Elderly Driver Crashes into Brooklyn Sidewalk, Injures Grandma, Two Children

01/01/2013 // New York, NY, USA // New York Injury Accident Lawyer // Jonathan C. Reiter // (press release)

An elderly driver crashed his car onto a sidewalk in Brooklyn, pinning two young children and their grandmother underneath his car, in a horrifying incident that occurred on Moore Street near Humboldt Street in Bushwick, Brooklyn, on October 6, 2012 at approximately 2:30 p.m. The driver of the Mitsubishi Galant, who remains unidentified, was leaving a parking space when he rammed a Kia Rio, which caused him to reverse in a sudden and uncontrolled manner, which sent his car onto a nearby sidewalk, where the woman was walking her two grandchildren in a stroller. The woman, identified as 51-year old Elizabeth Castillo, was walking her 3-year old grandson, Tyrese Owens, and 17-month old Tashaya Spivey. The car narrowly missed the children’s mother Anita Spivey who was getting ready to say goodbye to her mother when the crash occurred. The three victims were pinned under the car, and were rescued by two bystanders, Walik Eason and Tyrone McCray, who lifted the car off the victims at the site. The three victims suffered serious injuries and were removed via ambulance to Bellevue Hospital, where Ms. Castillo was admitted to the intensive care unit, and the two children were reported to be in serious but stable condition with fractures, cuts and contusions, reports pedestrian accident lawyer, Jonathan C. Reiter.

Jonathan C. Reiter, a New York pedestrian accident attorney has handled many motor vehicle and pedestrian accidents, enumerated the issues in this case as follows: “there has been a long standing issue of elderly drivers causing accidents due to cognitive or physical impairment caused by the aging process. The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) does not have an accelerated renewal program for elderly drivers, so they are treated the same as younger drivers, that is, renewal is only mandated every 8 years. However, if a physician renders an opinion that the elderly driver is no longer able to drive safely, he can make a report to the DMV who will then revoke his license. This is a matter of grave public safety concern, since a recent study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in conjunction with the American Medical Association (AMA) found that drivers over the age of 70 are responsible for more fatal car accidents than any other group. It appears that with the elderly driver involved in this accident, he crashed into the Kia in the parking lot, and then he may have panicked, reversing his car suddenly and forcefully, and ultimately lost control of his vehicle which then rammed into the sidewalk where the pedestrians were located.”

According to Mr. Reiter, the liability for this accident is clear, as follows: “Whether the elderly driver was negligent in his operation of this vehicle seems clear– drivers do not generally hit other cars and then jump the sidewalk without being held liable for the negligent operation of the vehicle. This incident may result in this driver losing his license. However, of greater concern is that this time, the victims survived, in large part due to luck and to the heroic actions of the eyewitnesses to this accident. It is vital that we ensure public safety in the future by revoking the licenses of elderly drivers who clearly lack the ability to operate a vehicle in a safe manner.”

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