn Gonzalez, 10; and nieces Nialy Rosario, 7 and Marlyn Rosario, 3.
It has yet to be stated what initially caused the vehicle to hit the median, which resulted in the 60-foot fall. New York already announced it would begin taking steps to improve safety along the Bronx highway where the accident occurred, explains Bronx injury lawyer Reiter.
SUV’s are known to have stability problems and are more subject to rolling over due to their higher center of gravity. Mr. Reiter successfully represented a former United States Marshall who became quadriplegic and subsequently died due to the rollover of an SUV. It is not known yet whether stability problems of the SUV contributed to the Bronx Zoo crash,
According to reports received by The Journal, the state will install concrete barriers along the outer edges of the Bronx River Parkway in three sections, including one at the Bronx Zoo. It has also begun an initiative to install warning signs that prompt drivers to slow down to 35 miles per hour near those barriers and repaint the road to “calm” traffic.
The stretch of the Bronx River Parkway where the auto accident occurred was identified by New York as one of the state’s most dangerous roads, citing several accidents over the years. The report noted the exact exit, at 177th St., was the section cited as one of the worst 5 percent. The report also noted the highway requires $8 million in repairs to add a deceleration lane and to improve sight lines and that State Department of Transportation records show that a $231 million project to address the overpass is scheduled to begin in 2022, adds Mr. Reiter.
Lawsuits alleging negligent highway design are very difficult to prove, because the government has partial immunity for decisions regarding road construction that involve the exercise of discretion and judgment.
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