According to recent reports, a West New York police officer was responsible for the death of a pedestrian. Hudson County Sheriff’s officials stated that Jorge Salgado, 28, was heading into work when he struck and killed Guiltier Guicoy-Mutzutz, 28. The pedestrian was crossing the street at 70th Street and Kennedy Boulevard in North Bergen. A passing police car from another district stopped and rendered aid at the scene. Salgado also remained at the scene to help the victim, who was transported to Palisades Medical Center in cardiac arrest. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Initial investigations revealed that the driver did not appear to be speeding. The investigators also noted that the victim was 70 feet from the nearest crosswalk in a poorly-lit area and was wearing dark clothing. No charges have been filed. The officer was transported to the hospital and treated for shock.
Pedestrian Crashes: What You Can Do
There are things you can do as both a driver and a pedestrian to help avoid deadly crashes. As a driver, you should:
- Control your speed, especially in built-up areas. Excessive speed is often to blame for pedestrian accidents. In addition, pedestrians have a much greater chance of surviving a slow-speed crash than a high-speed crash. For every 10 miles per hour you increase your speed, you also exponentially increase the chances that you would kill a pedestrian if you hit one.
- Stay alert. Pedestrians are not always in crosswalks, and they are not always highly visible. Stay alert and avoid distractions, especially in areas where pedestrians may be tempted to cross the street outside of crosswalks.
- Watch between parked cars. A pedestrian emerging from between two parked cars can be difficult to see. Scan the ground under cars for signs of feet, especially if children are in the area.
As a pedestrian, you can lower your chances of being injured by:
- Staying in crosswalks. Never cross outside of a crosswalk if one is available. Drivers are more alert for pedestrians in crosswalks.
- Be aware that traffic may come from more than one direction. Drivers may be making left or right turns at certain intersections, so be aware that traffic may not only come from one direction.
- Avoid distractions. Do not wear headphones or text while walking; it is easy to become unaware of your surroundings.
If you have been injured in a pedestrian crash, contact the attorneys at the Fitzgerald Law Firm in New York for help.