Pedestrian Collisions In Chemung, Ithaca A Reminder About Walking Safely At Night, Says NY and PA Accident Lawyer

Police Captain Speaks on Elmira Shooting- Neighbor Reaction_14723095_ver1.0_640_360


Two Twin Tiers pedestrians were struck by vehicles at night this week, leaving a 15-year-old girl dead in the town of Chemung and seriously injuring a second person in Ithaca.

New York State Police said 15-year-old Xanadu Rumsey was walking along County Route 60 near Tomasso’s golf course and restaurant in the Town of Chemung at about 9:30 Tuesday night when she was struck from behind by a vehicle. She was transported to Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre, where she was pronounced dead.

State Police in Horseheads said the girl was walking in the same direction as traffic when she was struck. The investigation continues and troopers have not released any information about the driver of the vehicle.

reflective-pedestrian-crossing-signs-watch-for-pedestrians-l7534-lgState Police are asking anyone who saw two people walking along County Route 60 at about 9:30 Tuesday night to call State Police at 607-739-8797. They did not say who the second person was with Xanadu.

At 11:30 p.m. Wednesday, a tractor-trailer hit a pedestrian at the intersection of State Route 13 and Willow Avenue in Ithaca.

The pedestrian, who has not been identified, is in stable condition Thursday at an unidentified regional trauma center with serious injuries that are not considered life-threatening, according to the Ithaca Police Department.

Police said the injured pedestrian suffered a severe head injury. The driver of the tractor-trailer was not injured.

Anyone who witnessed the crash is asked to call the Ithaca Police Department at 607-272-9973 or its tip line at 607-330-0000. Email tips can be sent by going here:

If you are going to walk at night along a street, road or highway, here are some safety tips to remember:

  1. Always walk facing traffic. Do it because it’s the law, but also so you can see what is approaching and maximize your time to avoid the car if it is potentially endangering you.
  1. Get as far to the right as you can – don’t walk on the fog line. Give cars as much room as possible, not because they don’t have to go around you, but because you want to do everything in your power to avoid a collision.
  1. Wear light-colored clothes and consider wearing something reflective to maximize your chances of being seen. Also consider carrying at flashlight that you can shine so an oncoming driver has a better chance of seeing you.
  1. Recognize that perhaps the most dangerous time for a pedestrian is when two oncoming cars are meeting near your location. The operators of the cars will be focused on each other, and the oncoming headlights will impede the vision of both drivers, making it harder for them to see you. They are likely to move toward, or even onto, their shoulders to give each other as much room as possible.
  1. Walk in well-lit areas. Avoid poorly-lit areas if at all possible.
  1. Obey traffic signals and devices unless a police officer directs otherwise, including pedestrian signals.
  1. Assume drivers do not see you. While you should do whatever you can to increase your visibility, do not walk into a crosswalk assuming that the oncoming vehicle can see you. It’s better to wait to be sure the vehicle stops than to make a wrong assumption.
  1. Do not wear headphones and turn off your phone. Be alert at all times while walking.

Thank you for reading,

Adam Gee
[email protected]
(607) 733-8866

Police Investigate After Pedestrian Struck By Vehicle In Town Of Chemung, Says NY and PA Accident Lawyer


A pedestrian was struck by a vehicle Tuesday evening in the town of Chemung, and the New York State Police are investigating, according to Twin Tiers news reports.

Emergency responders were called to county Route 60 near Tomasso’s at about 9:30 p.m. Tuesday for reports of an injured pedestrian. Tomasso’s is a restaurant and golf course.

According to one news report, the person struck by the vehicle received CPR on the scene. It was not clear if the pedestrian was transported to a hospital.

State police declined to release any other information at midday Wednesday.

We will update this post as more information becomes available.  Our thoughts are with the pedestrian, and we hope to hear good news concerning his or her condition soon.

UPDATE – local media is now reporting that the collision occurred at approximately 9:15 PM on July 17, 2018.  It is also reported that the pedestrian involved in this collision is a 15 year old girl who was walking home with her father, and that emergency crews were performing CPR on the girl at the scene.  More information is expected to be released later today.

UPDATE #2 – We are very sad to report that pedestrian has died.  15 year old Xanadu Rumsey was pronounced dead at the Robert Packer Hospital after being struck from behind by a vehicle.  It is reported that this was a hit and run collision, and the police continue to investigate and search for the driver involved.  If you have any information concerning this collision, please contact the NY State Police at 607-739-8797.

Thank you for reading,

Adam Gee
[email protected]
(607) 733-8866




Injured Child Pedestrian Turns Spotlight Back To Walking Hazards On Clemens Center Parkway in Elmira

092012_PEDCROSSINGA child was  hospitalized Monday after being struck by a car on Clemens Center Parkway in Elmira.

Police told the news media here and here the child was in stable condition, and officers are looking for witnesses to the accident.

Those with information are asked to call the police Traffic Bureau at 607-737-5640.

The parkway is one of the most dangerous roads for pedestrians in the Twin Tiers. It is very wide and takes people a long time to cross. Those who are older, have disabilities or in poor physical condition face a real challenge in beating the light.

Too many people are struck and injured or killed while crossing that four-lane, 40-mph roadway. And let’s face it — many of the motorists hit speeds of 50 mph when driving on the parkway.

Pedestrian Crossing Sign_originalPedestrians must remember to use the walk buttons when they are crossing at the traffic signals. The walk buttons give most people sufficient time to cross the road, as long as they walk briskly and remain vigilant for approaching vehicles and drivers turning right on the red light.

Your life is always in danger when you are crossing the parkway; don’t be distracted. Be very aware of what motorists, bicyclists and other pedestrians are doing.

Tell me about your pedestrian close calls in the comments section below. Where have you had your closest call? What are other dangerous crossings in Elmira, Corning, Sayre, Waverly, Towanda, Watkins Glen, Mansfield and Wellsboro?

Your comments will help others know the most dangerous places for pedestrians!

Thanks for reading!


Adam M. Gee, Esq.
NY and PA Injury and Malpractice Attorney
The Ziff Law Firm, LLP
303 William Street
Elmira, NY  14901
Phone: (607)733-8866
Fax: (607)732-6062
Email: [email protected]

PA Right To Shut Down Bradford County Child Care Center After Toddler Found On Highway

Blocks-AA child care center in Bradford County was shut down last week by the state of Pennsylvania after a 1-year-old child entrusted to the child care was found in the middle of a busy nearby highway!

Staff members at the Barbara Douglas Group Child Care Facility in Towanda Township told investigators from the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare that they were unaware that the child had left the facility and walked onto state Route 220 on Sept. 17.

According to reports in WETM-TV and the Towanda Daily Review newspaper:

A passing motorist found the child standing in the middle of the highway. The toddler was alone and unsupervised for about 20 minutes, investigators said. The department found that there were no employees assigned to watch the child, and the staff was not aware that the child had left the facility. There were eight children entrusted to the staff there, according to the state, and all have been removed.

The facility is licensed to care for up to 12 children, according to the state.

The Department of Public Welfare’s written shutdown order accused the day care facility and its owner, Barbara Douglas of Towanda, of “gross incompetence, negligence, and misconduct in operating a facility (which is) likely to constitute (an) immediate and serious danger to the life or health of the children” in its care.

While there are many great day cares and day-care providers out there in the Twin Tiers, every day children are neglected and abused in these settings, including foster homes. Parents must be vigilant – drop in unannounced, inspect your child for injuries – ask them what goes on during the day, and be prepared with other questions. If in doubt, consider an alternate care setting for your child. Residents of Elmira, Corning, the Valley, Steuben and Schuyler Counties, be proactive when you are trusting others with your children.

The state said an employee had walked out of the facility but the door did not close all the way, allowing the child to leave.

As a result of the investigation, the facility was cited for a number of violations of state regulations, the state said.

Douglas has 30 days to file an appeal with the state, reports said. If her appeal fails, her facility will remain closed.

Thanks for reading.


Adam M. Gee, Esq.
NY and PA Injury and Malpractice Attorney
The Ziff Law Firm, LLP
303 William Street
Elmira, NY  14901
Phone: (607)733-8866
Fax: (607)732-6062
Email: [email protected]


UPDATED WITH PHOTOS: Our ‘Valley Girl’ Helps With Flood Recovery, Says NY Injury Lawyer

Annette Viselli Thorne

One of our great paralegals at the Ziff Law Firm, Annette Viselli Thorne, a former longtime resident of “the Valley” (the Sayre-Athens area, for those who don’t know!), helped over the weekend with recovery. Now a resident of Painted Post, her heart is still with her friends and family in the Valley, too!

She wrote the following about her efforts — not to draw attention to herself (Annette is NEVER like that) but to show the world what her friends and family are facing back home.

Here is her dispatch (it brought tears to my eyes!):

Up until a little over three years ago, when I moved to Painted Post, I was a Valley Girl, having been born, raised and lived there nearly all of my life. As the saying goes, you can take the girl out of the Valley but you can’t take the Valley out of the girl, and those words, once again, rang very true when my hometown was devastated by the recent flooding.

In 1972, when we were the victims of Agnes and I was just a young girl, the Valley, particularly downtown Athens, was destroyed by flooding and I remember it very well. My father was a volunteer firefighter and he was gone for days to assist those in need. I remember the devastation at my elementary school that was across the street from the river.

But this time, it was different, not only because I think we were hit just as hard if not harder by this flood, but because as an adult, it had a different meaning. I didn’t feel helpless like a small child and I was able to lend a helping hand.

I walked River Street in downtown Athens just a few short days after the flood hit, and unless you see it firsthand, you’d have no idea of how much people suffered. For most, the entire first floor of their homes had been under water and they were left with the aftermath. One would think the water would be the worst of the damage, but it is the mud that takes over these homes, causing the most damage. As I walked River Street, I encountered families who were like lost souls, digging through inches of mud to attempt to recover their belongings, their family heirlooms, whatever was left of their homes. Unfortunately for many, there was very little left.

Aside from the many homes in Sayre and Athens that were destroyed, many businesses in Athens were also destroyed. There were people who lost their homes AND their jobs.

The Valley, as always, is filled with the most  kindhearted and giving people I have encountered, and they immediately began to rally. People from all over New York State and Pennsylvania, countless organizations, school groups, college students, high school students, people from all walks of life, came out to do whatever they could to help our little community.

Having my father’s strong sense for the importance of giving back to your community, I, too, began my own rally in collecting much-needed supplies for the Valley, and with the help of friends, family and my Ziff Law Family, I was able to lend a helping hand and deliver more than $300 in supplies and numerous bags of clothing to the recovery center in downtown Athens on Saturday.

Jack Schamel of our Ziff Law Family delivered much-needed mattresses, wheelchairs and walkers to the recovery center. From there,  we made the trip to the Valley Rally, an event that mirrored  our annual Christmas Is For Kids, live three-hour radio broadcast at our local Sayre Theatre. This event collected furniture, household appliances of all sizes, clothing, cash donations and so on. The outpouring of help from the community was beyond words, with supplies being lined from one corner to the next, U-Haul truck loads one after another, filled to capacity.

Neighbors served meals to the workers, and restaurants offered free meals to victims and workers. The kindness and generosity of the fine people in the Valley went on and on.  

The rally was a very emotional time for the victims, who have endured so much, and the volunteers. This amazing event raised more than $250,000, and that is not counting the many donated items. It was incredible beyond words!

Also, being the animal lover I am and realizing that many four-legged friends were also victims, my instincts kicked in and again, with the help of family, friends and co-workers, I was able to make a substantial donation of dog and cat food to a nearby animal shelter.

What impressed me was how EVERYONE came together as one to take care of our neighbors and friends. The life lessons that we are teaching our children is the importance of being an asset to your community!  

A new phrase was coined at the Valley Rally on Saturday, coming from one of the residents affected by the flood, who said, “We are not victims, we are survivors!”

And survivors the Valley residents are! I’m proud of my hometown and proud to be a Valley Girl!

If you’d like to read more about the Valley Rally, go here.

But more importantly, if you’d like to help the people in the Valley or you need help with flood recovery, go here.

I hope residents of Elmira, Corning and across the Twin Tiers help pitch in and set an example for the younger generation, too!

Please scroll below to see photos of the flooding in the Valley by Lisa Robinson-Howeler of Gladwynn Photography. The photos provide just a small taste of the devastation in the Valley. 

My heartfelt thanks to Annette and Lisa, and thanks for reading!



James B. Reed
NY & PA Injury & Malpractice Lawyer
Ziff Law Firm, LLP
Mailto: [email protected]
Office: (607) 733-8866
Toll-Free: 800-ZIFFLAW (943-3529)
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