Woman hit by officer sues NYC for lack of ‘traffic calming’

A woman who was seriously injured in a fatal two-car accident in 2019 involving an allegedly drunk NYPD officer is suing the city in a federal court for failing to make safety improvements on the street where the accident took place, according to court documents.

Nia Jasmine Reynolds was a passenger in a 2012 Mazda 6 driven by Kwesi Vidale when veteran officer Rohan Shaw, 47, hit his 2019 Nissan GT-R into the side of the vehicle – seriously injuring Reynold and killing her 21-year-old friend Joanna. Dixon.

Vidale, also known as Shawn White, allegedly blew through a stop sign on Foster Avenue at East 55th Street just before crashing and fled the scene before police arrived. But the city was aware of reports of speeding and crashes on the strip and should have taken security measures, Reynolds charged in a civil rights lawsuit filed Wednesday.

An accident scene in which the driver of this white vehicle collided with another car killed the other driver on Foster Avenue and East 55th Street in Brooklyn.
Reynolds was a passenger in a 2012 Mazda 6 powered by Kwesi Vidale when veteran NYPD officer Rohan Shaw hit his 2019 Nissan GT-R into the side of the vehicle.
GNMiller / NY Post

The city ”could have implemented road design changes in the form of
traffic calming measures to deter speeding, “the case said, and” failed to conduct an investigation into whether traffic calming measures were appropriate. “

Joanna Dixon
Joanna Dixon was killed in the crash in 2019.
Family photo

That area of ​​Foster Avenue – between Kings Highway and Ralph Avenue – is 95 percent black, according to the case, which claims 124 people have died in the strip “in recent years.”

NYPD figures show two traffic fatalities on Foster since 2011 and close to 100 injured.

“Foster Avenue is a mixed-use commercial area. There’s a lot of speed, a lot of car accidents and a significant amount of deaths over the last few ears,” said Reynolds’ attorney Eric Sanders. “Police can not be everywhere. You are need to implement traffic calming devices, because it will reduce the speed more than a police officer or a camera. “

Shaw, who was not seriously injured, was arrested and charged with manslaughter in vehicles, criminally negligent homicide, reckless driving, speeding and driving with impaired ability, police said. These allegations were later withdrawn due to “insufficient evidence” – which Reynolds claims happened because the police failed to properly calibrate the breathalyzer used immediately after the crash.

Reynolds is suing both Shaw and Vidale for negligence and Shaw for punitive damages, and the city for not redesigning the street and obstructing justice.

“He will probably never be prosecuted for Joanna Dixon’s death and for the injuries he caused my client,” Sanders said.

The NYPD declined to say whether Shaw was disciplined.

woman in her early twenties was killed in a collision at the intersection of Foster Avenue and E 55th Street.
NYPD figures show two traffic fatalities on Foster since 2011 and close to 100 injured. The accident that injured Reynolds happened near the intersection of Foster Avenue and East 55th Street.
Seth Gottfried for NY Post

“The NYPD will review the trial if and when we are served,” said spokeswoman Sgt. Jessica McRorie.

The NYPD’s alleged revelation of the case against one of its own comes as Mayor Bill de Blasio’s “Vision Zero” campaign to stop traffic fatalities broke down – this past summer marked New York City’s most deadly traffic fatalities since taking office in 2014, according to the NYPD. a recent report.

The city law department did not immediately return a request for comment.

Kwesi could not be reached for comment.

Additional reporting by Craig McCarthy


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