Jan. 8, 2024 By Ben Brachfeld and QNS
González-Rojas, a Democrat who represents parts of Astoria, Jackson Heights and Corona, went to Elmhurst Hospital after the incident to get treatment for the injury.
The Queens lawmaker has long been a proponent for legislations on street safety and redesigning roadways. While she said the collision was still fresh in her mind, she also noted that similar crashes have proven fatal for others.
“Others are not as fortunate and never make it back home. Too many families never see their loved ones again,” González-Rojas said. “I thought about that a lot while in the amazing care at…Elmhurst Hospital. This could be anyone and data shows it has been many of us. Mothers, fathers, parents, children, and it’s weighing heavily on me.”
In 2023, 256 people died in traffic collisions. While this number is down from the 261 deaths in 2022, Queens was the only borough to experience an increase in these cases, rising 25% from 68 in 2022 to 85 in 2023.
González-Rojas was among a group of Queens lawmakers who released the Western Queens Street Safety Plan last year after the death of 7-year-old Dolma Naadhun, who was fatally struck by an SUV driver as she crossed the street with her mom and sister in Astoria. The intersection where Naadhum was killed frequently saw drivers park in the crosswalk, leading activists to call for the widespread adoption of daylighting, wherein intersections are designed so cars can’t be parked in crosswalks. The intersection was not daylit and lacked traffic lights at the time.
Months later, another 7-year-old, Kamari Hughes, was killed by an NYPD tow truck driver at a Brooklyn intersection that also wasn’t daylit. Following Kamari’s death, Mayor Eric Adams pledged to daylight 1,000 intersections across the city every year.
According to González-Rojas, the intersection where she was hit was not daylit.
“Universal daylighting and lower speed limits may have prevented the crash that broke my arm,” González-Rojas said. “It could also have prevented the loss of lives in Queens. I’m grateful I made it home okay.”