Fatal Crash Raises Distraction, Licensing Issues

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Fatal Crash Raises Distraction, Licensing Issues

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A crash in a Brooklyn neighborhood famous for its over-the-top Christmas displays left an eighty-nine-year-old woman dead last week. It also raised new concerns about the reliability of the vetting done by car services: The victim was a passenger in a hired car, and after the crash, it was discovered that the driver of the vehicle was operating on a suspended license.

Slammed at Intersection

The collision took place in the middle of the afternoon on December 17 in Dyker Heights. A passenger car slammed into another vehicle at the intersection of 81st Street and 11th Avenue; the struck car then crashed into another vehicle parked nearby.

The driver of the struck vehicle and both of her passengers, the victim and a second woman, were injured and taken to a nearby hospital. The driver and second passenger were not seriously hurt, but the elderly victim succumbed to her injuries.

According to reports, the driver who caused the crash told police that she first came to a complete stop but didn’t see the other vehicle until she was already accelerating into it.

Still Investigating

It was initially reported that the victim was in an Uber ride-hailing vehicle, but this was later clarified. The car was being used as a taxi-like service, but it was not an Uber. However, shortly after the crash, NYPD arrested the driver of the struck vehicle for operating on a suspended license.

Depending on the circumstances, that charge can lead to a fine and possible jail time. The driver who caused the crash has not been charged with any violation, but the crash was still being investigated.

Distraction an Issue?

The crash was publicized as happening in a section of the city renowned for its “Dyker Lights” holiday displays, which the local civic association says attracted around 100,000 visitors last year. However, there has been no indication that the lights were a factor in the crash (or how visible they even are from two blocks away).

At this time of year, public safety watchdogs often issue warnings about the fire danger that dry Christmas trees and poorly maintained Christmas lights can pose, and we also occasionally see reports of parking problems, as well as neighborhood disputes over displays that go too far.

Vehicles have crashed into displays before, and there was an incident last month of a pedestrian killed near a large display. But we haven’t heard of injuries or deaths related to distracted drivers at light displays—so far.

Brooklyn Car Accident Lawyer

Car crashes happen for all kinds of reasons: speeding, distractions, and drunk driving to name just a few. When you or someone close to you has been the victim of an accident, Greenstein & Milbauer, LLP can help, regardless of the circumstances.

Give our team of experienced motor vehicle accident attorneys a call today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your case. Call us at 1-800-VICTIM2 (842-8462) or complete the form below now for more information.


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