In a recent Queens car accident, a Dodge minivan jumped the curb last week, killing a teenager and injuring several others. The 2002 Dodge Caravan travelling east on Thomson left the roadway and plowed into a group of people on the sidewalk waiting for the bus. The driver of the van, who was reportedly very distraught, was taken into police custody. However, no charges were immediately filed.
According to witnesses, the driver was trying to avoid pedestrians crossing the street and lost control of the vehicle. Drudak Tenzin, age 16, was killed when he was directly hit by the van, flying over the hood and hitting the windshield before falling to the ground.
Four other pedestrians suffered serious injuries and were transported to Elmhurst hospital. They were listed in stable condition. Apparently all four were students at LaGuardia Community College. Drudak was a student at Applied Communications High School in Long Island City.
People in the area know the busy five-street intersection as a dangerous place. They fear that more accidents will occur and more pedestrian will be injured or killed. The City Council member representing the area, Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside), has called for the city to do a comprehensive study of the streets in the neighbourhood and install sidewalk barricades.
Last summer, students at LaGuardia Community College submitted a petition to the city’ Department of Transportation, calling upon the agency to analyze traffic patterns in an effort to improve traffic safety. Several students reported that they had narrowly missed being hit themselves, and hope that the recent tragedy will galvanize city officials into action.
However, a DOT spokesman downplayed the students’ concerns, stating that there had been no other fatal accidents at the intersection in at least 10 years, and that only one pedestrian injury had been reported.
Source: Daily News, “Long Island City crash site was dangerous long before fatal accident, students and officials charge,” Mar. 14, 2013.