On December 31, 2012 at 4:30 a.m. a car left an icy roadway and crashed into Jamaica Bay in Queens, NY. Pregnant 25-year old Dominique Jamison, a passenger in the car driven by Denise Finley, 32, was killed in the accident. Ms. Finley admitted drinking vodka and cranberry juice before she got behind the wheel of the vehicle. She was arrested for DUI and driving without a license.
Here’s what happened. The two women and two passengers were in a Ford Focus traveling along the back streets of Queens. When the car left the roadway, it plunged into 4-foot deep freezing waters. Ms. Finley was able to free herself from the vehicle and get to the shore. She waved down oncoming traffic for help. Passersby stopped and formed a human chain to attempt a rescue.
One of the rescuers, Damien Noel, stated that he did find and free one person trapped in the vehicle but was unable to locate Finley or the remaining two passengers.
Police and emergency medical technicians arrived and braved the frigid waters to remove the remaining victims. All four occupants of the vehicle were taken to Jamaican Hospital where the pregnant Dominique Jamison was pronounced dead. She left behind a 7-month old daughter named Journee.
At first blush, this appears to be a clear case of just one cause for a terribly tragic accident. However, perhaps the investigation needs to look at more than just Denise Finley’s actions.
For instance, the area is known for its inadequate lighting and often experiences high winds. Did these conditions contribute to this accident? Should a guardrail been erected alongside the roadway to prevent vehicles from plunging into an icy ravine? Was this a poorly designed roadway? An accident reconstruction expert or roadway design engineer could provide answers to these questions.
Only a personal injury attorney experienced in motor vehicle accidents and road design cases can provide the proper counsel and guidance to determine whether the City of New York along with the drunk driver is responsible for this accident. The personal injury attorney will not only seek the maximum recovery for pain and suffering for the injuries sustained in the accident but will also to help recover any unpaid medical bills and lost income.