After 17-year-old Ovidio Jaramillo was killed in a hit-and-run at the intersection of Northern and Junction boulevards, several elected officials and local leaders are calling on the Department of Transportation (DOT) to install more traffic safety measures.
State Senator Jose Peralta, Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, Cristina Furlong of Make Queens Safer and DOT Queens Borough Commissioner Nicole Garcia visited the intersection on Wednesday morning to discuss proactive measures to ensure that the dangerous intersection be made safer.
But not long after their visit and only a few blocks from the scene, another accident involving pedestrians took place on Wednesday afternoon. A mother and her two children were struck by a cement truck as they were waiting at a cross walk on Junction Boulevard and 55th Avenue.
Among the suggestions proposed by officials were a speed camera and rumble strips to “slow down cars as they approach heavily trafficked intersections,” according to Peralta.
Jaramillo was struck and killed at the intersection on Dec. 8, as he was returning home from a friend’s grandmother’s funeral in Ridgewood. He was transported to Elmhurst Hospital where he was pronounced dead shortly after the 911 call was first made at 10:50 p.m.
The intersection was the scene of another fatality in 2013 that involved a drunk driver and ended in the death of 3-year-old Olvin Jahir Figueroa.
“Much more can be done to prevent traffic injuries and fatalities in the future and we implore the city to work quickly in evaluating the options available to them,” Peralta said.
According to a DOT spokesperson, the agency is “actively engaged” with elected officials and stakeholders “regarding engaging the community about safety at the intersection of Northern Boulevard and Junction Boulevard.” The DOT is currently in the process of conducting a review of the area to see where additional safety enhancements can be made, the spokesperson said.
The agency is also looking to implement a periodic speed camera in the area in the next few days.
The intersection has been the scene of 9 pedestrian injuries from 2010 to 2014.