The worst and the best of New York were both on display Monday morning on 36th Street in midtown.
Carol Dauplaise, the 77-year-old owner of a jewelry company, was crossing Madison Avenue at 36th Street during the morning rush when a livery-cab driver turned the corner and hit her.
The driver of the car was arrested for failing to yield to a pedestrian, and cops say he had been cited for at least 10 other traffic violations since 2015.
It was but the latest in a sad litany of traffic deaths and injuries that have lingered on, despite Mayor Bill de Blasio’s efforts to curb traffic crashes in the city through his Vision Zero program. Dauplaise is the sixth person to have been hit by a motor vehicle in the city in the past three days alone. According to The New York Times, at least 20 pedestrians and three cyclists have been killed in traffic accidents so far this year, and more than 900 pedestrians have been injured.
It’s demoralizing. If families of victims, a devoted mayor and heightened awareness can’t make a dent in the problem, what will?
Amid the carnage, though, New Yorkers once again rallied. Immediately after Dauplaise was hit, bystanders threw their bags and briefcases to the ground and ran to try to help. A group of them, working together, managed to flip the car on its side, in hopes of rescuing Dauplaise.
Unfortunately, it didn’t work. Authorities say she was pronounced dead at Bellevue a short while later.
The efforts of our fellow citizens to save a stranger should hearten us, despite the continued recklessness of a dangerous few who continue to make our streets a place of tragedy.