For two families in the Bronx, Halloween may bring real nightmares for years to come. A tragic and horrific fatal accident occurred when a car jumped a curb on Morris Park Avenue and killed three people who were involved in trick-or-treating at about 5 p.m. on Oct. 31. New York police officials believe that the driver had some sort of a seizure or medical event prior to the tragic collision.
The deceased persons were a 10-year-old girl, her grandfather and a 24-year old male who was accompanying his younger sister. Three others were hurt, including a 3-year-old girl. The driver reportedly hit a car in front of him twice before crossing lanes and jumping the curb.
Police found no drugs or alcohol in the 52-year-old man’s system. The possible occurrence of a medical condition may prove to be sufficient for the police to decide not to charge the driver criminally. However, for purposes of civil liability to compensate those killed and injured, the man is likely liable. Even when there is a medical event, it is often possible to prove negligence.
For example, the individual may have neglected to take medication that is prescribed. The person may not have had sufficient sleep, which would contribute to the potential for a seizure. Symptoms may have been occurring prior to the accident, which would put a reasonable person on notice to get medical help before getting behind the wheel. There are many other factors that could contribute to a finding of negligence by the driver.
The group Transportation Alternatives has reported that 13 pedestrians have been killed in New York City so far in 2015 by cars jumping curbs, a sharp increase over 2014. The surviving victims of this fatal accident and the families of the decedents will long suffer the pain of these awful events. Although it will never measure up to what they lost, there are monetary remedies that may be legally available to give them some degree of relief and support during their difficult times ahead.
Source: The New York Times, “Fatal Crash in the Bronx Unites Two Families in Grief“, J. David Goodman, Nov. 1, 2015