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Pedestrian killed on cell phone

A woman who was talking on her old cell phone was struck and killed by a city bus at one of the most dangerous intersections in Queens in New York yesterday, advocates and police officers say. Meilan Jin, 22 years old, was crossing diagonally across Union Street and Northern Boulevard in Flushing shortly after eight o’clock in the morning when the city bus made a wide right turn and struck her, witnesses and police officers say.

“The bus was coming fast,” says 54-year-old witness Fahad Ghulam. The bus continued away from the injured woman, who died quickly at the scene. Police were later able to track down the bus that was apparently responsible for the incident, an out of service Q44, and discovered that the female bus driver was apparently completely unaware that she had hit struck the woman with the bus.

A spokesman for Transportation Alternatives, Michael Murphy, says that the intersection is among the most dangerous in the entire borough, with no less than 92 crashes involving pedestrians having taken place in the 14 years between 1995 and 2009. “It’s indicative of a definite problem,” Murphy notes.

The Department of Transportation however says that the number of accidents that have occurred at the juncture is going down following the implementation of a number of safety upgrades. The most recent pedestrian fatality to occur at the intersection before yesterday took place in 2008.