UPPER EAST SIDE — Family and friends of a woman who was struck and killed by a garbage truck on First Avenue are holding a candlelight vigil on Tuesday night to honor her memory and highlight the need for safer streets — especially amid a city plan to bring hundreds of dump trucks to the neighborhood.
Jodi McGrath, 55, who lived at the Holmes Towers across the street from the crash scene, was crossing west on First Avenue at East 92nd Street at 4:30 a.m. on March 15 when a privately operated garbage truck hit her while making a left turn onto the avenue, according to authorities.
Police said on Tuesday that the investigation is still ongoing, and could not immediately identify which company the truck belonged to. The truck driver stayed on the scene and has not been charged.
The vigil is scheduled to take place at the intersection Tuesday night at 7 p.m. A number of McGrath's family and friends are planning to attend, as well as residents of Holmes Towers and members of Pledge 2 Protect, a local activist group that has been warning the community about increased dump truck traffic in the area once the marine transfer station is completed on East 91st Street in 2017.
"Holding this vigil shows that we are a very close community and that we’re all so saddened that something like this could happen to a person," said Pledge 2 Protect member and vigil organizer Helaine Eisenberg. "I am feeling that from the response we're getting, the community really wants to be there to acknowledge this senseless death. We see this as somber moment."
Eisenberg said the community has feared a tragedy like this happening. The streets are crowded and will only become more congested when construction of the marine transfer station is completed and brings hundreds of dump trucks to the area, she said.
Pledge 2 Protect and other community members will call on local politicians at the vigil to deliver a traffic safety plan for the area to protect pedestrians from the expected increase in traffic.
"We're concerned people living only 400 feet from where the trucks will be traversing aren’t being acknowledged," Eisenberg said. "I can only imagine — I hope this never happens to anybody again — that it could happen again, especially when they add more trucks to the neighborhood. The trucks can't see people. It's very scary."
Those who attend the vigil are asked to wear blue and to RSVP online.