NEW YORK (CBS 2) — The family of a Staten Island woman plans to sue the city, saying officials knew the intersection where she was killed was dangerous.
Last May, as Beata Kurpiewski, 59, and her then-3-year-old grandson, Philip, waited at the intersection of Slosson Avenue and Windsor Road, a speeding SUV ran a red light before smashing into another car and killing the woman at the scene.
“She was the most careful person. She would never cross the street without the light,” Kurpiewski’s daughter-in-law, Kathy, told CBS 2′s Don Dahler.
The driver who ran the light was charged with criminally negligent homicide.
As shocking as the accident was, it did not surprise residents in the neighborhood.
Peter Christofilakes and Don Cammarano said they have complained to the city about the intersection for years by sending petitions, accident photographs and letters.
“There’s been one fatality, and there’s been a number of accidents and I foresee many many more,” Christofilakes said.
Both men said cars were putting children at risk by speeding near the intersection, trying to beat the light and get onto the expressway. One couple’s home has even been twice hit by cars near the intersection.
Despite their complaints, residents said all they have gotten is the run around.
“There’s this frustration. Where do we turn to now? Is our government broken?” Cammarano asked.
Borough President James Molinaro responded to the comment by saying “we’re listening and we’re not broken.”
Molinaro has asked the Department of Transportation for improvements and urged patience.
“It’s a process…studies have to be done,” Molinaro said.
In a statement, the Department of Transportation said it “recently completed its feasibility study for guardrails” and will install them. The statement went on to say they “continue to work on plans to enhance safety ” in the area.
Kurpiewski said she can only hope her mother-in-law’s death will help lead to real change.
“Maybe because of that she had to die and maybe because of her death, we will be able to do something about it,” Kathy Kurpiewski said.