Four boro pedestrians killed by vehicles in past week

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A Flushing grandfather died after being hit by a car in Fresh Meadows in a tragic week during which three other pedestrians lost their lives in Queens.

Seymon Brodsky, 84, of Flushing, died while crossing Union Turnpike near 182nd Street last Thursday, police said. A 25-year-old woman whose identity has not been released died after being struck in a hit-and-run in College Point last Thursday, and 84-year-old Arnulfo Velardo, of Bayside, was killed when he was hit by a sedan on Bell Boulevard and 73rd Avenue Monday, police said.

An unidentified 27-year-old man was killed in another hit-and-run accident in Forest Hills when he tried crossing the Horace Harding Expressway at 108th Street at 1 a.m. Tuesday, according to police.

Brodsky was crossing to the northern side of Union Turnpike near 182nd Street when he was struck by a vehicle traveling eastbound around 12:30 p.m.

“We heard the thud,” said Laurence Levy, a financial adviser at Edward Jones Investments. “The next thing we heard was the eyewitness who screamed, ‘Oh, my God; oh, my God; oh, my God.’ We saw the man sprawled on the street, and we called 911 within 15 to 30 seconds of the impact.”

Emergency officials arrived at the scene within minutes and began to treat the man, who was bleeding profusely while on the ground near the intersection of 182nd Street and Union Turnpike, shop employees said. The man’s dentures, black cane, black winter coat and gray sports jacket remained scattered on the ground as police worked to remove the blood not long after the accident.

“I saw him on the stretcher bleeding and bleeding, and he was still conscious,” said Wendy Marsh, who works at Marsh Optical and is the coordinator of the Union Turnpike Merchants Association.

The woman driving the van that hit the elderly man remained at the scene, police said. No criminal activity was suspected, according to police.

“The woman was in a daze,” Levy said.

The man may have been crossing the street to go to the nearby bus stop at Kent Street and Union Turnpike because he was holding his senior MetroCard when he was hit, according to those working in the neighborhood.

Union Turnpike is an especially dangerous area for pedestrians, Levy and Marsh said. There are few crosswalks in the neighborhood, so many pedestrians will cross the street in the face of oncoming cars that frequently drive in excess of 50 miles per hour, according to area employees.

“I’ve seen many people get hit by a car here,” said Marsh, who has worked for 24 years at her store at 180-12 Union Tnpk. “%u2026 I’ve seen people fly up in the air.”

Marsh said she and other store officials tried to get the city Department of Transportation to install a traffic light at the intersection where the older man was hit, but city officials refused.

“It would be great if we could get a light here,” Marsh said.

Reach reporter Anna Gustafson by e-mail at or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 174.

Updated 5:56 pm, October 10, 2011
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