Drivers have to be particularly cautious when pedestrians are present. A 25-year-old rabbinical student was recently hit and killed by a garbage truck in Crown Heights, New York, early one Sunday morning. The young man was crossing the street to attend a Morning Prayer service when the truck turned right and made contact. The man died at the scene. His two friends were following closely behind him in the crosswalk, but were uninjured.
A witness reported that the truck driver never saw the man. Officers believe that the man had the right of way. The truck driver had a valid driver's license and no criminal record. The Department of Sanitation has sent their condolences to the family and is willing to cooperate with the NYPD in their investigation.
Pedestrian accidents are all too common on the busy New York streets. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, close to 5,000 pedestrians are killed and about 80,000 pedestrians suffer injuries in car accidents each year.
Victims of pedestrian car accidents may be able to recover damages, if the driver of the vehicle was negligent and contributed to the accident. Drivers have a duty to take reasonable care under the circumstances while driving. Drivers who fail to yield the right of way to pedestrians at crosswalks or are distracted while driving may be held liable. Pedestrians also must exercise reasonable care when crossing the street. If the court determines that the pedestrian failed to use a crosswalk or suddenly stepped in front of the vehicle, there may be contributory negligence assessed against them for their role in the accident.
If a pedestrian is killed in a motor vehicle accident, their family may be able to recover damages from the negligent driver by filing a wrongful death lawsuit. These damages can help the family start to rebuild after the tragic loss of their loved one.
Source: New York Daily News, "City sanitation truck strikes, kills 25-year-old rabbinic student in Crown Heights," Chelsia Rose Marcius, Feb. 24, 2014