This week’s massive snowstorm has claimed its first life. A pregnant woman in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn lost her life when she was hit by a snowplow attempting to clean up the streets. While first responders were not able to save her life, they did save the life of her child.
The tragedy occurred as a snowplow cleaned out an empty parking lot this morning while the snow was still falling. According to the Gothamist, the driver cleared up the parking lot at Fei Long Supermarket Food Court and did not see the woman, whom the vehicle hit directly. She was pronounced dead almost immediately upon arriving at the hospital. Doctors performed a cesarean section, however, and delivered the baby, who is expected to survive.
Authorities noted that the snowplow was not city-owned nor working on behalf of the government.
This is not the first such incident in New York City. In fact, it is the second time this month that a snow removal vehicle has struck and killed a pedestrian. Earlier this month, a 72-year old man crossing the street outside his apartment in Brighton Beach was struck by a backhoe during the second major snowstorm of the year. The driver did not see him, and the vehicle backed over him. The man arrived at the hospital in critical condition, he did not survive.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has warned residents to stay inside if possible and avoid roads, which many parents complained conflicted with his decision to open schools and subject children to a morning commute. This was particularly troubling for those in more isolated parts of the city like Brooklyn and Staten Island. De Blasio told reporters he opened schools because he expected “the roads will be in pretty good shape” for the morning commute, but he eventually called the school day off early in the afternoon.