Accidents come as deBlasio pledges zero traffic deaths
Upper West Siders are reeling from the news of two separate traffic deaths over the weekend -- both fatalities to pedestrians attempting to cross the street.
Nine-year-old Calhoun School student Cooper Stock was crossing West End Avenue with his father around 9 p.m. Friday night when a cab made a left turn and ran into them both; Dr. Richard Stock sustained a broken leg and Cooper was killed. Earlier the same evening, a 73-year-old man, whom authorities have yet to identity, was crossing W. 96th Street when a tour bus struck him near Broadway, dragging the victim until Amsterdam Avenue before the driver was aware he had hit someone.
According to data analyzed by the traffic safety advocacy group Transportation Alternatives, last year, between January and November (the last month for which data is available), there were 311 injuries to drivers, passengers, pedestrians and cyclists on the Upper West Side's 20th and 24th precincts. That breaks down to 152 injuries to pedestrians, 65 injuries to cyclists, and the remainder, 94, to vehicle occupants. Two of those accidents were fatalities. In June, a teenage driver struck 4-year-old Ariel Russo with an SUV as she was walking on the sidewalk on W. 97th Street with her grandmother, pinning her against a wall. The 17-year-old driver, Franklin Reyes, is currently on trial for manslaughter; he was fleeing police when he hit Ariel.
In November, two men were stringing Christmas lights from a cherry picker near W. 67th Street and Columbus Avenue when a UPS truck hit their truck and threw them. Both men were critically injured and one later died.
Mayor Bill de Blasio and other elected officials recently pledged their dedication to achieving zero traffic deaths in the city by improving safety measures and laws.