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Bronx Zoo Crash Site Had Low Guardrails, Experts Say

By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on May 02, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

As officials continue to investigate Sunday's fatal Bronx Zoo crash, startling information about the crash site is surfacing. Amongst that information is the fact that the small stretch of the Bronx River Parkway, which runs nearly six stories above a ravine, has been listed as one of New York's most dangerous roads.

The elevated roadway has been the site of numerous crashes in the past three decades, including one earlier this year. Though some repairs have been made, motorists still remain protected only by a 4 foot barrier. Experts agree that it needs to be much higher.

A higher fence could have prevented the SUV carrying seven members of a family from plunging more than 50 feet into a ravine. So could have better repairs by the state and city.

Six people were killed in the same spot in 2006, reports the New York Daily News. Jeff Korek, a Manhattan injury attorney representing those families, describes the area as "an amalgam of patchwork and Band-Aid repairs." Little has been done to change that in the past 6 years.

This lack of action -- and inadequate action -- will be central should the surviving family members also choose to sue over the Bronx Zoo crash. Regardless of the driver's behavior, the road was unsafe and contributed to the accident. Once the city and state became aware of the road's problems, they arguably had a duty to remedy the situation and quickly.

Maybe now they will. Even before Sunday's Bronx Zoo crash, state officials had planned a $231 million project to rebuild the overpass, according to the Daily News. It isn't scheduled to begin until 2022, but with all the publicity, officials will hopefully be compelled to begin construction soon.

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