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Officials Call For Changes At Queensboro Bridge Off-Ramp Following Fatal Crash

Off-Duty NYPD Officer Killed In Car Wreck Tuesday
Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge ramp with barrier (Credit: Holli Haerr/1010 WINS)

Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge ramp with barrier (Credit: Holli Haerr/1010 WINS)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – In the wake of a car accident that took the life of an off-duty NYPD officer, two officials are calling for changes to the off-ramp where the accident, and several others have occurred.

Bronx native Elisa Toro, 36, was driving home from her shift when her car struck a guard rail and then a cement barrier on the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge ramp just before 2 a.m. Tuesday morning.  The car then overturned and slammed into a vacant store on Queens Plaza South in Long Island City, police said.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly called the accident a tragedy for the NYPD.

As 1010 WINS’ Holli Haerr reported Wednesday, New York state Sen. Mike Gianaris and Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer have demanded that the city’s Department of Transportation do more to prevent any more accidents.  “That same section of guardrail has been hit by every one of these cars in every one of these incidents,” Gianaris said.

The storefront on Queens Plaza South has been hit before and residents have been complaining about the traffic pattern in the area for years.

“I know that this is a dangerous off-ramp, I know that it is a complicated off-ramp,” one resident told Haerr.

The site of Tuesday’s crash, infamously known as “dead man’s curve,” was the scene of a series of serious vehicle crashes, which left two dead in 2011.

In March 2011, an out of control car coming off the ramp smashed into a restaurant and salon, killing a pedestrian.

Eight days later, another car off the ramp smashed into the stores, which left a passenger dead.

A month later, on May 21, a third car slammed into a livery cab and the concrete barrier that had been erected.

Toro’s car flipped over the concrete barrier that was put in place to avoid such accidents.

The Department of Transportation said since the first two accidents, the speed on the ramp was reduced to 20 miles per hour. A variety of reflectors and rumble strips were also installed to warn of a reduced speed zone.

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