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Vehicles Lead All Causes of Injury at Elmhurst Hospital Center

2:44 PM EST on January 22, 2010

A new report says pedestrian injuries in some parts of Queens are at their highest levels in almost a decade.

In fact, reports the Daily News, vehicles are responsible for more patient injuries at Elmhurst Hospital Center than any other cause, according to hospital figures.

Last year, 256 people were treated at the hospital for a pedestrian injury -- the highest number in almost 10 years. That's up from 240 in 2008 and 215 in 2007.

"Pedestrian injury is the No. 1 injury mechanism that came into this hospital during 2008 and 2009," said Dr. Jamie Ullman, director of the hospital's department of neurosurgery. "We haven't seen any decrease in the problem."

Ullman and other hospital staff are hosting their second annual pedestrian summit today, meeting with transportation and law enforcement officials in hopes of reducing casualties. Figures from 2008 reveal crashes concentrated in several spots, including Queens Boulevard and 63rd Drive, Roosevelt Avenue near 64th and 69th Streets, and Northern Boulevard near the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. Physical improvements to Northern Blvd. and other areas haven't helped, Ullman says. She is calling for a PR campaign aimed at both pedestrians and drivers.

"While 7% of the Elmhurst Hospital pedestrian injury study patients died from their injuries, the average length of stay for the survivors was 10 days, indicating a significant amount of time was taken away from each person's livelihood and families," Ullman wrote in a report for
Metro Parents Magazine.

Though hospital researchers expected more injuries among children and the elderly, the majority of victims range in age from 19 to 64. A DOT statement related by the News did not specifically address the study's findings.

Queens Community Board 6, meanwhile, is considering plans for street improvements in Rego Park and Forest Hills, as residents of Astoria continue to lobby NYCDOT for safer conditions. On Monday, Abundio Mendez-Perez, 32, was hit and killed by the driver of a minivan at Broadway and 21st Street in Astoria. No charges were filed.

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