Woman In Critical Condition After Hit-And-Run on Queens Boulevard
Police are searching for the hit-and-run driver who struck a 59-year-old woman on Monday morning — near a stretch of Queens Boulevard where the city has stalled on completing a life-saving street redesign — sending her to an already-overwhelmed Queens emergency room.
Police say the driver of a beige sedan hit the unidentified woman near 80th Road at about 8:40 a.m., and then fled north on Union Turnpike.
Paramedics rushed the woman to Jamaica Hospital in critical condition. A spokesman for the NYPD said the department’s Collision Investigation Squad is investigating, and could not answer questions about whether the driver was speeding, distracted, or how long it took for emergency responders to arrive, given the deluge in 911 calls due to the worsening coronavirus pandemic.
The intersection of Queens Boulevard and 80th Road is one of the most congested, confusing areas in Queens. It is at the confluence of the Jackie Robinson Parkway, Union Turnpike, Queens Boulevard and Key Gardens Road. The scene of the crash is just one block east of where the Department of Transportation in February promised to finish the last phase of Queens Boulevard’s protected bike lane between Yellowstone Boulevard and Union Turnpike.
But just hours after DOT’s announcement last month, Mayor de Blasio backpedaled on the city’s plans and asked DOT to consider an alternative design that would not require the elimination of so many parking spots.
Hizzoner’s request was just his latest capitulation to a pro-car community and local council member after two years of failing to finish the project — stalling that could have prevented this crash, advocates charged.
“It’s unacceptable that pedestrians and cyclists are still getting injured and killed by drivers during a pandemic, when our health care personnel and facilities are stretched thin,” said Bike New York’s Laura Shepard.
“The community has been waiting years for necessary safety improvements on Queens Boulevard, which may have prevented this critical injury directly outside of Queens Borough Hall.”
— Brian Hedden (@BriHedden) March 30, 2020
The mayor last week urged New Yorkers to slow down because the hospitals can’t handle more patients — just days before speedsters sent two people to over-capacity hospitals after a five-car crash in Brooklyn.
“The last thing we want is any additional crash that harms your fellow New Yorkers and takes up yet another bed in a hospital,” de Blasio said during his daily press briefing on coronavirus. “So, even though the streets are more open, everyone still has to slow down and be careful and not act like, you know, we’re in a different situation where it’s open season … to speed. It is not.”