Rockland County, NY – Just over two weeks after a 17 year old yeshiva student died after being struck by a car while standing in a yeshiva driveway located off a busy Ramapo roadway, Rockland County Executive Ed Day has called upon the state to conduct a pedestrian safety study in the area.
As previously reported on VIN News(http://bit.ly/2cRLSnv), 17 year old Marcos Tawil of Argentina died when he was struck by a car that crossed the double yellow line on Route 202 close to midnight on September 7th. A second yeshiva student, 19 year old David Maldonado of Monsey was also seriously injured in the accident.
The driver of the car, off duty rookie Peekskill police officer Jonathan Mosquera, tried to pass a vehicle that had slowed down to make a left turn into the driveway of Yeshiva Tiferet Torah to pick up the teens, but the two vehicles sideswiped each other, with Mosquera’s car slamming into the pair before plunging down an embankment.
Lieutenant Mark Emma of the Ramapo Police Department confirmed that Officer Mosquera had attempted to pass the other car in a no passing zone and Ramapo Police are continuing to investigate the incident.
The Journal News reported that both Tawil, an only child whose father died recently, and Maldonado had been waiting for a ride from the yeshiva at 996 Route 202, with their cell phone lights illuminated to indicate their location to the driver of the car who was coming to pick them up.
Despite early reports saying that the yeshiva was operating illegally at the Route 202 location, the yeshiva was granted a permanent certificate of occupancy in February 2016 and was up to date on all required inspections.
Tawil’s death is the third fatality on Route 202, which runs northeast from the New Jersey border in Mahwah to the Hudson River in Haverstraw since December.
A 44 year old motorcyclist died in May after being hit by a car on the Haverstraw portion of the highway and a 53 year old bicyclist who was killed on the Ramapo section of the road after being hit by a car in a late night crash in December 2015. A third crash, which took place in January 2014 in Ramapo due to icy road conditions on Route 202, took the life of a 50 year old woman in a two car collision that injured five others.
In his letter sent today to Matthew J. Driscoll, commissioner of the New York State Department of Transportation, Day noted that the Ramapo portion of Route 202 which runs through residential neighborhoods is particularly dangerous, with minimal shoulders, winding roads and a 55 mile per hour speed limit.
Day asked that the state consider adding additional lights to the poorly lit roadway and explore the possibility of widening Route 202 or reducing the speed limit in order to improve pedestrian safety.
Day released an article on pedestrian safety with the opening of school in September calling on both drivers and pedestrians to review basic safety rules in order to prevent further accidents.
“Roads are not just for cars,” Day told VIN News. “Drivers need to understand that pedestrians use the roadways too. That’s why we are participating in the Complete Streets initiative and New York state’s See! Be Seen! program. Everyone plays a role in making our streets safer for both pedestrians and drivers.”