Dec. 10, 2015 By Michael Florio
State Senator Jose Peralta urged the Department of Transportation (DOT) to increase pedestrian safety at Northern Blvd and Junction Blvd following a fatal hit-and-run that took place there Tuesday.
Ovidio Jaremillo, 17, from East Elmhurst, was killed crossing the Northern Blvd /Junction Blvd intersection by a hit and run driver at around 10:50 pm Tuesday, according to the NYPD.
“He lost his life because of a heartless, ruthless hit and run driver,” Peralta said, at a press conference that took place by the intersection where Jaramillo was killed. “He died a few feet from here, on this corner lying helpless on this street.”
Jaramillo was struck by a driver of a black Toyota Camry that was traveling westbound on Northern Blvd. The driver did not stop and the vehicle continued traveling westbound on Northern Blvd.
Peralta urged the driver to turn himself or herself in.
Peralta said he was looking for solutions to ensure that a death like this doesn’t occur again. He said since 2012, there have been 100 accidents at the intersection, resulting in 30 injuries and two deaths.
He called for cameras to be placed at the intersection as well as better lighting. He said that this would help reduce accidents as well as help catch any hit-and-run drivers.
Although, the incident did not necessarily apply to Jaramillo, Peralta announced that he had introduced legislation calling on the DOT to create a public awareness campaign to educate pedestrians about the dangers of texting and using cell phones while crossing streets.
Similar educational initiatives, such as Governor Andrew Cuomo’s ‘Don’t Text and Drive’ campaign, were aimed at alerting motorists about the increased likelihood of traffic accidents due to distracted driving, he said.
“We can’t always protect the public against reckless drivers and their bad decisions, but we must ensure that we all work together to reduce the odds of pedestrians falling victim to unsafe motorists.”
Currently, from 114th Street to 40th Road is an ‘arterial slow zone,’ which reduced the speed limit from 30 to 25 MPH.
“We must take all steps necessary to ensure that tragedies like this don’t happen again,” Peralta said.
“I am very saddened about the hit-and-run that left Ovidio dead and his family completely devastated,” he added. “As the parent of a teenager, I find the incident particularly horrifying.”
Nothing has ever been done at that God forsaken corner. My 16 yr old cousin and her best friend were killed by a drunk driver at that same corner 23 years ago. Driver was only caught because he slammed into a police car at the precinct after he plowed into them at 70mph!! I hope change can be made bec now another child lost his life there.