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Officials to reexamine intersection safety after tragic accident

Every day, people here in New Jersey and across the U.S. suffer life-altering or deadly injuries in pedestrian accidents. While some of these accidents can undoubtedly be linked to perhaps careless actions by a pedestrian (jaywalking, not crossing at the light, etc.), the overwhelming majority are caused by negligent motorists who are perhaps overly concerned about beating the light, distracted by their phone or radio, or simply lacking an understanding of the basic rules of the road.

Unfortunately, a recent tragedy in Essex County only serves to underscore just how much of a problem pedestrian safety has become here in northern New Jersey over the last several years.

At around 9:15 last Monday morning, a mother and her two-year-old daughter were attempting to cross the street in the crosswalk located at Bloomfield Avenue and Grove Street when they were struck by a pickup truck making a left turn on a green light.

Emergency personnel were immediately summoned to the scene of the accident, and both the child and her mother were taken to an area hospital for emergency treatment. Sadly, the two-year-old later died, while the mother suffered personal injuries that while serious, are not considered to be critical.

Thus far, police have yet to file charges against the pickup truck driver who witnesses say may have jumped on the accelerator as soon as the light turned green in an attempt to beat traffic.

While news of the fatal accident hit area residents hard, they also indicated that it wasn't altogether surprising given the heavy traffic in the area, and the nearby location of both a school and a strip mall. In fact, several residents have since come forward to indicate that they have complained to government officials about the intersection -- which sees anywhere from four to six accidents per month -- and that these efforts went nowhere.

"You got cars making rights on red. You got cars trying to make the left turn, and people just don’t care," said one area business owner. "Who’s on their cell phone, who’s trying to beat the light."

It is worth noting that city officials have indicated that they are meeting with the Essex County Department of Transportation to discuss what can be done to make the intersection safer.

Those who have been injured in pedestrian accidents caused by negligent drivers should understand that they can seek the justice they deserve and that they should strongly consider speaking with an experienced attorney.

Source: The Star-Ledger, "Bloomfield intersection where toddler was killed is accident-prone, locals say," James Queally, September 23, 2013

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