New York City residents and commuters are well aware of the dangers they face when behind the wheel or in the passenger seat of a motor vehicle. The dangers faced by pedestrians who attempt to safely cross busy streets amid speeding and distracted drivers are also well documented. However, most pedestrians likely believe that they are safe while walking down New York City's sidewalks. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.
To date this year, a total of 13 pedestrians have been killed throughout the city "when cars jumped curbs." This number represents a 160 percent increase in the number of people killed in similar accidents during 2014. The most recent fatal accident involving a car that jumped the curb occurred on Halloween evening in the Bronx and resulted in the deaths of three and injuries of three others.
The lives of two families were forever changed when a car careened out of control and jumped the curb around 5 p.m. on Halloween evening. Among those individuals who died was a 65-year-old man, his 10-year-old granddaughter and another 24-year-old man who was out trick-or-treating with his younger sister and family members.
While the fatal accident remains under investigation, police records indicate that the 52-year-old man who was behind the wheel did not have any drugs or alcohol in his system and may have suffered a seizure or some other medical emergency. Even if this is the case, the driver may still face criminal charges as this accident is similar to another recent accident involving a Bronx taxi driver who struck and killed two pedestrians after suffering a seizure.
In that case the taxi driver, who had been diagnosed with epilepsy, was convicted of manslaughter and homicide after it was determined that he wasn't taking medication to control his seizures. Additionally, the individuals and families impacted by this most recent fatal motor vehicle and pedestrian accident may also choose to take legal action in the form of wrongful death and personal injury claims.
Source: The New York Times, "Fatal Crash in the Bronx Unites Two Families in Grief," J. David Goodman, Nov. 1, 2015