Accident in Red Hook After D.O.T. Turns Head, Ignores Pleas

RHAccident Accident in Red Hook After D.O.T. Turns Head, Ignores Pleas
Firefighters clean blood off the street.

Last night around 10 p.m. at the intersection of Van Brunt and Wolcott streets in Red Hook, a woman was struck and thrown by a gray minivan that had just turned out of the Fairway parking lot five blocks away, according to witnesses. The van was heading north on Van Brunt as the woman was trying to cross the street. According to police at the scene, the woman, who is in her early 20’s and had not yet been identified, is in serious but stable condition.

The accident happened in front of P.S. 15, at an intersection where faded paint marked three of the four crossings. Witnesses said the woman was walking across the one unpainted crossing. She was taken to Long Island College Hospital, where a source at the hospital confirmed that she was alive. The hospital would not release any information.

Residents in the neighborhood have been complaining about increased traffic and dangerous conditions in recent months with the opening of the Fairway grocery store and the nearby cruise-ship terminal. The Department of Transportation recently installed a traffic light for the cruise-ship terminal on the north end of Van Brunt Street, but has not installed any traffic-calming measures for the south end of the street. Recently in The Brooklyn Papers, residents said that traffic signal near the cruise-ship terminal should have been installed near the school, in the neighborhood’s center. According to the Daily News, D.O.T. Commissioner Iris Weinshall is a frequent shopper at Fairway.

A policeman at the scene said the driver of the van had not been charged. There was nobody at the 76 Precinct’s stationhouse who would answer any questions.

Update: According to the NYPD, the victim is in critical condition as of 5 p.m. on July 7. The driver of the van was charged with unlicensed operation–basically, no driver’s license.
We’ve also gotten off the phone with a spokesperson from the D.O.T. She said that the D.O.T. is waiting until the fall before conducting any traffic study on Van Brunt Street. According to the spokesperson, it’s necessary to wait a few months for traffic patterns to emerge so that accurate measurements are taken. The D.O.T. spokesperson was unaware of the traffic signal at Van Brunt and Bowne streets, which was installed before the cruise-ship terminal ever opened.

-Matthew Grace