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UPDATE: Woman, Toddler Struck On Route 10

Kareen Barrett of West Orange and a toddler were struck as they were crossing Route 10.

A West Orange resident is listed in serious condition after being hit by a car while crossing Route 10 in front of Mount Pleasant Middle School this morning.  She was holding a toddler at the time.

Kareen Barrett, 42, was crossing the intersection of Tiffany Drive and Route 10 with a 2 1/2-year-old boy in her arms when a woman driving a Honda Odyssey van struck the two, said police.  The driver has been identified as Cuifang Nie, 40, of Livingston.

Paramedics and the Livingston First Aid squad responded to the scene and brought the two pedestrians to University Hospital, according to Livingston Det. Sgt. Anthony Dippold.

As of 3:30 p.m., Barrett was listed as being in serious, but stable, condition with multiple broken bones and possible head trauma.  The toddler is being kept for observation after possibly suffering a fracture.

Barrett is the caregiver for the toddler, a Livingston resident.  Investigators say that by holding the toddler, some of the impact was taken off of the two when the van hit.  In addition, investigators say that the injuries to the toddler would've been much worse if he was not in his caregiver's arms.

The accident, which occurred at 8:57 a.m., closed a portion of Route 10/Mount Pleasant Avenue, but it has since reopened.  The Essex County Prosecutor's Office also responded to the scene.

Nie was questioned at Livingston Police Headquarters following the accident and no decision has been made as to which charges, if any, will be filed.

This was the second incident of this kind to happen in Essex County this morning.  at about 7:35 a.m. while attempting to cross Grove Street in the crosswalk by Oxford Street.

According to Montclair police, the driver was a 71-year-old East Orange resident who was traveling northbound on Grove Street when he struck a pedestrian who was crossing at the intersection of Grove and Oxford. The driver, operating a Ford Fusion, was issued motor vehicle tickets for driving an uninsured car and also for failing to stop at a pedestrian crosswalk.

The pedestrian, a Montclair man, was transported by ambulance to Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Paterson for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.

Stay tuned to Patch as more details become available.

John Fonseca May 11, 2012 at 04:19 AM
It'd be nice if the law was enforced other than when pedestrians actually get hit. I hope for a full and speedy recovery for these victims.
desiderata cacoethes May 11, 2012 at 02:35 PM
Let's hope the driver wasn't on the phone... this could've easily been a fatal tragedy... Parents worse nightmare. Thank goodness the baby was held ... Thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery ..
Gucci May 12, 2012 at 12:38 AM
Unfortunately the article doesn't state whether there is a traffic light at that corner. Who had the right of way? Was the pedestrian crossing on green or red? There is no excuse for this kind of accident and my heart & prayers goes out to the victims...however was the person carrying the baby also on a cell phone? Was the driver exceeding the speed limit?
Bobby May 12, 2012 at 01:56 AM
There are crosswalks and Stop lights at that intersection as it is near a school. At that time of the morning there are probably crossing guards as well.
Gucci May 12, 2012 at 12:32 PM
This is the sentence in the report which has been keeping me wondering as to who might have been at fault: "Nie was questioned at Livingston Police Headquarters following the accident and no decision has been made as to which charges, if any, will be filed."
Stacey May 12, 2012 at 02:40 PM
I unfortunately witnessed this horrific accident. The caregiver carrying the 2 year old in the crosswalk with a green light was "NOT" on the cellphone.
Gucci May 12, 2012 at 02:59 PM
Thank you for that information. It should have been stated that way!!! Nothing can make this more horrible than it is. My grandson goes to Mt. P 6th grade school. I often drive car pool and its a bit chaotic to say the least. So obviously the driver ran the light. Again, hoping the victims are OK-physically and emotionally, lets see what happens to the driver. Will be interesting to get further information. Thanks for replying.
Bob May 12, 2012 at 06:12 PM
Stacey, I have been very curious - can you describe what happened? The babysitter was walking from Tiffany across towards the schhol and where was the car coming from? Thanks
Stacey May 13, 2012 at 11:33 AM
The driver turning left onto Route 10 going west never saw the babysitter in the crosswalk. She was walking towards me, I was stopped at Tiffany. I was turning left onto Route 10 going east stopped at the red light on Tiffany.I noticed the babysitter at the corner waiting for the crosswalk sign to turn green with the toddler in her arms. She proceeded to cross when the light turned green and the crosswalk sign was green to walk. I noticed the car coming from the other direction, had their signal on to turn left but I waited to make sure they would not go straight. That driver saw the green light from the middle of the block and proceeded to turn left onto Route 10 going west but never slowed enough to yield to the pedestrians. Very traumatic for all involved.
Bob May 13, 2012 at 01:09 PM
Thanks, I hope the police filed the correct report... clearly the driver is at fault and responsible.
Ken May 13, 2012 at 01:27 PM
That sort of thing is why I'm always hesitant to cross in a crosswalk at a corner and would rather do it in the middle of a block (which I realize probably isn't possible on Rt. 10.) Knowing you have the right away and that anyone who hits you will be at fault isn't all that reassuring; I'd rather be perfectly visible in the middle of the block and not have to rely on the driver of a turning vehicle paying attention.
John Fonseca May 14, 2012 at 04:28 AM
The problem with the mid-block crossings is that they've already picked up their speed and then tunnel vision takes over. The crossings for the SH station are in the middle of the block and I'd estimate that there's a 50/50 chance that traffic will stop for pedestrians. This is in spite of all the signage and fresh road markings. Exactly how many injuries and deaths need to occur before law enforcement starts enforcing this law? The state legislature took it seriously when the increased the fine to $200 + 2 points + the possibility of community service + stop and stay stopped instead of yield. Have the local PDs not yet gotten the memo? They don't have to be everywhere all once. They just need to be everywhere at once, just active pedestrian areas like schools, centers of town, train stations, etc. To be perfectly honest, I feel safer as a pedestrian in the city than I do on the streets of Short Hills.
Ken May 14, 2012 at 01:02 PM
I don't think "stop and stay stopped" makes much sense, though. A pedestrian is moving. Whether or not you actually have to stop, both according to the laws of the state and the laws of physics, depends on the speed & location of both you and the pedestrian. "Stop and stay stopped" makes it sound as if you need to come to an immediate stop regardless of your location, which obviously isn't the intent of the law. In fact, it's unclear to me what the intent of the law actually is, and the state's own release doesn't much help (http://www.nj.gov/oag/newsreleases10/pr20100331a.html). If they mean "when a pedestrian is in a crosswalk, you must stop within x feet of it, even if the pedestrian has already crossed your side of the street and is on the other side of the road, and you can't move again until he is out of the entire roadway, because we're hoping a car coming the other way will see YOU stopped & better notice the pedestrian on his side of the road," then they should say so. And of course, 100% enforcement wouldn't have made a bit of difference in this case, where the eyewitness has the driver seeing the green light and turning, which means the driver didn't see the pedestrian, which is exactly what I'm afraid of when I cross at corners. I agree I feel safer crossing in the city than I do locally, too -- what helps there I think is that it's often many people crossing at once, increasing visibility -- it doesn't seem to be an enforcement threat at work there.
Lori May 14, 2012 at 04:40 PM
My heart goes out to the caretaker/little boy/families. As Stacey stated, it was very traumatic for all involved. My heart goes out to the driver too. However, I don't understand why the driver did not see/stop for the pedestrian. It seems as though there should be charges/fines against the driver. The link to the guidelines to the law is here: http://www.nj.gov/oag/hts/pedestrian.html In relation to the law, I especially like that it states, "no pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to yield." AND, "Every pedestrian upon a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway." So many times I see pedestrians walk/run into traffic, thinking they own the road (not in this case though). We can never assume anything as pedestrians or vehicle operators. We should all review the guidelines from time to time. Many of us need to be reminded. I personally don't feel safe crossing ANY public road (in or out of the city). I always look twice and I always assume the driver will not see me or decide to stop. I don't trust that I'm safe because of a walk signal, cross guard or even a police officer guiding traffic. I've seen drivers do some CRAZY stuff. It's as if some have a license to kill rather than drive.
TF May 14, 2012 at 04:48 PM
Did she turn left immediately when the light turned green in order to avoid having to wait for oncoming traffic to pass? Because when you are turning left at a light, you do not have the right of way. People are so impatient they forget that. That is how most, if not all, accidents involving pedestrians occur. "I didn't see them" is a common "excuse". If you "didn't see them" then you obviously weren't paying attention, which is what you are supposed to be doing when you are driving a car. It's a shame.
Thirty Four May 15, 2012 at 02:08 PM
If the car didn't come to the intersection at high speed, this could be a classic case of "A-Pillar Blind Spot". Most drivers only know the typical blind spots but not the A-Pillar.  Unfortunately the A-Pillar blind spot accidents happen to pedestrians as they will be totally covered be the pillar and side mirror area on the left of the driver while the car is traveling at the speed as the pedestrians. Once the car starts to turn and the angle is changed, the pedestrians will suddenly become visible through the windshield, and it is up to the driver reaction time to stop. The shorter the driver is, the A-Pillar blind spot is worst because the driver face will be closer to the steering wheel and the left A-pillar causing the pillar to block a larger area on that left angle.  Even NJ driver manual does not cover this topic. So not many people know about this. Knowing this automobile flaw, drivers should be prepared that pedestrians may become visible at any point while turning. The pedestrians should also watch their back while crossing. 
Lori May 15, 2012 at 02:24 PM
@Thirty Four, I'm familiar with the less known blind spot (didn't know there was a name for it). However, I feel it's important for drivers to be 'looking ahead' while they are driving too. With the car constantly moving, if your looking ahead, a pedestrian will not continually be in that particular blind spot. You will see ahead of time that they are there, not just after you make the turn. I went to H.S. in CA and it was mandatory for all students to take a defensive driving course at school and pass in order to graduate. The courses covered all of this type of stuff. Very important for drivers and non-drivers. NJ should consider it as part of the curriculum. It would cause more good than harm.
jill greenspan May 15, 2012 at 03:09 PM
Does anyone know the family of the toddler?? the nanny, kareen was my niece's old nanny and we would like to get in touch with her... Jill
Howard Silverberg May 15, 2012 at 03:23 PM
My prayers for the injured first. I live right down the street from this intersection.It is an area like many in town, that Speeding and/or unsafe driving is occurring regularly. Unfortunately, the police can't cover it all.
bill May 15, 2012 at 06:04 PM
It is not that they can't cover it all...it is that they do nothing about it anywhere. Ask them how many failure to yield tickets they have issued in 2012. I bet it is less than 1 a week.
Gaye Olin May 17, 2012 at 04:38 PM
I would think anyone approaching a school at that hour of the morning would be extra cautious whether they had a green light or not. Children are children and they don't always follow the rules when it comes to crossing the street. That driver deserves to have the book thrown at her.
EPK May 18, 2012 at 01:51 PM
Your grandson goes to mount pleasant and you often carpool but you don't know if theres a light at that intersection? Obviously it is a chaotic intersection. Sounds odd to me that you know nothing about the area that you carpool in. Also the light is clearly shown in the photos provided in the article so it really didn't need to be mentioned. It was a vague article due to the reporters lack of information obviously
Marian Allegrino May 19, 2012 at 05:03 AM
A standing ovation for your response, Thirty Four. Someone finally gets it, I'm guessing you're in law enforcement or insurance. I didn't know there was a name for those two awful blind spots, but I have complained about it in my last three cars, it's worse in the crossovers and SUV's and if you're short. You are exactly right, it is an automobile flaw, one which needs to be corrected by the manufacturers but why isn't it being done? I pray all involved in this terrible accident will recover fully.


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