Delancey Street Pedestrian Killed; Accident Details Emerge

Photo by Adrian Fussell.

We unfortunately have some sad news this morning about the victim of Tuesday afternoon’s traffic accident on Delancey Street.  51-year old Patricia Cuevas was rushed to Bellevue Hospital after being struck by a garbage truck, but doctors could not save her.  She had suffered severe injuries to her legs.

Also today, we have more details about the accident. According to witnesses, Cuevas was walking in the street, on the south side of Delancey, just east of Essex Street, heading towards the Williamsburg Bridge.  The witnesses said she was outside the barrier (pictured above) and fell down. The privately owned garbage truck, also heading east, could not stop in time. Cuevas became trapped under the rear wheels of the truck. As we reported Wednesday, the NYPD did not ticket or charge the driver.

Yesterday, Streetsblog picked up our story, noting:

The intersection of Essex and Delancey is one of the most dangerous in New York City. According to Transportation Alternatives, there were 119 crashes injuring pedestrians or cyclists between 1998 and 2008, more than any other intersection on Manhattan’s entire East Side. A pedestrian was killed in a traffic crash at the intersection last April. This is only the most recent in a series of serious crashes involving private garbage trucks. A private sanitation truck driver killed a pedestrian this March at Broadway and Myrtle Avenue in Brooklyn, and as Charles Komanoff wrote last summer, these trucks have posed a consistent and long-standing threat to pedestrians and cyclists.

Residents of the Lower East Side don’t need a study to conclude that Delancey is a dangerous street.  The sidewalk adjacent to the accident scene is passable, but a large section of the walkway in front of the Olympic Diner has been fenced off since a section of the sidewalk collapsed in January. Some Streetsblog readers speculated that the garbage truck jumped the curb, striking Cuevas. Based on the eyewitness accounts, this seems not to be the case.

Daniel Cuevas, Patricia’s brother-in-law, told us she is survived by her husband and an 18-year old son. “She was born in Flushing, Queens and was a caring human being,” he said.