Family members of those in the armed services live with the fear that their loved one will be killed in combat. But for the family of 22-year-old Marine Cpl. Steve Jorgenson, the news was in a way, worse. Having survived nine months in Afghanistan and training for a new "dangerous" mission, Cpl. Jorgenson was killed in a traffic accident on the West Side Highway early on the morning of May 26.
It was his first night in New York.
Cpl. Jorgenson was in town for Fleet Week and a first time visitor to the City, reports the New York Daily News. He had just jumped out of a cab with fellow shipmates and was crossing the West Side Highway at W. 49th Street when he was hit by Bronx a resident driving his Acura, police and relatives said. Steve Jorgenson died at the scene.
The driver, identified as Daniel Pascal, noticed a commotion in his rearview mirror and pulled over about a block away to call 911. He was not charged with any crime in connection with the traffic accident. Some of his fellow crew members told the Daily News Jorgenson may have been in a hurry to get back to the ship by curfew.
It may be difficult to determine civil liability, if any, for an accident like this one. In the dark with a fast moving pedestrian, even a driver using a reasonable standard of care might not have been able to see or avoid a collision with a pedestrian. Many major New York streets such as the Grand Concourse in the Bronx, are notorious for their rates of pedestrian accidents. A visitor, not used to the fast pace of New York traffic, may not have been equipped to deal with one of the more dangerous streets of the city for pedestrians.
Whether or not the family of Cpl. Steve Jorgenson pursues any legal remedies for his death remains to be seen. For now, his intimidate family and his military family mourn him. "This is a tragic event and a very sad day for the Marine Corps family and our thoughts and prayers are with our marine and his family," Col. Frank Donovan said. "During the rest of Fleet Week, we ask the citizens of New York to provide their thoughts and prayers for our Marine and his family."
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