The mother of a 4-year-old boy who was struck and killed by a bus on Oriental Boulevard last month says that the streets of Manhattan Beach are extremely dangerous for pedestrians and plans to take legal action to prevent future fatal traffic accidents.
“What we are asking for is safety,” said Irina Liberman, in an emotional conversation with the Courier. “There needs to be big signs telling traffic to slow down and more police patrolling.”
Liberman and her husband, Dmitry Svirsky, are suing the MTA, claiming its bus driver was driving recklessly at the time of accident. They are also considering suing the city over the design and maintenance of Oriental Boulevard — a sticking point of many residents for years.
“The driver was absolutely at fault because he was speeding” she said. “I was waving at him to stop for my son and it didn’t even look like he hit the brakes.”
The suit will be filed within the next few weeks, after NYPD accident investigation detectives release their final report on the Oct. 7 incident, according to the family’s lawyer, Jeffrey Shapiro. The investigation is still ongoing, and officials have not confirmed whether or not the driver was speeding, according to a department spokesman.
The city has not released the name of the driver, who has not been arrested, said NYPD spokeswoman Cheryl Crispin.
But even if they win the case, that won’t take away the family’s pain.
“No one can bring my son back,” Liberman, in tears, said. “He was a beautiful child.”
On Oct. 7, Liberman took her son, Evan, and his 6-year-old brother to the playground in Manhattan Beach Park. When they were leaving at around 4 pm, the boy darted into the boulevard near Falmouth Street, witnesses say. Liberman ran after him and tried to pull him back to the curb, but couldn’t get to him in time.
“The driver should have seen us, he should have stopped,” Liberman lamented.
Liberman was swiped in the head by the bus mirror, but not seriously injured. Both were taken to Coney Island Hospital, where Svirsky, who would have turned five in November, was pronounced dead.
Svirsky’s death is the third Manhattan Beach traffic fatality in the past two years. There have been 59 car accidents on the strip since 2005, according to the Department of Transportation.
The MTA declined to comment.