Queens Senior Dies from Injuries After Being Hit by Driver on Northern Boulevard
A senior citizen who was struck by a reckless driver on a parking-lot-filled Queens street has died of her wounds — and the driver remains uncharged.
According to the NYPD, Yuitmay Szeto, 89, was crossing 48th Street just south of Northern Boulevard on April 23 at around 2:40 p.m. when the driver of a 2018 Dodge Durango, who was exiting a parking lot on the mall-centric roadway, struck her, causing severe body trauma. Szeto, who lived nearby, was taken to Elmhurst Hospital, where she died of her injuries on Monday. The driver had remained on the scene and was not charged, cops said.
Sick to my stomach after learning that one of our elders is in critical condition after a turning driver struck her. This one block has seen 15 human beings injured in the last 12mo but DOT has made 0 changes to the street's design.https://t.co/RG6x9fTKTJ
— Council Member Julie Won (@CMJulieWon) April 25, 2022
The danger of 48th Street is apparent to anyone who tries to access its malls, which include a Guitar Center, a Marshalls and a Stop and Shop, by foot. Since January 2019, there have been 87 reported crashes, injuring eight cyclists, 11 pedestrians and 17 motorists on the single block of 48th Street between Northern Boulevard and the LIRR train yard to the south. But on the comparable block of 48th Street south of the rail yard, there have been 21 crashes, injuring three cyclists, two pedestrians and one motorist.
The NYPD said the investigation is ongoing.
Northern Boulevard has long been a target of street safety campaigns, ever since the roadway was dubbed “The New Boulevard of Death” after the ignominious murder strip of Queens Boulevard was redesigned for safety under Mayor de Blasio.
She died. RIP Yuitmay Szeto, 89.
We must do better to protect pedestrians, especially our elders. We need @NYC_DOT to redesign 48th Street so that walking & biking between Sunnyside & Astoria isn't stressful, dangerous, or deadly. @CMJulieWon 1/2https://t.co/NTHyDYonJi https://t.co/JNhUMiaGKl
— Laura Shepard (@LAShepard221) May 3, 2022
In the three years between Jan. 1, 2016 and Dec. 31, 2018, there were 3,242 reported crashes on just the 4.3-mile stretch between Queens Plaza and Astoria Boulevard, injuring 73 cyclists, 146 pedestrians and 607 motorists, killing five pedestrians. In the three years since that period, thanks to some safety improvements made by the Department of Transportation, crashes have fallen to 1,851 total, injuring 111 cyclists, 113 pedestrians and 515 motorists, killing one pedestrian.
Advocates say there is much more to be done, including a dedicated bus lane to reduce car carnage and encourage transit use. Transit supporters and local pols will rally on Friday at 10 a.m. at Northern Boulevard and 80th Street to demand changes.