Police confirmed this morning that one of three victims of a traffic accident on South Street last Thursday morning has died as a result of her injuries. Shu Fan Huang lived at 201 Madison St., just two blocks from the scene of the accident. She was 82 years old.
The women were all rushed to Bellevue Hospital after the accident, which occurred just before 7 a.m. A driver, a 34-year-old woman, was not given a ticket. Police believe the pedestrians were walking against the signal.
Earlier today, City Council member Chin put out a statement indicating she’d learned just last night of Huang’s death. She called it a “sad reminder of the need for swift action to review the signals, signage and other elements (in the area) in order to make them safer for all pedestrians to cross, regardless of their age or level of mobility.” Chin added, “I am so deeply saddened to learn of this woman’s death, and my heart is with her family in this tragic time… This is a devastating moment for the Chinatown and Lower East Side communities, and we can never replace a life that has been lost. But we can honor that life by taking positive steps to make our community safer.”
As we reported yesterday, the city has agreed to a safety review in the immediate vicinity of the accident. There’s a new recreational area on the East River Esplanade at Rutgers Street, which has attracted more foot traffic to the area. Today Chin said:
This tragic death underscores the fact that these safety reviews must be completed as soon as possible, and I will be speaking with DOT to make sure that is the case. We cannot ignore this, and we cannot wait. No one should ever be afraid to cross the street as they take a morning walk to enjoy the waterfront. This is our community. It’s our home. The East River Esplanade is a beautiful place — but if we’re going to encourage residents to take advantage of it, we must also make every conceivable effort to keep those residents safe from harm. This can’t happen again. I’m going to work with DOT and all our community stakeholders to make sure it doesn’t.
The other victims, both in their 60’s, suffered serious injuries but are expected to recover.