Wheelchair user hit and killed by SUV driver in Kensington

kensington intersection site of sunday crash
A 68-year-old wheelchair user was hit and killed at a Kensington intersection on Sunday.
Photo courtesy of Google Street View

A 68-year-old pedestrian has died after the driver of a sports utility vehicle struck her at a Kensington intersection on Sunday afternoon.

Wheelchair user Joyce Greenberg was crossing from the northeast to the northwest corner of the intersection of McDonald and Webster avenues on July 23 at around 1:30 p.m. when a 73-year-old driving a 2016 Lexus SUV hit and pinned her beneath the vehicle, according to the NYPD’s Highway Patrol Collision Investigation Squad.

Emergency responders found Greenberg unconscious and unresponsive, with severe injuries about her body. They rushed her to Maimonides Medical Center, where she was pronounced deceased.

The driver remained on the scene and did not sustain any injuries, cops said. Two passengers, 72 and 73, were also in the SUV at the time of the collision.

It was not immediately clear whether the driver or Greenberg had the right of way at the time of the crash. The Collision Investigation Squad said the investigation remains ongoing. 

Last year, the city’s Department of Transportation designated the area as a “Vision Zero Senior Pedestrian Priority Area,” noting that it is one of many neighborhoods in the city where seniors are disproportionately hit and severely injured or killed in car crashes.

The city released a 17-point plan to improve safety for senior pedestrians in priority areas — like extending pedestrian crossing intervals and improving visibility by daylighting some intersections — but has not yet made physical changes to the street where Greenberg was killed, according to the advocacy group Transportation Alternatives. 

Elke Weiss, member of the Families for Safe Streets, said her 99-year-old grandfather was hit and killed by an SUV as he crossed the street in his wheelchair in Manhattan Beach last year. 

“Wheelchair users are lower to the ground, and are often harder to see. At the city level, daylighting intersections or controlling the ever-increasing size of vehicles on our reads will save lives,” Weiss said in a statement. “Mr. Mayor, we need you to work to ensure that no additional New Yorkers, like my beloved grandfather or Joyce Greenberg, die in preventable crashes on our streets.” 

—Additional reporting by Kirstyn Brendlen

Update 07/24/23, 3:52 p.m.: This story has been updated with comment from Transportation Alternatives.