Today’s news:

Pedestrian killed in Oakland Gds.

The Volkswagon involved in the crash is stopped along Union Turnpike as police perform an investigation into the accident. Photo by Christina Santucci
TimesLedger Newspapers

A 50-year-old man was killed while crossing near the busy intersection of Union Turnpike and Springfield Boulevard in Oakland Gardens after being struck by a car, police said.

The driver, an unidentified 24-year-old woman, did not face charges but an investigation on the Feb. 29 accident was underway.

A man identified as Mohinder Singh, 50, was struck and killed while crossing Union Turnpike, police said. Hector Rosado, the woman’s father, said she was shaken up after the accident but did not suffer any injuries.

“I think the guy was in-between. When she got the green light, he decided to cross,” Rosado said, explaining that his daughter told him the pedestrian had been on the divider before he was struck around 6 p.m. “When the light changed, she began to drive the car at that time.”

The manager of the nearby Gulf gas station, Aman Bachan, said he was yards away when the accident occurred, saying he heard a loud thumping noise that caused him to look over to the road. The sound, Bachan said, was reminiscent of a car-on-car collision.

“I heard a big noise and expected to see a flat tire or an accident. I looked up and only saw a car passing by,” Bachan said. “I didn’t see an accident, but a man was hit and his face was bleeding.”

Singh was unconscious when paramedics arrived and brought him to North Shore Hospital, where he was pronounced dead soon after, fire officials said. Bachan said detectives were investigating surveillance footage from the Gulf gas station.

After being hit, Singh was seen face-up on the road and was unresponsive, Bachan said. He said the man was standing on the tiny divider in the middle of Union Turnpike before attempting to cross before being hit by the 2000 Volkswagen.

This most recent accident raised concerns over an ongoing issue at the intersection of Union Turnpike and Springfield Boulevard. Bachan said there has been a years-long push to improve safety for pedestrians there, but little has been done.

“We need more lights here for pedestrians,” Bachan said with strong support from many of his employees. “I’ve seen lots of accidents in this area. It could happen to anyone.”

A total of 15 injuries were reported at the intersection between 1995 and 2007, according to crashstat.org, with several more that followed.

In the roughly eight years since Bachan started working at the Gulf gas station, he said he could recall at least four other instances in which a pedestrian was struck and injured or killed by a vehicle at the busy intersection.

A community-wide push to install a left-turn light hit its peak after a woman was killed crossing the intersection a year ago, Bachan said. Last year, a left-turn lane was painted onto the road, going left onto Union Turnpike from the southbound side of Springfield Boulevard, but has not been enough to save lives, according to Bachan.

“I’ve lost sleep since seeing this man get hit,” Bachan said. “The area definitely needs more attention.”

Reach reporter Phil Corso by e-mail at pcorso@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.

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