The sight was surreal- an all-black SUV flipping through the air and onto a sidewalk in Brooklyn, killing one and injuring three more. The crash took place on Flatbush Avenue, between Albemarle Road and Regent Place, in Flatbush. Witnesses reported an explosive-sounding noise, many of whom ran to the aid of the injured. The car, which had first hit a bus stop sign, then a tree, before flipping twice and striking the unwitting pedestrian, lay overturned on the sidewalk as emergency medical personnel arrived, a trail of leaves and glass and debris scattered in its wake.
The victim was 50-year old Kinyeti Charles, who had been speaking on his cell phone when he was struck by the flying vehicle. As is so often the case, the driver of the vehicle was driving too fast in the moments preceding the accident. Onlookers said the driver, Paul Omeregie, was trying to prevent another car from passing him when he lost control of his vehicle. Mr. Omeregie and his 3-year old son, the only occupants of the car, are expected to make full recoveries. Another pedestrian, who was pelted with debris, was taken to Kings Country Hospital and is also set to make a full recovery.
Mr. Omeregie has been arrested and charged with aggravated unlicensed operator and driving without a license.
Tragically, Mr. Charles represents the 12th of 13 pedestrian fatalities that have occurred in New York City since October 31st. Below, we’ll look into this dangerous spate of accidents.
A Deadly Time for Pedestrians
Since Halloween, 13 pedestrians have been killed across the five boroughs. There’s no other way to say it: this number is far too high. Mayor de Blasio has spoken out against this surge in pedestrian deaths, and has vowed to reduce these types of accidents dramatically. Later, we’ll discuss Mayor de Blasio’s plan. Here is a partial list, detailing some of the accidents that have occurred over the past half-month:
- On November 4th, an MTA bus driver struck 75-year old Carol Bell, a longtime resident of Bed-Stuy. She did not survive. Paul Roper, the driver of the vehicle, was charged with fleeing the scene of an accident.
- An elderly man was struck by a Honda on College Point Boulevard. In this incident, no charges were filed.
- Louisa Rosario, an adored community figure of the Upper West Side, known lovingly as the “grandmother of the neighborhood,” was struck and killed by a taxi cab at the intersection of 109th and Columbus.
New York isn’t the only state that’s employed a “Vision Zero” policy, Vision Zero is a road traffic safety project which aims to reduce driving-related injuries and deaths through systematic analysis and calibration of speed limits, road infrastructure, and traffic law protocol. In fact, it originated in Sweden in 1997. Upon election as mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio made implementing Vision Zero one of his first priorities. He proffered a comprehensive list of initiatives which, with any luck, will successfully reduce traffic fatalities.
Overall, Vision Zero operates using a four-point system of tenets, which are as follows:
- Ethics: Essentially, human life should be prioritized, over secondary concerns, such as traffic flow and the overall mobility of vehicles. It is the ethically superior choice to value human life over fast-moving traffic.
- Responsibility: Vision Zero aims to keep motorists of all kinds well-informed. Vision Zero stresses the importance of road maintenance workers, traffic planners, and the drivers themselves working together. It is important that they all do their part in assuming responsibility for safety.
- Safety: To err is human. Taking into account the inevitability of driver error and making proactive changes to the way roads are constructed, maintained, and regulated is necessary for improving safety.
- Mechanisms for Change: All pertinent agencies should be willing to cooperate in an attempt to deliver on the promises laid out above, which will change road conditions for the better.
Vision Zero also assesses roads for the statistical likelihood of frontal and side impacts taking place, as well as the likelihood of cars striking pedestrians. Maximum speed limits are set in place in accordance with these findings.
Kaplan Lawyers PC
At Kaplan Lawyers PC, we specialize in car accident litigation. Which means that if you’ve been involved in a car accident in any way, either as a driver, passenger, or pedestrian, we have a team of attorneys who can help guide you through your legal process. Have you been injured by an airbag? Have you been struck by a vehicle while riding a bike? Have you been arrested for drinking and driving? Have you been in an accident involving a New York City taxi cab? No matter what your personal issue is, we can tailor a team of lawyers with years of cumulative experience handling that particular type of case, in order to maximize your chances of legal success. As you can see, driving in New York can be a dangerous affair. When you’ve suffered an accident, or require legal representation, you owe it to yourself to retain the counsel of New York’s most experienced car accident law firm. Kaplan Lawyers PC offers that to you. Our consultations are a free and easy way to get started. So contact us today.