TRAGIC NIGHT: TWO PEDESTRIANS KILLED IN CAR CRASHES FRIDAY, INCLUDING 9-YEAR-OLD

crash 97

Two people were killed in separate car crashes on Friday just two blocks away from each other.

The first crash occurred around 8:20 p.m. when a 73-year-old man was hit by a tour bus and dragged down 96th street between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue, the Daily News reported. The driver later said he had not seen the man, according to the newspaper.

“But the bus driver apparently never saw the victim and kept going, dragging the helpless pedestrian down W. 96th St. until witnesses forced him to stop near Amsterdam Ave., witnesses said.”

The second crash happened just 20 to 30 minutes later as a man was walking with his nine-year-old son at 97th street and West End Avenue. A cab hit them, killing the boy and injuring the father. The New York Post is identifying the boy as Cooper Stock and his father as Richard Stock.

“Two passengers in a passing vehicle stopped to help the child and calm his father, witnesses said.

Lassi said one of the Good Samaritans called 911 and reported that the boy was still breathing.

But by the time paramedics arrived Cooper ‘looked lifeless’ and ‘had blood all over his face,’ a neighbor said.”

The boy was pronounced dead at St. Luke’s Hospital.

The Post says that police did not immediately suspect criminality in either case, implying that the drivers might not be charged.

Multiple readers tell us the intersection at 97th and West End is particularly dangerous. One nearby resident wrote:

“A couple of months ago, my neighbor wound up on the hood of a car at the corner of 97th and WEA. Tonight, a little kid and his father, also from my building, got seriously injured. In both cases, they crossed WEA on starting from the SE corner of 97th and WEA. Cars whip around that corner trying to beat the light. Someone needs to fix this. It’s a pedestrian nightmare. When I said that to one of the cops at the scene of the accident, he said, ‘There’s a light there’”

Community Board 7 has been studying safety improvements around 96th street.

Photo of 97th street scene by Ali Accarino.

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    1. Parasher says:

      RIP little Cooper. He was a classmate of my son. Devastating.

    2. Lisa Sladkus says:

      Community Board 7 has been studying this dangerous corridor for years. We identified it as a hotbed of crashes and proposed easy fixes back in May of 2010. We need more than easy fixes and we need them NOW. I can’t imagine the anguish these families feel, especially knowing that the crashes were preventable. How about some action? How about insisting on safety changes for pedestrians and cyclists?

    3. Rako says:

      …after the car jumping the curb back in spring killing a 4 year old girl, when will the city get real about protecting pedestrians from reckless and aggressive drivers in this neighborhood? Speed bumps by schools/parks/playgrounds, delayed lights for pedestrians…these solutions could have been implemented long ago, and based on the accident data in the story on this site a few months ago, these conclusions and steps aren’t rocket science by any means

      Tragic and horrible news

      • Steve says:

        I agree fully. There is still too much deference given to the idea that UWS roads need to be designed *solely* with the aim of encouraging the fastest throughput possible for motor vehicles.

        A better balance needs to be struck: shorter crossing distances, more speed bumps and neck downs, better signal timing, narrower avenues, wider sidewalks, lower speed limits, more reliable public transit, and more (and better targeted) law enforcement.

    4. Joan R says:

      How awful. And yes, the corner of 97th and WEA is terrible because all the cars try to make the light. Can’t they put staggered lights there so cars are not allowed to make the turn while pedestrians are walking? I can’t imagine what that poor family is going through. And as for tour buses? I don’t think they should be allowed on city streets.

    5. Tom D says:

      My two biggest worries as a pedestrian – the damn tour buses which I suspect this was as it was described as “green”; and cab drivers who are often behind the wheel 12 hours or more and even if they just started on their shift are absolutely reckless in all too many cases.
      What a horror for all of the families involved.

    6. Mike Dunlap says:

      So sad. Cars are now a bigger menace to this city than guns. People should be embarrassed to drive them here. They contribute the random, daily death amd destruction car drivers continue to terrorize this city with. Groups opposing 20 mph zones, lane removals, bike lanes, etc… all in the name of faster traffic, more parking, etc. do more damage to this city than the NRA.

    7. S says:

      Hasn’t the community board been stalling on improvements here and elsewhere on the UWS for years? What the hell are they waiting for?

    8. Marie D. says:

      This is so sad and I feel so bad for this family. What a tragedy and I pray for them. For many UWS families, this has almost happened more than once. This has been going on for years. Four years ago, a friend of my child got hit walking across WEA with his parents in the middle of the day. WEA and side streets are dangerous. Is it worth killing pedestrians to make that light or get there all of 2 minutes faster? People drive up and down WEA like it is the West Side Highway. All types of drivers speed through the UWS. Taxi’s, delivery trucks, school busses, soccer mom’s and suburbanites looking for free parking rush through the side streets blowing through red and green lights to turn onto and then speed up and down WEA and Riverside Drive. If they can control traffic in Times Square, then why can’t this be done on WEA? It’s time for residential parking stickers, reducing the size and speed limit of WEA, and eliminating WEA as a viable alternate for the West Side Highway. RIP little boy- may God help your family through this.

    9. Robin says:

      I live on 95th and Broadway. The intersection of 96th St. and Broadway is very dangerous. Thousands of people cross there daily. There have been a number of pedestrian/auto accidents. We need to have a full time crossing guard or police officer at that intersection at all times.

    10. robert says:

      While both events were tragic,lets get a couple of facts out there on this event. The man hit at B’way and 96 was “J” walking and did not have the light when he was hit. This intersection was redesigned at the behest of our local elected’s by DOT. The regular pressure groups and self appointed community activists came out in force to get DOT to do this. DOT has tweaked it a bit since then several times. In ref to some requests made by previous comments here:
      There are pedestrian crossing count down clocks at the intersection, and there are already delayed lights for the turning lanes and for ped crossing. The main issue with the intersection is pedestrians walking through the intersection from the subway entrance to the island north of it with the art gallery. People also see East/west car traffic stop and then start walking North/South even when the signals still say DONT’T WALK for them, that is the delayed turning light people are commenting here about. They are already there, but pedestrians are ignoring them. In ref to West End there were “traffic calming” measures imposed by DOT and Co. a number of years ago.
      That is why traffic now backs up West End ever morning. Cars sit in the turning lane at 97 & WEA waiting to make the turn onto 97 street, along comes the crosstown bus turning from 97 on wea and there is not enough room for the bus to turn with cars siting in the turning lane. After several lights go by yelling and horns honking all the while the cars have to pull out into oncoming traffic to go around the bus. Sometimes the bus backs up and back a few times and makes the turn itself. This backing is also done into oncoming traffic.
      Last but not least 96 and WEA (PS 75) Each morning and kids with and without parents walk to PS75. every morning there are people with kids who try and make the light just as its turning red for them, while cars going through this intersection are already in “highway mode” and not as attentive as they should. Also in ref to the school folks double park around the school each morning to drop off their kids, when the leave the cat this way to walk the kids into the school they further complicate an already congested area.

    11. denton says:

      According to the NYDN, the cab driver has been issued a summons for failing to yield at a pedestrian crosswalk. That makes it his fault.

      • robert says:

        A. The “J” walking I mentioned was in ref to the B’way incident. As I stated in my earlier comment.
        B. In NYC cars are required to yield to pedestrians even if the car has the right of way, green light etc. The cab driver could have had the light and still gotten a summons for “failure to yield”. It is not clear yet what actually was the cause/reason for the WEA accident, as it is still being investigated.

    12. Doug Collins says:

      Why subway stations were built in the middle of intersections at 72nd and 96th is beyond understanding. At least one fender bender daily. No police directing traffic. People need to run for their lives.

      • Sean says:

        They pre-date the current vehicular traffic.

      • Cato says:

        People don’t need to run for their lives. They need to obey the traffic lights. Instead, everyone has to be first, dashing across streets regardless of the status of the light.

        Drivers are not immune, either. If they, too, would follow the lights — yellow means slow down and finish what you’re doing, not speed-speed-faster-faster — we’ll all be safer.

        Don’t blame the location of the subway station; it’s been there for years.

      • Upper West Side Wally says:

        Have considered:
        - Access for people in wheelchairs?
        - No more 5 foot wide (snow and ice covered) staircases on 10 foot wide sidewalks for thousands of people to go up and down on?
        - No more down 25 steps and up 15 steps just to get to the platform?
        And most people ‘running for their lives’ are jaywalking to begin with. Stick to the lights and give it an extra couple of seconds.

    13. Guest says:

      This is so heartbreaking. A life lost is a life lost. I would like to see the drivers held accountable. A drunk driver, we would throw the book at them for killing a child, a sober driver should be treated the same.

      • Beth says:

        Agreed. What’s happens to a driver like that? He mowed down two people. What was he doing/how fast was he going in order to inflict such damage? Someone like that should be barred from driving a cab.

    14. Chris says:

      Cab drivers in this city are a menace. They drive too fast and they are almost always distracted because they are yakking on the phone.

      It isn’t difficult to fix – lower the speed limit in many residential areas, and hold drivers and their fleet owners accountable for speeding and for accidents with very stiff penalties that put their ability to make a living in jeopardy. Not hard. Our leaders simply don’t care enough to deal with it.

    15. Bruce Bernstein says:

      My thoughts are with the family of the young boy, Cooper Stock, and also the senior citizen who was dragged to his death in a separate incident. These two incidents were so terrible.

      There was a wonderful descriptive death notice placed by Cooper Stock’s family in today’s (Monday 1/13) NY Times. It really gave you a good sense of this extraordinary child and the sadness of the family.

      • Robin says:

        I’ve been both a pedestrian and a driver on 96th/Broadway. The crossings were poorly planned for the amount of pedestrians using them daily. Finally, today, after someone was killed, there has been significant police presence, loud speakers announcing to pedestrians, and now there is a crossing guard. I’m so sad for the lives lost no matter what the situation was, it’s a tragedy. We need our high traffic areas better supervised. I think rather than ticketing many drivers daily in this area, money would be well spent trying to protect drivers and pedestrians.

    16. robert says:

      FYI folks here are the law section numbers, see section B of 1151 and section a of section 1152
      It is also illegal in New York to step off a curb the moment the light starts blinking red. But it is rarely enforced and
      even when it is, the fine is $50.
      § 1151. Pedestrians’ right of way in crosswalks. (a) When
      traffic-control signals are not in place or not in operation the driver
      of a vehicle shall yield the right of way, slowing down or stopping if
      need be to so yield, to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a
      crosswalk on the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling, except
      that any pedestrian crossing a roadway at a point where a pedestrian
      tunnel or overpass has been provided shall yield the right of way to all
      vehicles.
      (b) No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety
      and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is
      impractical for the driver to yield.
      (c) Whenever any vehicle is stopped at a marked crosswalk or at any
      unmarked crosswalk at an intersection to permit a pedestrian to cross
      the roadway, the driver of any other vehicle approaching from the rear
      shall not overtake and pass such stopped vehicle.
      § 1152. Crossing at other than crosswalks. (a) Every pedestrian
      crossing a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or
      within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right of
      way to all vehicles upon the roadway.
      (b) Any pedestrian crossing a roadway at a point where a pedestrian
      tunnel or overhead pedestrian crossing has been provided shall yield the
      right of way to all vehicles upon the roadway.
      (c) No pedestrian shall cross a roadway intersection diagonally unless
      authorized by official traffic-control devices; and, when authorized to
      cross diagonally, pedestrians shall cross only in accordance with the
      official traffic-control devices pertaining to such crossing movements.