Deadly Intersection Claims Another Victim
A 22-year-old Queens woman chatting on her cellphone was struck and killed by a city bus on February 22, as she crossed one of the borough’s most deadly intersections.
Melan Jin was diagonally crossing Northern Boulevard at Union Street in Flushing at about 8 a.m., when a Q44 bus made a wide right turn and struck her, police said.
After the accident, the bus driver continued on his route, unaware that the bus struck Jin, police and eyewitnesses said.
The bus, which was not in service and was not carrying passengers at the time, traveled about four blocks before police alerted the driver to what happened, authorities said.
Jin, who was on her way to work at a nearby nail salon, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Law enforcement sources said investigators are trying to determine if Jin was struck by any other vehicles after the bus.
Crowds that gathered at the scene were not surprised that another pedestrian was struck at the site.
Michael Murphy, spokesperson for Transportation Alternatives, said the intersection is one of the most dangerous in the city. There were 92 crashes involving pedestrians at the intersection between 1995 and 2009, Murphy said.
The city Department of Transportation said there have been fewer accidents at the intersection since the agency installed a number of safety upgrades at the site.
“It doesn’t matter how much work the city does here, or how many safety measures are installed, if people aren’t careful,” one onlooker said.
“People are always crossing against the lights, they cross in the middle of the street and they run from between parked cars,” the man said. “Of course there are drivers who don’t follow the law, but drivers who drive safely can’t be held responsible for the actions of people who don’t think before they cross the street.”
A DOT Web site said the last pedestrian fatality at the intersection was in 2008. Agency statistics show that nine pedestrians were injured in accidents at the site between August 2010 and June 2011, down from an average of 12 in the previous three years.
“For pedestrians to finally feel safe at that notorious intersection, the police need to hold dangerous drivers accountable,” Murphy said.
The bus driver, who has been on the job for 10 years, was not expected to be charged in the accident, police said.