Some force on the planet was clearly at work, other than the combustion engine of the late model Infiniti G37 hard-top convertible coupe–the car that helped save three lives today. At about 8 a.m. on Saturday, August 20, the young woman driving this car (with a Florida license plate), traveling westbound on Newport Avenue in Belle Harbor, apparently skidded and lost control just east of the busy intersection of Newport and Beach 129 Street. The vehicle smacked into the brick retaining wall of the home on the northwest corner of Beach 128 Street, and then flipped onto its hard-top, which folds into the trunk when it’s in convertible mode. Fortunately for the driver and passengers, the top was not down.
The impact of the crash and the flip onto its lid was enough to shred this two-ton, $50,000 car into pieces. It was quite an amazing thing to see and hear. The witnesses closest to the scene (I was there within a minute or so of the impact), said that it was strictly a one-car mishap–there were no other cars nearby at the moment of the crash except one traveling northbound on Beach 128 Street, sitting at the stop sign waiting to cross Newport. That driver got quite an eyeful!
The young woman driver and her two male passengers were removed from the car by firefighters. Alive. It took over a half-hour to get the last passenger out. I noticed when they removed the driver that she was not wearing shoes. My father always warned his children that it’s unsafe to drive a car (or ride a bike) in bare feet (or flip-flops). Guess he was right about that. At least the driver was wearing a seat belt.
Reminder to neighbors and visitors–the New York City speed limit on residential streets is 30 m.p.h. Let’s all try to respect it. Following the lead of other places like Canada and England that have lower speed limits, New York City is testing pilot projects to reduce the speed limit to 20 m.p.h., which I personally favor. If there are more accidents like the one this morning, you can expect increasing pressure for such changes. The site of this unfortunate crash is one of the busiest bus stops on the west end, weekdays.
It’s a good thing it was a Saturday.
Text and photos copyright 2011 Vivian R. Carter