Recently, CBS News correspondent Bob Simon died in a car accident in New York City. Simon had been the passenger in a for-hire Lincoln Town Car on New York’s West Side Highway. According to officials, the driver of the car lost control and hit a Mercedes-Benz stopped at a red light. The car then struck metal barriers that divide the highway’s northbound and southbound lanes.
Emergency officials found Simon unconscious in the back and transported him the hospital. The car had been crushed, and Simon had broken legs and a crushed chest. Simon suffered cardiac arrest at the hospital, and officials pronounced Simon dead thereafter. New York City medical examiners reported that Simon died from blunt-force injuries to his head, torso and extremities.
The driver of the car suffered two broken legs and a broken arm. Emergency personnel transported the driver to the hospital, where he was treated. The driver reported that he “blacked out” before the crash and does not remember what happened.
Officials Investigate the Accident
The driver of the town car apparently had only one arm on the steering wheel because of a “dead” left arm as a result of a suicide attempt. In addition, the driver has been cited in the past for several moving violations and has had his driver’s license suspended nine times for failing to pay fines or to respond to summonses.
According to law enforcement officials, the driver may have mistakenly hit the gas pedal instead of the brake after the car hit another vehicle. Law enforcement noticed that there were no skid marks at the accident scene. The Taxi and Limousine Commission has suspended the driver’s probationary license while officials investigate the accident.
Simon Was Not Wearing Seatbelt
At the time of the accident, Simon apparently had not been wearing his seatbelt. Under New York City law, however, passengers in New York taxicabs and vehicles-for-hire do not need to wear seatbelts. According to the New York Taxi and Limousine Commission website, “Drivers of yellow medallion taxicabs and for-hire vehicles and their passengers are exempt from laws regarding car seats and seatbelts.”
Regardless of the law, it is a good idea for all passengers to wear seatbelts. Jonathan Adkins, executive director of the Governors Highway Safety Association, echoes these sentiments: the crash involving Simon “is a tragic reminder to all Americans that the laws of physics still apply to cabs and other cars-for-hire.”
Injured in a Car Accident? Contact an Auto Accident Attorney in New York
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, an auto accident attorney in New York can help protect your rights. The law office of Jeffrey K. Kestenbaum has experience handling a variety of auto accidents, and we want to help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Contact Jeffrey K. Kestenbaum at (718) 237-5586 or fill out an online contact form to schedule a consultation.