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Fort Lee Mother, Son Hit by Car; Driver Charged

The latest incident of pedestrians getting hit by cars happened late Sunday night at Palisade Avenue and Riverdale Drive, where a motorist allegedly made an illegal turn and struck two pedestrians, authorities said.

A 71-year-old Fort Lee man was charged in connection with yet another traffic accident involving pedestrians in the borough late Sunday night, police said.

The accident, which occurred at about 10 p.m. Sunday at the intersection of Palisade Avenue and Riverdale Drive, resulted in “non-life threatening injuries” to a 39-year-old Fort Lee mother and her 12-year-old son, both of whom were hit, according to police.

On-scene investigators concluded the two pedestrians, Sehyeon Kweon and her son, were walking eastbound in the crosswalk, when “an unknown vehicle remained stopped for the green light, as required by law, to allow the pedestrians to cross the four lanes of Palisade Avenue,” police said in a statement.

But the driver, whom police identified as Alvin Cohen of Fort Lee, allegedly passed the stopped vehicle and made an illegal left turn coming off of Riverdale, striking Kweon and her son, police said.

The two victims were treated at the scene for undisclosed minor injuries and taken to a local hospital for further treatment, according to police.

“The two pedestrians were following the law and the recommendations of the Pedestrian Safety Program by using the designated crosswalk at the intersection,” said Capt. Keith Bendul of the .

Cohen was charged with failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk, careless driving and making an improper turn, Bendul said.

The accident Sunday night came amid continuing efforts on the part of local police to increase pedestrian safety through education and enforcement programs, including a on both and legally walking in crosswalks.

“This is why we’re trying to get people to stay aware of their environment and at the same time, enforcing the crosswalks on pedestrians and also on drivers,” Bendul told Patch. “We’re glad that it was minor in nature this time. It’s traumatic for them, but we’re glad that it wasn’t more serious.”

On Monday, Fort Lee Police Chief Thomas O. Ripoli told Patch that more than 20 pedestrians have been hit by vehicles in the borough this year alone, with three of those incidents resulting in fatalities.

Have a question or news tip? Contact editor Erik Wander at erik.wander@patch.com, or find us on Facebook or Twitter. For news straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Clare Speeck May 16, 2012 at 12:13 AM
"Failure to yield?"Drove around car stopped at crosswalk and into parent and child: WHY IS THE CHARGE NOT "ATTEMPTED VEHICULAR HOMICIDE?" He should be kept in jail until the trial.
William Mays May 16, 2012 at 12:19 AM
Because it wasn't intentional. It just sounds like a moron that doesn't know how to drive.
Suzanne Troya June 07, 2012 at 10:18 PM
I'm sure he feels terrible about his mistake. However, as the mother of a teen who is just learning to drive, my fair warning to him was to be careful with the elderly. I hope they are careful with him. Teenagers and elderly behind the wheel, not a good mix, but it's a thick mix in Fort Lee.
cindy kim August 03, 2012 at 02:23 PM
i think that anyone over 65 should be re-tesed / re-examed to see if they are still capable of driving

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