The road was blocked off and a tent was put up after a pedestrian accident in Waverly. Photo courtesy of

80-year-old Norma M. Ivester was always concerned about the traffic on her road. Often discussing it with her neighbor, Genevieve Babcock, Ms. Ivester even said, “The way some people drive, someone will get hit out here.” Ironically, Ms. Ivester died this week in a fatal pedestrian accident outside her home on Broad Street in Waverly.

On March 14, Ms. Ivester walked across the street to get her morning paper at Ted Clark’s Busy Market. At 8:17 a.m., on her way back across the street, she was hit by a passing car.

The incident has deeply affected many in Waverly. In a WETM-18 News story, resident Joe Carnrike said, “I’m thinking, why do things like this always happen to the nicest people?” Family and friends unanimously have named Ms. Ivester as “one of the nicest and [most] caring women they ever knew,” according to the article. Ms. Babcock described “a caring woman who couldn’t do enough for anybody,” and Ms. Ivester’s sister-in-law said simply, “She was a kind and loving person. She was a good neighbor and a good family member.”

So, what happened?  How could a short trip to get a newspaper turn into a death sentence for a woman described as “careful” and “always looking out for others”?

While the investigation of this particular case is ongoing, part of the accident may lie in Broad Street itself. The area is full of pedestrians, with shops ranging from office product stores to thrift shops to coffee houses. Broad Street also extends into a less populated area where the speed limit increases. For cars rushing to join highways like the nearby Southern Tier Expressway, speeding may seem inconsequential for a relatively small few blocks on Broad Street. With pedestrians and nearby New York State Bicycle Route 17, however, temptation can turn into tragedy.

Charges have not yet been filed in Ms. Babcock’s case and it is unclear if the driver of the 1997 Mercury that hit her was driving distracted or even speeding. What is clear, however, is that this story is representative of a larger, more dangerous trend: the lack of caution among drivers on Broad Street. Ms. Ivester’s own warning about drivers stands in grave poignancy, foreshadowing a death for a beloved community member.

Ms. Ivester’s sister-in-law said, “Everyday she went across the street for her paper, and this shouldn’t have happened to her.” Indeed, a trip to get a newspaper across the street should not be a cause of death. Stricter enforcements are needed to ensure safety on Broad Street.

Thanks, Christina

Christina Bruner Sonsire, Esq.
NY & PA Injury & Malpractice Lawyer
Ziff Law Firm, LLP
303 William Street
Elmira, New York 14902-1338
Office: 607.733.8866
Toll-Free: 800.ZIFFLAW (943.3529)