MONSEY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A mother and her three children remain hospitalized Tuesday night after being hit by a car in Rockland County Monday afternoon.
The crash is now leading to long awaited safety changes in the area where it happened.
As CBS2’s Brian Conybeare reported, Route 59 near Robert Pitt Drive in Monsey always seems to be busy. Add in pedestrians, bus stops, and some families often jaywalking right through traffic and it can become downright dangerous.
“There’s no real way to cross the street safely,” resident David Polasak tells CBS2. “It wasn’t designed for pedestrians. It looks like a haphazard situation.”
Police say the mother and three children — including a three-month-old boy in a stroller — who were struck Monday were seriously injured while walking along the shoulder of Route 59 where there are no sidewalks.
62-year-old Albert Gomez, who police say may have been trying to pass another car in the shoulder, is charged with assault, reckless driving, and more while the victims are being treated at Westchester Medical Center.
“If the family had sidewalks yesterday in all likelihood they would not have been struck by the car even if the car were to go onto the shoulder,” community activist Yossi Gestetner said.
CBS2 reports the New York State Department of Transportation recommended adding sidewalks, more crosswalks, and other safety measures in a March 2016 study.
“Here we are in June 2017 more than a year later and still no sidewalks and I think this is a recklessness on behalf of the state,” Gestetner said. “They need to step in and step up right away.”
That study showed 716 accidents on Route 59 in Ramapo over three years — 26 involving pedestrians.
In the wake of the crash Monday, the DOT says it will make temporary safety upgrades immediately and confirms it will finally install sidewalks.
On Wednesday, Ramapo police officers will be out along Route 59 ticketing both drivers and pedestrians who disobey the law.