MadisonCountyFatal2

This image of the rental car that struck a pedestrian along Route 5 in the Town of Sullivan is from CNYCentral.com. Visit the site for more photos, including one of the driver, who is charged with driving under the influence.

There was a shocking story on CNYCentral.com – a woman was struck and killed by a car along Route 5 in the Town of Sullivan, near Chittenango. Witnesses thought that the driver looked down to see his cell phone.

How much did that action contribute to the accident? How much of the cause was the marijuana the driver told law enforcement officers he’d smoked the night before?

This driver rear-ended another car on Tuesday. On Wednesday, while driving a rental car, he went off the road, and killed Lynn Eggert. She was walking her dog with her husband, Steve, along the road near their home. Mr. Eggert was uninjured in the accident. Can you imagine losing a loved one like that?

At first, as reported in the story “A Madison County woman was killed while walking her dog along Route 5 Wednesday morning,” bystanders thought it was solely Jason Forshee’s cell phone use that caused the accident. I’ve written a number of times here on the NY Injury Law Blog about distracted driving, and talked about the need for tough penalties on my WETM-TV “Law Talk” segments. The two come together in the post, “NY Injury Lawyer Calls for Tougher Penalties for Distracted Driving.”

It causes absolutely senseless accidents. It’s a form of willfully ignoring the risk you’re at which you are putting other people. In this case, I you add the fact that the driver had been in an accident the day before (he struck Mrs. Eggert with a rental car) and it just makes me sick. You can’t tell me this guy didn’t know he wasn’t fit to drive.

It was later in the afternoon that the announcement of his being charged with driving under the influence was released and a story update was posted, “Man in fatal car-pedestrian crash arrested for driving under influence”.

I don’t know how much the driver’s cell phone actually contributed to this tragedy – probably we’ll never know for sure. He was distracted, drugged, dumb – and I hope he pays a high penalty for his negligence.

Thanks for reading,

Jim

______________________________________
James B. Reed, Esq.
NY & PA Personal Injury Lawyer
Ziff Law Firm, LLP
William St., Elmira, NY 14902
Tel. (607) 733-8866 Fax. (607) 732-6062
Toll Free 1-800-943-3529
mailto:jreed@zifflaw.com http://www.zifflaw.com
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The first story, posted about 2:30 p.m. Wednesday:

“A Madison County woman was killed while walking her dog along Route 5 Wednesday morning”

by Jeremy Ryan, Managing Editor of CNYCentral.com

According to State Police, 57-year-old Lynn Eggert and her husband Steven Eggert were walking their dog near the Nice & Easy gas station on State Route 5 in the Town of Sullivan, near Chittenango. The couple was walking east when 37-year-old Jason Forshee of Dyke Road in Chittenango approached in his car, also traveling east. Troopers say Forshee looked down at his cell phone and drove off the road, striking Lynn Eggert with the driver’s side of the car.

It’s a disturbing case of distracted driving, that has some people that travel in the area on edge.  “I was shocked, because I walk on the road with my dog too, so it’s a scary situation,” said Valerie Brady.  “When this sort of thing happens it makes you second guess going for a walk in the road anymore.”

“I’m not suprised, people are driving and not paying attention and sadly people are paying the price for that,” said Cindy Hall.

Troopers say Lynn Eggert was taken to Upstate University Hospital, where she died from her injuries. Steven Eggert was not injured in the crash, but was taken to the State Police barracks and was described as “very distraught”. The dog ran off after the crash, but has since returned home.

Investigators reconstructed the crash scene, and say Forshee’s car drove approximately another 100 yards after hitting Eggert. Police say the Eggerts live less than a mile from the scene.

The section of Route 5 between Tuscarora Road and Rams Gate Road was closed for hours while police investigated the crash scene.

Some drivers say they are also concerned about speed on that busy stretch of Route 5.  “People are traveling way too fast. It’s a state highway, it is not a local road.  And they’re not paying attention to the speed limit or other drivers,” said Cheryl Shaeger.  “I know how dangerous this highway can be. It’s something people just need to be more aware of.”

Police say no charges have been filed yet, but the investigation is continuing and charges may be pending. Police say Forshee was involved in another incident Tuesday where he rear-ended a woman’s car.

The update, posted about 6 p.m. Thursday:

“Man in fatal car-pedestrian crash arrested for driving under influence”

by Jeremy Ryan, Managing Editor of CNYCentral.com

A Madison County woman was killed while walking her dog along Route 5 Wednesday morning.

According to State Police, 57-year-old Lynn Eggert and her husband Steven Eggert were walking their dog near the Nice & Easy gas station on State Route 5 in the Town of Sullivan, near Chittenango. The couple was walking east when 37-year-old Jason Forshee of Dyke Road in Chittenango approached in his car, also traveling east. Troopers say Forshee looked down at his cell phone and drove off the road, striking Lynn Eggert with the driver’s side of the car.

It’s a disturbing case of distracted driving, that has some people that travel in the area on edge.  “I was shocked, because I walk on the road with my dog too, so it’s a scary situation,” said Valerie Brady.  “When this sort of thing happens it makes you second guess going for a walk in the road anymore.”

“I’m not suprised, people are driving and not paying attention and sadly people are paying the price for that,” said Cindy Hall.

Troopers say Lynn Eggert was taken to Upstate University Hospital, where she died from her injuries. Steven Eggert was not injured in the crash, but was taken to the State Police barracks and was described as “very distraught”. The dog ran off after the crash, but has since returned home.

Investigators reconstructed the crash scene, and say Forshee’s car drove approximately another 100 yards after hitting Eggert. Police say the Eggerts live less than a mile from the scene.

The section of Route 5 between Tuscarora Road and Rams Gate Road was closed for hours while police investigated the crash scene.

Some drivers say they are also concerned about speed on that busy stretch of Route 5.  “People are traveling way too fast. It’s a state highway, it is not a local road.  And they’re not paying attention to the speed limit or other drivers,” said Cheryl Shaeger.  “I know how dangerous this highway can be. It’s something people just need to be more aware of.”

Police say no charges have been filed yet, but the investigation is continuing and charges may be pending. Police say Forshee was involved in another incident Tuesday where he rear-ended a woman’s car.

NY Injury Lawyer Calls for Tougher Penalties for Distracted Driving

NY Injury Lawyer Calls for Tougher Penalties for Distracted Driving