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Bayside accident prompts resident to call for change

A Bayside businessman is urging community leaders to do something about what he calls a dangerous intersection after an accident took the life of a pregnant employee of his store last month.

Patrick Chen spoke before Community Board 11 during its monthly meeting Monday night to talk about the intersection of Springfield Boulevard and Union Turnpike, where he owns a business. It was there on Jan. 12 that one of his workers, who was three months pregnant, was killed by a motorist as she was crossing the street to buy groceries.

“A woman was killed with two lives and I feel this is a threat to the people who work in the area or live in the area,” he said.

The unidentified woman was going to get some milk from a nearby grocery store, according to Chen, and crossed Springfield Boulevard around 9:30 a.m. A driver in a red Honda Civic traveling southbound on Springfield made a left turn onto Union Turnpike and struck the woman, according to police.

The mother-to-be was taken to North Shore Hospital in critical condition and succumbed to her injuries three hours later, Chen said. The driver of the Civic, only identified by authorities as a 52-year-old man, stayed at the scene and was not charged with any criminality, according to police.

The business owner said he has noticed a lot of drivers pass through the area too quickly and pedestrians do not have enough time to cross the street, which he estimated as approximately 30 yards wide.

He gave the board a list of 400 petitions from people in the area in favor of installing new pedestrian lights that would help improve the safety for anyone who needed to cross the street.

“I hope people in this community can pay attention to this intersection,” Chen said.

Deputy Inspector Scott Hanover, the commanding officer of the 111th Precinct, said his office has not received that many complaints about the street during his three years serving the neighborhood.

Transportation Alternatives, the nonprofit city transportation watchdog group, found that 18 non-fatal accidents took place at Union Turnpike and Springfield Boulevard between 1995 and 2005.

Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at ipereira@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4546.

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