Eyes on the Street: Livery Car Jumps Sidewalk, Injuring Elderly Woman

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A reader sends these pictures of a crash scene at Broadway and 98th Street yesterday evening. The photographer tells us that "a black car traveling northbound swerved onto the sidewalk to avoid a southbound taxi turning left."

According to FDNY, the driver struck an elderly woman, and the impact threw her against a wall. She was taken to St. Luke’s Hospital with possible head and shoulder injuries. NYPD had no information on the crash.

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Noah Kazis contributed to this post.

  • I could be wrong, but I’d wager those exhaust pipes are not a factory option on the Lincoln Town Car. Which means they’re either intended to (a) make the car go faster or (b) make it look or sound faster.

    Hard to see how either is necessary.

  • MtotheI

    Maybe we should also keep count of how many cars and trucks jump curbs every year in this city. Its unbelievable.

  • I live in the neighborhood and pass over that spot every day — I feel like someone just walked over my grave. European sidewalks protected by bollards make me envious. How many NYC ped deaths per year stem from cars jumping the curb? Bollards could prevent those deaths. In a city with so many aggressive and out-of-control drivers, they’re not a luxury, they’re a necessity.

  • jsd

    Every time I hear one of these stories it breaks my heart.

    Imagine all the life this woman has lived. All the amazing things she has seen, and all that she has been through. Now imagine walking down the street and a car (probably driving too fast) swerves to avoid hitting another car(also probably driving too fast), jumps the curb, and pins you against a damn storefront.

    What a sad, sad waste. What a mess our priorities are.

  • kaja

    Yes and I like that when confronted with an oncoming vehicle, the cabbie instinct is always to swerve wildly in any direction regardless of consequence.

    And why shouldn’t he? This’ll be an “accident”, he’ll maybe get a single ticket and be issued a new car, and my own insurance will go up ever so fractionally, to pay for the damage.

  • Of course, if the cab driver had hit the other car, airbags would have deployed and quite possibly saved all involved from serious injury. But he chose instead to strike an unprotected human body and ram it into a building.

  • @Mtothel / @Mark Walker:

    From Killed By Automobile, pp 37-38:

    Five percent of pedestrian and cyclist deaths [during 1994-97] occurred on sidewalks or other off-road area where it is illegal to drive an automobile (percent calculated from 45 off-road fatalities among the 947 records, excluding 35 cases for which on- or off-road location could not be determined).

    Extrapolated to all 1,020 people killed by automobiles in New York City over the four-year period, an estimated 50 pedestrians, or 12-13 per year, were killed by automobiles on sidewalks and other non-street locations during 1994-97.

    Sidewalk victims of automobiles were more likely to be very young or very old than was the overall population of people killed by cars and trucks. Among the 43 sidewalk victims whose ages we obtained were four children under age 10; two would have been expected based on the overall age distribution of victims. One of these was an infant girl crushed by a car that vaulted the curb on Broadway near 96th Street on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, in January 1996, apparently as the driver rushed toward a parking space.

    Nine people age 80 or over were killed by automobiles on sidewalks, versus six expected based on the age distribution of car victims, and just 1-2 based on population shares.

    Save for one pedestrian killed when a vehicle mounted the sidewalk after the driver suffered cardiac arrest, every sidewalk fatality in our database was caused by some misfeasance on the part of the driver — typically speeding, inattention, or an on-road crash that propelled a vehicle onto the sidewalk.

    “La plus ca change …”

    Apologies for quoting at length, but it seemed apt.

    I don’t have precise records after 1997. Try Crashstat.

  • Thank you Charles.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Maybe we should also keep count of how many cars and trucks jump curbs every year in this city. Its unbelievable.”

    When they were pre-schoolers, I wouldn’t let my kids play on the sidewalk during alternate side, when the protective wall of parked cars were missing. And I taught them to fear curb cuts when walking down the street.

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