Woman Struck and Killed at Notorious Forest Hills Intersection
FOREST HILLS — A woman in her 60s was struck and killed on Saturday evening as she was crossing Queens Boulevard at 71st Avenue — a notorious intersection that has seen two other serious accidents in recent months, police said.
The accident occurred at 8:28 p.m. as the woman, whose name had not been released as of Monday morning, was crossing Queens Boulevard from east to west in a marked crosswalk, but against the traffic light, police said.
According to the NYPD, the woman was struck by a tan 2000 Chevrolet Malibu that was going north on the service road.
Police said that the woman sustained severe head trauma and was pronounced dead after being transported to Jamaica Hospital.
The driver remained on scene and no arrests had been made as of Monday morning, police said. No summonses were issued, police said.
The busy intersection is infamous for being dangerous to pedestrians.
In January this year, 85-year old Gertrude Schnabel, was struck by an MTA bus at the intersection and as a result, she had to have her left leg amputated above the knee. Her right leg was also broken.
"Her spirits are low since it is now likely that she will require assisted living and a daily aide to get by from now on," her lawyer, Henry Davoli, said in an email Monday.
Peter Beadle, a member of Transportation Alternatives' Queens Activist Committee, said that the intersection "has a lot of pedestrian traffic, and a lot of car traffic, so there are a lot of opportunities for pedestrians and motor vehicles to come into conflict."
He also said that the intersection is "very wide and it takes a long time for a pedestrian to cross."
That often pushes pedestrians to begin crossing before the light changes, Beadle said, because they are afraid that they won’t be able to "cross it in time."
"It should not be a death penalty offense to cross against the light," Beadle said, adding that lowering the speed limit on Queens Boulevard, which is 30 mph, could prevent accidents. In case there is an accident, injuries could be less severe, if cars were moving more slowly, he noted.
"We are not ruling out taking a look at a reduction at a later date," a spokesman for the Department of Transportation said in an email.
The spokesman also said that the agency recently installed a curb extension at the intersection "to reduce crossing distances and [we] are in the process of installing another on the south/eastbound service road across the boulevard."
The thoroughfare has been nicknamed the “Boulevard of Death,” because more than 70 pedestrians were killed in accidents there from 1993 to 2001, according to the DOT.