Sheer Luck Prevents Curb-Jumping Driver From Killing People on Court Street

A motorist drove onto the sidewalk and crashed into a movie theater in Cobble Hill. No one was injured, but fatal off-road crashes remain a regular occurrence in NYC.

Photos: Sarah Goodyear
Photos: Sarah Goodyear

No one was hurt when a driver crashed into a movie theater in Cobble Hill last night. If not for sheer luck the outcome could have been much worse.

Former Streetsblog contributor Sarah Goodyear tweeted photos of the scene outside Cobble Hill Cinemas at 265 Court Street, a spot Goodyear said she passes “literally 20 times a day.”

The motorist drove an SUV onto the sidewalk, knocked over a fire hydrant and “kept going into the building,” Goodyear wrote.

Responding to Goodyear’s tweets, the 76th Precinct said the crash happened at 9:30 p.m., when the movie theater would normally be open. The precinct said the driver was “unlawful and at fault,” but did “not appear” to be speeding. According to Goodyear, the 25 mph speed limit is “never enforced” on that part of Court — a neighborhood main street lined with businesses.

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Fatal sidewalk crashes remain a regular occurrence in NYC, including the neighborhoods near last night’s crash.

In 2013 48-year-old Martha Atwater was struck by a driver just after stepping out of a cafe at the corner of Clinton Street and Atlantic Avenue. That crash also occurred in the 76th Precinct, where local officers ticket roughly three speeding drivers a day.

Monday’s incident happened within two miles of the locations where curb-jumping drivers killed Lucian Merryweather and Victoria Nicodemus, in the 88th Precinct. All four crashes occurred in residential areas where motorists should never drive fast enough to “lose control” of their vehicles.

Since the 2014 launch of the city’s Vision Zero initiative, NYC motorists have killed at least 36 people on sidewalks, greenways, and other places drivers aren’t supposed to be. That no one died Monday was due only to fortuitous timing.

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