Danger zone: Locals say school zone is plagued by reckless drivers • Brooklyn Paper

Danger zone: Locals say school zone is plagued by reckless drivers

Danger zone: A motorist flipped his car on E. 51st Street near PS 203 on Tuesday night — on a block where reckless driving is the norm, say locals.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

That’s no school zone — it’s a danger zone.

A motorist flipped his car near PS 203 in Mill Basin on Tuesday, setting off a domino effect of collateral damage — and block residents say this wasn’t the first time a reckless driver caused an accident at the nearby grade school.

“This block is full of speed demons,” said Anthony Tomarchio, who lives on E. 51st Street where the accident occurred.

Firefighters and paramedics rushed to the scene between avenues L and M at 8:30 pm, where they found the driver’s black sedan lying on one side, not far from a line of three other busted cars.

When the driver flipped his vehicle, he smashed into a parked car, which was shoved into another car, which in turn bashed another parked vehicle in a cascade of destruction, according to witnesses.

The driver walked away from the crash with nary a scratch, and escaped his car with the help of nearby residents even before firefighters arrived, witnesses said.

Another accident occurred on the same E. 51st Street block in February, 2008, which caused even more property damage than Tuesday night’s accident, according to Tomarchio.

He complained that drivers often choose to avoid the stoplights and heavier traffic on Utica Avenue in favor of E. 51st Street, where the intersections are regulated by stop signs.

The result is that the street outside Tomarchio’s home has turned into a constant hazard — not only to the families who live there, but the nearby day-care centers and grade school that share the block.

And if something doesn’t change, according to Tomarchio, somebody — probably a kid — is going to get hurt.

“You got PS 203, you have a couple families, you have a day-care centers, and E. 51st Street is a raceway,” he said. “It’s a matter of when someone gets hurt, not if.”

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4514.

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