Queens Assemblymember Jessica González-Rojas says she broke her arm after being hit by a car last week.
González-Rojas, a Democrat who represents parts of Astoria, Jackson Heights, and Corona, said on X Saturday that she was hit by a car in a crosswalk while walking on 35th Avenue in Jackson Heights on the evening of Jan. 4. She went to Elmhurst Hospital where she was treated for a broken arm and bruising.
The lawmaker, who has been a proponent of roadway redesigns and street safety legislation, said it was “weighing heavily on me” that while a collision left her injured, similar crashes leave people killed and families missing a loved one.
“Others are not as fortunate and never make it back home. Too many families never see their loved ones again,” said González-Rojas. “I thought about that a lot while in the amazing care at…Elmhurst Hospital. This could be anyone and data shows it has been many of us. Mothers, fathers, parents, children, and it’s weighing heavily on me.”
Traffic collisions claimed the lives of 256 people on New York City streets in 2023, slightly down from the 261 deaths seen in 2022. But in stark contrast to the other four boroughs, Queens saw a significant uptick in fatalities last year. 85 people lost their lives in Queens collisions in 2023, a 25% jump from the previous year.
González-Rojas was one of a group of Queens lawmakers who released the Western Queens Street Safety Plan last year after the death of 7-year-old Dolma Naadhun, who was fatally struck by an SUV driver as she crossed the street with her mom and sister in Astoria. The intersection where young Dolma was killed frequently saw drivers park in the crosswalk, and led activists to call for the widespread adoption of daylighting, wherein intersections are designed so cars can’t be parked in crosswalks. The intersection was not daylit and lacked traffic lights at the time.
Months later, another 7-year-old, Kamari Hughes, was killed by an NYPD tow truck driver at a Brooklyn intersection that also wasn’t daylit. Following Kamari’s death, Mayor Eric Adams pledged to daylight 1,000 intersections across the city every year.
The intersection where González-Rojas was hit wasn’t daylit, the lawmaker said.
“Universal daylighting & lower speed limits may have prevented the crash that broke my arm,” she said. “It could also have prevented the loss of lives in Queens. I’m grateful I made it home ok.”