A woman was struck and killed by an employee of a Queens, New York car wash while standing outside waiting for her car to be finished. The fatal pedestrian accident occurred last Monday at approximately 2 p.m. at the Cross Bay Boulevard business in Ozone Park.
Police reported that Edwin Vargas, 43, of Queens, was driving a Jeep Liberty out of the car wash when he allegedly struck the 54-year-old woman outside the business’s exit before colliding with a parked Hyundai.
Police report that the woman suffered severe body trauma and was transported to Jamaica Hospital, where she later succumbed to her injuries. Vargas has been charged with vehicular manslaughter, vehicular assault and DWI.
Pedestrian fatalities at an all-time high
Pedestrian traffic fatalities have risen faster than other traffic-related deaths in recent years across the United States. While passenger vehicles are responsible for most accidents involving pedestrians, pedestrian fatalities from SUVs have also increased dramatically.
While many accidents occurring at night or from SUVs that are large and high off the ground may point to poor visibility, it appears that the primary cause of pedestrian accidents is driver impairment or distracted driving. And although the car industry has improved technologies to raise the probability of the occupants surviving an accident, cars remain just as deadly to pedestrian victims in a traffic accident.
Pedestrians at risk on NYC streets
Even though New York City has many more pedestrians and cyclists on the streets than most American cities, police cited pedestrian and cyclist errors fewer than 5% of the time in 2019. According to recent reporting, in 97 fatalities that occurred in 2019, driver inattention or distraction was responsible for pedestrian and cyclist fatalities in 33 cases, and a failure to yield in 26 of them.
The four top contributing factors in half of these cases were driver distraction, failure to yield, disregarding traffic signals and unsafe speed. Sadly, drivers who remain on the scene after a deadly accident and who are not intoxicated rarely face serious charges.
When handling the aftermath of a pedestrian accident, victims often face catastrophic injuries that require multiple surgeries, long-term medical care and convalescence, as well as lost wages and pain and suffering. It is critical to have the assistance of seasoned personal injury attorneys in Queens who will help you to obtain the maximum compensation for your claim.