A 71-year old NYPD traffic agent was killed late last month in a commercial vehicle accident in Manhattan. Kalyanarat Ranasinghe was on the job when he was hit by a large truck as it pulled out of a parking spot in midtown Manhattan and fell to the ground. The vehicle then drove over the agent, pinning him under the wheel. The truck was then struck by a bus as it passed by. Both the driver of the truck and that of the bus stayed on scene until authorities arrived.
It’s thought that the nature of the vehicle itself contributed to the accident. The vehicle, an industrial vacuum truck, was the type of vehicle generally employed to clean trash from storm drains and the like. The design leaves several “blind spots” in which obstacles (such as pedestrians) cannot be easily seen from even the most observant driver’s eyes.
Both Ranasinghe’s boss and son said he was out there doing his job for the love of it, not for the money, as his age would indicate. A native of Sri Lanka, Ranasinghe had emigrated to the Bronx years ago and had been employed by the NYPD for the last seven years. It’s a job that NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly classifies as “dangerous” and doesn’t pay as much as it should. Indeed, there are roughly 3,000 traffic agents in New York City and the average salary is just $30 thousand-not much for standing in busy streets, directing traffic in every kind of inclement weather.
Such truck accidents in New York City are more common than one might think. DMV data shows that there were over 1,600 large trucks accidents in New York City alone within the last year. Twenty-two of them ended in fatalities while over 1,000 involved significant personal injury. The vast majority of these accidents were ruled to be the result of driver inattention or distraction.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, you have the right to recover monetary awards for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Contact an experienced New York City motor vehicle accident attorney today. Call the Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel for a free consultation at 646-736-2777 or 212-385-1122 to learn your rights.