Mary Denardo Watertown: Mary Ann Denardo Killed In Watertown Semi-Truck Accident While Riding Motorized Wheelchair on Washington Street Near Public Square
WATERTOWN, NEW YORK (December 30, 2019) – A 59-year-old woman in a motorized wheelchair identified as Mary Ann Denardo has tragically died in an accident with a tractor trailer truck on Washington Street by Public Square.
Watertown police are saying that the collision took place around 3:15 p.m. on Friday. For reasons that remain under investigation Mary Ann Denardo was hit by the semi-truck while she was crossing Washington Street outside the YMCA.
Guilfoyle Ambulance Services were called to the scene and transported the victim to the Samaritan Medical Center. Despite life-saving measures Mary Ann Denardo later died due to her injuries.
The driver of the tractor trailer truck remained at the scene and cooperated with authorities. Neighbors of Mary Ann Denardo described her as an incredible person with a heart of gold.
“She was a sweetheart,” Cliff Briggs said. “She was just so kind-hearted.” An investigation into the cause of the truck accident remains ongoing at this time.
Liability In Watertown Semi-Truck Accidents
Many truck companies are considered “common carriers” under the law and are held to a very high standard in terms of safety. They must yield the right of way to pedestrians in the road. According to NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law (VTL), §1146, “If such driver of a motor vehicle causes physical injury while failing to exercise due care in violation of subdivision (a) of this section, then there shall be a rebuttable presumption that, as a result of such failure to exercise due care, such person operated the motor vehicle in a manner that caused such physical injury.” Here are just a few of the most common reasons that truck accidents happen:
- Prescription drug use
- Traveling too fast for conditions
- Unfamiliarity with roadway
- Roadway problems
Drivers must exercise a high level of caution around all pedestrians. Pedestrians in wheelchairs tend to be the most at risk with respect to car accidents. According to a study by the journal BMJ, “those in wheelchairs are three times more likely to die in road traffic collisions than the rest of the population and most of these deaths occur at intersections. The research also showed that men in wheelchairs are five times more likely than women in wheelchairs to die in these accidents.” Wheelchair users are naturally lower to the ground and if a driver is not paying attention they may fail to see them. Police reports in these accidents showed that the pedestrians were not sufficiently visible to the driver 15% of the time. There are a number of solutions that can be implemented to help curb these types of accidents including:
- Better designed roads
- Protected intersections
- Adequate lighting
- Intersections with a proper line of sight
The family of any victim that died in a semi-truck accident may have legal recourse through a wrongful death claim. Damages in a civil claim can help cover lost wages, medical bills, funeral expenses and pain and suffering. It’s important that evidence is properly preserved and collected after an accident. Eye witnesses should be sought out and interviewed. A semi-trucks (event data recorder EDR) should be captured and the data should be pulled off of it. Truck companies will try every trick in the book to deny liability after hitting a pedestrian. A truck accident attorney can investigate your case free of cost and get you the answers that you deserve about how an accident took place and what your legal rights are.
Investigating A Watertown Semi-Truck Accident
We at Pulvers, Pulvers & Thompson extend our deepest condolences to the family of Mary Ann Denardo. It is clear by those that knew her that she was an exceptional person with a big heart. Any person that may have seen what happened should reach out to city police at 315-782-2233. As personal injury attorneys and consumer safety advocates it is our sincere hope that city officials will consider additional measures to help keep pedestrians safe on this road. These types of accidents can largely be prevented when roads are designed with pedestrian safety in mind and when drivers slow down.