Three women were rushed to the hospital early this morning following a traffic accident on South Street at Rutgers Slip. It happened around 6:40 a.m. when a car hit the pedestrians, who were attempting to cross South Street. One of the women is listed in critical condition at Bellevue Hospital. The two other women are in serious condition. All of the victims are in their 60’s.
Police indicate the driver will not faces charges, although an investigation is continuing.
UPDATE 3:50 P.M. This afternoon City Council member Margaret Chin put out a statement regarding the accident. It noted that more residents are now walking across South Street to use the recently renovated esplanade. Chin is calling on the Department of Transportation to conduct a safety review of the intersection and other “pedestrian access points” along the esplanade:
My thoughts are with these three women and their families, especially the woman who suffered more serious injuries and is now in critical condition… I hope with all my heart that no lives are lost as the result of this terrible accident. My office was told that the NYPD’s Collision Investigation Squad is currently looking into this incident, and I trust that there will be a thorough investigation, since these women and the residents of the Lower East Side deserve nothing less. But at this point, it is clear that we must respond to this incident with action, because the safety of our community is paramount. Recent renovations to the East River Esplanade, near the site of this accident, have had the positive impact of bringing many more residents out to enjoy the waterfront. But with that additional pedestrian flow must come heightened scrutiny of all access points leading into the Esplanade, including the intersection at South Street and Rutgers Slip. That’s why I’m calling on the Department of Transportation to conduct a full traffic safety review of this site and the surrounding intersections, to make sure we are doing all we can to keep our Lower East Side residents safe as they enter the Esplanade. I will soon be in contact with DOT to discuss conducting a safety review of these sites as soon as possible.