Following yet another car accident on Saturday at the corner block of Fifth Avenue and the Whitestone Expressway service road, Whitestone residents are calling for a one-way street sign toward the bridge to prevent future accidents.
“Once again, the accident took out the hydrant,” Alfredo Centola of the We Love Whitestone Civic Association told QNS. “The hydrant could have been a person, a child, or the woman and her daughter that just drove away from the legal spot in front of the hydrant. Once again, tragedy averted. For now.”
On Aug. 3, at approximately 1:30 p.m., the driver of a white 2018 Mercedes-Benz C300, was seen by a New York State Trooper turning onto Fifth Avenue and striking a fire hydrant, according to police.
The driver, identified as 26-year-old Malique Gill, of the Bronx, was taken into custody for having an active bench warrant with the NYPD, police said. The trooper was patrolling the Whitestone Bridge and conducted a traffic stop on Gill, who was suspected of leaving the scene of an accident.
Gill was remanded to Manhattan Central Booking pending arraignment, police said.
It’s certainly not the first time such an incident has occurred on the block. A few months ago, a tractor-trailer took out the hydrant and backed up, rupturing its diesel tank leaking gallons of fuel into the ground, Centola said.
In another incident, Centola said, a car swerved into oncoming traffic and lost control totaling a parked jeep. Fortunately, the woman and her daughter got out a few minutes before the accident.
“There have been too many close calls in recent years,” Centola said. “This block is dangerous and cars take a wide turn at highway speed, that is why residents of Fifth Avenue are looking to make it a one-way going towards the bridge, to save lives.”