Errant car kills worker/DOT bridge employee loses life in freaky mishap

Errant car kills worker/DOT bridge employee loses life in freaky mishap
Site of the colision that killed George Staab.
Photo by Edwin Soto

An SUV collided with a 57-year-old NYC Department of Transportation worker on Wednesday, April 4.

Geroge Staab, of Shirley, Long Island, was working alongside the drawbridge on the southbound Hutchinson River Parkway near exit 4N, a mile north of the I-95 exit, at around 10 a.m., when he was fatally struck by a 2012 Subaru.

Following the collision, the car left the roadway and tumbled into the weed-choked area above the Hutchinson River shoreline.

At the time of the incident, a dense fog had reduced visability on the parkway, according to reports.

“Upon arrival, responding officers discovered an unconscious 57-year-old-male with trauma to the head. EMS responded to the location and transported the pedestrian to Jacobi Hospital where he was pronounced deceased,” police stated.

“A preliminary investigation revealed that a 62-year-old male operator of the Subaru (bearing Connecticut plates) travelling southbound on the Hutchinson River Parkway lost control and struck the pedestrian on the right shoulder of the parkway. The driver of the vehicle remained at the scene and was transported to Jacobi Hospital for minor injuries. The investigation is ongoing by the NYC Police Department’s Highway Patrol Collision Investigation Squad,” police added.

The passenger side of the car sustained a majority of the damage with each window shattered, all air bags deployed, and vines sticking out from inside the vehicle.

The car’s front windshield caved and the front bumper had fallen off.

The driver’s side sustained minor damaged, which was likely the reason the driver only received minor injuries from the incident.

Staab had been employed by DOT since 2014, working as an electrician in the bridge repair unit within the Harlem River Section. He was working specifically on the Hutchinson River Parkway Drawbridge, a movable bascule bridge of the type that Staab knew well, according to the DOT.

Staab was walking on the parkway’s shoulder as he headed towards an electrical house to begin maintenance.

He was with a colleague at the time who was not injured

“The DOT family was shocked and saddened to learn today of the death of our colleague, George Staab, an electrician in the Division of Bridges. George was a valuable member of a Bridges division that is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of nearly 800 city-owned bridges. Our thoughts and prayers are of course with George’s wife Tara, their children, and his entire family,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg.

“With Vision Zero a continued focus of DOT’s work each day and with National Work Zone Awareness Week beginning next Monday, we ask that New Yorkers take this tragedy to heart as they drive by the hard-working men and woman doing the critical work of maintaining our roadways and bridges,” she added.

Also in response to the tragic accident, the DOT will place notices to raise driver awareness and decrease crashes in work zones.

Each spring, the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration observe National Work Zone Awareness Week to bring national attention to motorist and worker safety in work zones where the incident that took Staab’s life will surely be discussed.

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