Monthly Archives: October 2012

NY Accident Investigators Get Training on Electric Vehicle Accidents

Investigators with the New York State Police received training last week on how to better handle accidents involving electric and hybrid vehicles, as their numbers are increasing. According to Earth Techling, these vehicles offer unique circumstances when involved in accidents, something that all first responders should be prepared for.

These vehicles have high voltage electric propulsion systems, systems that could deliver a serious shock if damaged or handled incorrectly when safety mechanisms have become disabled. The National Fire Protection Association began providing training to firefighters on the cars in 2011 but their training has recently been opened to various law enforcement agencies.

The more than 40 New York State Police investigators are expected to take what they learn and spread it to other officers throughout the state. Their training will include first-response safety issues as well as tools to aid in accident investigation. Continue reading


NYC Woman Falls Into Trash Chute, Nearly Loses Arm

Thirty-year old Margaret Baumer nearly lost her arm when she fell head-first into her apartment building’s garbage chute over the past weekend. According to the NY Daily News, she was trapped in the chute for close to an hour before emergency responders were able to free her. It isn’t clear how she fell or if there were safeguards in place to prevent the accident.

The accident happened in the wee hours of the morning on West 21st Street in Chelsea. Emergency workers reportedly arrived on the scene at about 5:50 a.m.

The woman had fallen head-first into the chute and was trapped by the hydraulic-powered compactor. She was stuck for “at least” 45 minutes, according to officials.

“It was being crushed” said an FDNY source about Baumer’s arm. “She was in a world of pain.”

A neighbor remarked that she heard the woman’s friends discussing how to get her out before help arrived. Said neighbor didn’t offer to help because the situation didn’t sound serious and she believed it was “just drunk people.” Investigators are looking into whether alcohol may have played a role in the accident. Continue reading


Horrible Accident Involving Unlicensed Teen Driver Kills Four

Five young men were riding in a brand new Suburu Impreza. The driver, 17-year old Joseph Beer, had received the car as a gift from his parents for graduating high school early and enrolling at St. John’s University. Before the end of the night, all but Beer would be dead, after the car failed to negotiate a dangerous curve, leaving the road and hitting a tree.

According to the NY Daily News, the four passengers, all 18-years old, were thrown from the vehicle. The only survivor was 17-year old Beer.

“Unfortuantely, it has its own nickname of ‘dead man’s curve’ because it comes up so quickly and it’s such a sharp turn,” said Lakeview Fire Department Chief Heather Senti. It was this curve that Beer couldn’t handle, and which sent the car off the road. The car was split in half by the tree. Continue reading


Man Trips Over Trash, Hit by Garbage Truck

A 31-year old man who had only been living in the city nine months was killed last week when he fell in front of a Sanitation truck. According to the NY Daily News, the accident happened because business owners in the area have been putting their trash on the sidewalk, creating a fall hazard and causing the man to trip.

Andrew Schoonover was out with his sister that night and had been watching the game at a bar earlier. The two parted ways and Schoonover ended up in Manhattan. It was about 1:20 a.m. when emergency workers were called to E. 84th St. on a report that a man had been hit.

The accident happened in front of a popular pizzeria, Two Boots. The business has been cited for leaving a sidewalk obstruction. While the manager of Two Boots had no comment for reporters, it was made known that construction in the area had forced businesses to leave their garbage on the sidewalk rather than directly in front of their property. Continue reading


NYC-Bound Bus Overturns, Injures 23

Another tour bus bound for New York City crashed over the weekend. This time, thankfully, no one was killed. But, the accident marks the latest of several in the area and leaves officials wondering what more can be done to protect bus travelers.

According to the Associated Press, the bus was en route from Canada to NYC when it overturned on an exit ramp in Northern New Jersey. After turning over, it slid down an embankment and came to rest on its side.

Twenty-three people on board were injured in the crash, including the driver who suffered a cut in his arm. Eight of the injured passengers were admitted in critical condition. Continue reading


Will Wi-Fi Technology Prevent Future Car Accidents?

A new pilot program in Ann Arbor Michigan is testing the technology we often use to connect to the internet in order to prevent accidents. And so far, the results look promising. But will we all one day have WiFi accident prevention capabilities in our vehicles, or is this another case of futuristic technology that won’t come to full fruition?

According to the NY Daily News, the Transportation Department is testing a system that uses WiFi to allow vehicles to communicate with one another. The cars send signals to one another, as does infrastructure like bridges and streets under construction. It’s these communications that researchers hope will one day change how we prevent accidents.

“This cutting-edge technology offers real promise for improving both the safety and efficiency of our roads,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “That is a winning combination for drivers across America.”

It works something like this: vehicles equipped with the technology emit and receive signals. They may warn the driver about a stalled vehicle ahead or someone coming around a blind corner. So far the vehicles used have been voluntarily supplied, and 90% of those drivers who tested the WiFi technology liked it and would like to use it on a regular basis.

“Vehicle-to-vehicle communication has the potential to be the ultimate game-changer in roadway safety — but we need to understand how to apply the technology in an effective way in the real world,” said head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration David Strickland.

In addition to being a helpful voice in your vehicle, the technology will also gather information about usability and the prevention of auto accidents.

While testing is in its infancy stages and there are no discussions of the technology being rolled out on a larger scale, the program could lead to some pretty cool advances in new model cars of the future.