Van Strikes 14 Pedestrians in Chinatown, Killing Two Children

A delivery van struck 14 people on a Chinatown sidewalk shortly before noon today. Two children are dead and at least one other is in critical condition. From City Room:

When the accident occurred, 14 children were being led in a “daisy
chain” line, holding onto each other, and accompanied by adult
chaperons, along East Broadway from a library visit back to their day care program, the Red Apple Child Development Center, at 25 Market Street, the police said.

The van was traveling on East Broadway and appeared to make a
three-point turn to make a delivery. Suddenly, the van lurched,
rear-ending over the curb and onto the sidewalk, according to witnesses.

Details are still emerging. WABC, NY1 and WCBS are also reporting on this terrible loss of life.

  • Kaja, I would imagine the charge for leaving an unattended gun around for a child to pick up and accidentally shoot himself would probably be criminally negligent homicide. Leaving an unattended van idling and in gear and having it plow into a group of children seems not so different to me.

    But analogies and semantics don’t really matter. Two kids are dead. How are we as a society going to learn form this, and how are we going to respond? History would indicate that nothing will change, and that’s not acceptable.

  • Danny L, just to defend my honor, _I_ didn’t say that E. Broadway was too narrow, I quoted someone from the Times’ comments and then called the comment “scary”.

    And I generally agree with Doug. Accidents do happen because of personal error and infrastructure which allows them to take place. I have bike accidents, or engage in behavior that makes me more likely to have bike accidents on a weekly basis. The difference is on my bike that usually only means I don’t leave myself enough stopping room so I have to swerve whereas in a car it means lives are at stake. I really do feel sorry for some of the drivers. Some of them were doing things we all have done while driving but we were _lucky_ enough to not have caused any harm (hopefully). Maybe the rest of you are better than me but I know while driving I have done things and then quickly realized “wow, if X had been in Y place I could have caused some real damage”. But, yes, I think sentences for these people… _at least_ tickets and fines… are in order, but I think we would be better to focus on infrastructure. My friend left his car in drive in our high school parking lot and it lurched and hit the back of another car. $200 in damage and it was over. It was his fault and it could have been worse. But in NYC it’s pedestrians next to cars when you leave your car in gear and people get hurt. We need to organize our traffic patters to protect against that because if people are allowed to have cars like they do now in the city then there will be accidents. But, leaving your van in reverse is extreme negligence in this case and not one of the accidents I feel sorry for. It should be the same punishment as accidentally firing a shot from a pistol you thought was empty.

  • Sean Sweeney

    “I wonder if this sort of thing bothers Sean Sweeney, mayor of SoHo? Probably not.”

    This odious, unwarranted and completely erroneous personal attack on me and the SoHo Alliance by commenter #1 must be addressed. Clearly the commenter’s arrogance is exceeded only by his ignorance.

    For the record, the SoHo Alliance (with the financial assistance from a local philanthropic environmental and cycling activist) sued the owners of World Farm in SoHo to prevent the very accident that occurred in Chinatown yesterday.

    World Farm was a food delivery company that brought thousands of illegal 18-wheelers delivering fresh Asian vegetables for the Chinatown market into our neighborhood before dawn, running the motors and polluting our air for hours until the business opened.

    Smaller vans, like the one that killed the children, would then arrive, illegally park, sometimes on the sidewalk, and then speed down Broadway to deliver to the restaurants(sound familiar?).

    World Farm forklift trucks would careen and ply our SIDEWALKS with impunity from the police till the lawsuit was filed.

    Indeed, one unlicensed World Farm driver killed a pedestrian on the very block where this week’s tragic accident occurred!

    Thanks in part to our efforts, World Farm and other of these rogue food delivery companies are no longer in business. SoHo and NYC is safer thanks to our efforts.

    Read the NYT account of the legal actions:

    Marty Barfowitz owes an apology, not only for his unprovoked juvenile ad hominem attack, but for his incredible lack of knowledge on this subject.
    Why do I expect none will be forthcoming?

  • Geez, Sean, give people a chance.

    One change that would both solve your Grand Street problems and make East Broadway safer: well-designed loading zones. I proposed this last month, but no response from you or your allies. Should I expect one to be forthcoming?

  • Kaja

    > This odious, unwarranted and completely erroneous personal attack on me and the SoHo Alliance by commenter #1 must be addressed.

    No dude, it doesn’t. You don’t need to rebut at length every little slur posted on the internet about you. Your ego isn’t that fragile.

  • It seems the soho alliance would rather shut down everything its member(s) don’t plan on personally using, from Chinese marketplaces to protected bicycle lanes, rather than figure out how those things can be safely and even pleasantly accommodated. The shortsighted part is, it’s most often in one’s own interest to accomodate other people’s needs. You don’t have to be a business that takes deliveries to benefit greatly from—to possibly have your life saved by—orderly loading zones. All the public has to give up are some parking spaces that for the most part it can’t use anyway. In the past our city has lavishly accommodated personal cars almost to the exclusion of everything else, and certainly to the mortal danger of all, but that is changing and will continue to.

  • Chinatown Resident

    Practically ALL of you above have missed one glaring point here regarding this accident, with two children killed and many more injured – The van driver had to Double-Park – WHY? Because that Truck Loading Zone on East Broadway between Catherine and Market Streets is routinely crowded with illegally parked government sector vehicles, M-F 9 to 5. I was there today, Monday, 2/2/209, ten days after the incident, and I took plenty of pictures to prove it. Granted, this is of course hindsight – but think about whether this accident would have occured if there were no illegally parked permit abusers on East Broadway and the van driver involved was simply able to park his van normally on the curb. The NYPD, D.O.T. and Bloomberg need to wake up – Zero Tolerance for Placard Abusers!!

  • The use of the word “accident” is an accident.

  • or maybe its not an accident.

  • Chinatown Resident

    I went to E. Bdway today and saw at least 12 placarded government sector commuter cars there on both sides of E. Bdway in the Truck Loading Zones. This occurs routinely Mon-Friday.

    Who can prove that the van driver HAD to double-park his vehicle that day, in this Truck Loading Zone, because of placarded vehicles taking most the curbside parking?


NYPD Van Jumps Curb, Kills Chinatown Pedestrian

A police van struck and killed a pedestrian in Chinatown this morning. Reports say the driver of the NYPD Auxiliary van jumped a curb on Elizabeth Street near the 5th Precinct stationhouse at around 11 a.m., striking a 55-year-old man on the sidewalk. He was later pronounced dead at New York Downtown Hospital. Two officers […]