06/26/2013 // New York, NY, USA // New York Injury Accident Lawyer // Jonathan C. Reiter // (press release)
A disabled man who is confined to a wheelchair was hit by a truck while in the crosswalk of a street in the Soho section of Manhattan, reports NY pedestrian accident attorney Jonathan C. Reiter. This accident occurred on June 1, 2013 at approximately 9 a.m. The victim was identified as Lee Karl, age 66. The driver of the truck was traveling uptown on West Broadway, when he stopped at a red light at the corner of Spring Street. The victim, Mr. Karl was on the northeast corner of this busy intersection in the crosswalk. When the light turned green, the truck proceeded northbound and hit the victim in the crosswalk. The victim was nearly killed as he became stuck under the bus. The driver of the truck stayed at the scene told police that he “never saw the man.” EMS first responders responded to the scene, and worked for at least one hour cutting Mr. Karl from beneath the truck, during which time the victim was described as being in agony. The victim was then transported to Bellevue Hospital where he was listed in serious condition. He is expected to survive his injuries. A police spokesman stated that the driver not charged with any crimes.
According to Manhattan pedestrian accident injury attorney, Jonathan C. Reiter, who has handled many motor vehicle and pedestrian accidents, this accident is all too common in the City of New York because of high truck volume into the city and driver inattention. He explained as follows: “The police will be conducting an investigation to determine how this accident happened. The fact is that this was a very large truck, built high off the ground, creating distance between the driver and a pedestrian on the roadway. Nonetheless, the driver, with due care and attention to the conditions on the roadway, is obliged to see pedestrians who are located lower than the truck, especially people in wheelchairs who are situated even lower than the average pedestrian. The driver is required by the Vehicle and Traffic Law to operate his vehicle with due care, and to see what is on the roadway to see.”
Mr. Reiter went on to describe the City of New York’s efforts in curbing these types of pedestrian accidents, which have met with little success, as follows: “The City has done many traffic and roadway studies to address the problem of pedestrians being struck in crosswalks under similar circumstances to this case. These studies have led to increased signage and cautionary warnings regarding pedestrians. Unfortunately, despite these efforts, the rate of these types of accidents keeps escalating. While there are no guarantees to prevent all accidents, raising the minimum insurance limits from one million to two million dollars on all commercial trucks traveling within the City of New York, may result in drivers taking more care in operating their vehicles and in observing pedestrians that are crossing the roadway. A greater monetary penalty often has the desired effect of reducing the incidences of these type of accidents, and should be considered by the New York Legislature as a means to improve safety overall on our streets and roadways.”
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