The truck driver who killed Jessica Dworkin in the West Village Monday morning was summonsed for failure to yield and failure to exercise due care, according to NYPD, but was not cited for possible violations related to truck size and safety mirrors.
Dworkin, 58, was riding a foot-propelled scooter west on Houston Street just before 9 a.m. Monday when she was caught by the rear wheels of a flatbed semi whose driver, identified by the Post as Greg Smith, was turning right from Houston onto Sixth Avenue.
Dworkin was dragged by the truck for two blocks, until witnesses were able to get Smith’s attention. She died at the scene.
A DNAinfo profile described Dworkin as an artist and SoHo “stalwart” known for her volunteer work:
Dworkin, who also went by the name “Jessica Blue,” moved into 128 Thompson St. between West Houston and Prince streets from Massachusetts in the 1970s, said close friend Craig Walker, who knew her for more than 20 years.
Talkative and warm by nature, the self-described artist regaled him with tales of writing for Interview and Details magazines, and frequenting Studio 54 in her younger years, he said.
Photos from the scene seem to indicate that Smith’s truck exceeded 55 feet, the maximum length allowed on surface streets without a permit. The cab is also missing the required front-mounted crossover mirrors, which give truck drivers a view of what’s directly in front of them. An NYPD spokesperson told Streetsblog that two citations were issued: one for failure to yield to a pedestrian and one for failure to exercise due care, a violation of state vulnerable user laws.
Hours after the Monday crash, Brooklyn State Senator Dan Squadron issued the following statement:
“This morning’s tragedy is yet another horrific reminder that there is more to be done to protect pedestrians and cyclists. My thoughts and prayers are with the victim’s family. There are a number of major gaps in pedestrian and cyclist safety — and now is the time for the city and state to quickly move to fill them. We must continue to make on-the-ground improvements here in the city, while also ensuring proper NYPD investigation of all accidents. On the state level, it’s time to pass my bill with Assemblyman Kavanagh to make sure law enforcement has the tools they need to crack down on careless drivers. Of course today’s tragedy is unique and we don’t know if any of these critical improvements would have prevented it. But we must do everything in our power to prevent the next one.”
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who represents the district where Dworkin died, has yet to take a position on the Crash Investigation Reform Act, a package of council bills intended to compel NYPD to properly investigate traffic crashes that result in injury and death.
This fatal crash occurred on the border of the 6th and 1st Precincts. To voice your concerns about neighborhood traffic safety directly to the commanding officers of either precinct, go to the next community council meeting. Details for the 6th and 1st precinct councils are available on the precincts’ web pages.