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Tragic Incident in Queens 16-Year-Old Girl Killed by Truck 8-Year-Old Sister Injured

Tragic Incident in Queens

The last day of school turned into a nightmare for one family when a 16-year-old girl was struck and killed by a truck in Sunnyside. The crash also left her 8-year-old sister injured. The tragic incident occurred shortly before 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday as two girls crossed 46th Street at 47th Avenue, near IS 125. They were in the south crosswalk, moving from west to east, when a truck driver turned left from 47th Avenue onto 46th Street and struck them, according to police reports.

The younger sister, Leslie, initially appeared to have suffered minor injuries, but later reports indicated her injuries were more severe. However, the elder sister, Jael Zhinin, was caught under the rear wheels of the truck and did not survive. The driver, a 28-year-old man who remains unidentified, continued driving until he reached 48th Avenue. The 2016 Ford water delivery truck was recovered at that location. The driver, unharmed, was not arrested, and the NYPD Highway District’s Collision Investigation Squad is investigating the incident.

Emergency Medical Services declared Jael dead at the scene. Leslie was taken to New York Presbyterian Cornell Hospital, where she is stable. A GoFundMe page has been set up to assist the family with funeral costs, medical care for Leslie, and other expenses. As of 9:30 a.m. Friday, nearly $25,000 had been raised, with a goal of $35,000.

“Jael, a young girl full of life and potential, was tragically taken from us too soon,” stated Jenifer Quizhpi, the fundraiser organizer. “Her younger sister, Leslie, is courageously battling to recover from the injuries she sustained in this heartbreaking accident. The family is now facing an unimaginable loss along with the burden of medical bills, funeral costs, and other unexpected expenses. Your donation will assist Jael’s family with funeral expenses and contribute to supporting Leslie’s ongoing medical care and recovery.

The accident site is located within the 108th Precinct, in close proximity to IS 125, also known as Thomas J. McCann Woodside Intermediate School. Despite being listed under Woodside, most resources refer to the location as Sunnyside. The site is just two blocks south of the Bliss Plaza-46th Street elevated subway stop on Queens Boulevard. The family’s residence is a few blocks away on 49th Street.

Reports suggest that the driver made a delivery post-crash and was subsequently taken into custody. A witness recounted to NBC-4 that the driver claimed he did not see the girls, while a police source mentioned to the Daily News that sun glare might have obstructed the driver’s view.

Advocacy groups Transportation Alternatives and Families for Safe Streets issued statements addressing Jael’s death and that of an elderly woman killed in Brooklyn on the same day. Their joint statement emphasized that 125 individuals have lost their lives in traffic incidents in the city this year, marking it as the most deadly year for “traffic violence” since the inception of the Vision Zero initiative in 2014, aimed at reducing road fatalities. Jael is identified as the seventh child to have died in a crash this year and the 113th since the inception of the Vision Zero initiative. The release also identified 47th Avenue as a “Vision Zero priority corridor,” labeling it one of the city’s most perilous streets.

Elizabeth Adams, the deputy executive director for public affairs at Transportation Alternatives, stated: “Today, a family should celebrate the first day of summer with their two children. Jael is identified as the seventh child to have died in a crash this year and the 113th since the inception of the Vision Zero initiative. Just yesterday, newly graduated middle schoolers exited I.S. 125 only to witness their neighbor’s tragic death right outside the school. They witnessed the girl’s mother holding her during her last moments.

She added, “New York City did not safeguard these children. Streets near schools should be closed to car traffic, particularly during pick-up and drop-off times when they are most hazardous. However, 47th Avenue remains open. There was no crossing guard on duty on a street that the City recognizes as hazardous.”

In the shadow of such devastating loss, the legal community, represented here by TSP—a platform where you can find the law firm you needmust turn a critical eye towards the lapses in public safety measures. The absence of a crossing guard and the insufficient protection on a known hazardous street raise serious questions about the city’s commitment to safeguarding its citizens. This tragic event underscores the urgent need for enhanced legal oversight and stricter enforcement of traffic safety regulations, ensuring no family endures such a profound loss again.


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