By Charisma L. Miller, Esq.
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Hours after the Brooklyn Nets won 107-105 over the Detroit Pistons, a street-sweeper truck struck and killed a man outside of the Barclays Center. Ronald Sinvil, 36, had just left a Christmas party and was headed to his girlfriend Jvonne Crump’s apartment in East New York. He never made it there.
“It makes no sense,” Sinvil’s sister, Marlene Darbouze, said during a recent press conference. The NYPD accident report states that Sinvil slipped and fell into the path of the large and slow moving sweeper.
Even though the accident occurred at the busy intersection of Atlantic and Flatbush avenues, the police report does not list any witnesses.
Sanford Rubenstein, the attorney representing Sinvil’s family, plans to sue the city for Sinvil’s accidental death. “What we have is only the driver’s claim as to what happened,” said Rubenstein. “We are asking for any witnesses to come forward.”
Prior to the fatal accident, Sinvil attempted to catch a cab to East New York but the cab driver refused to go to that particular Brooklyn neighborhood. It is illegal for a yellow cab driver to refuse a passenger wishing to travel within the city limits and the surrounding boroughs.
But the refusal of fares still persists. The Taxi and Limousine Commission received 2,341 reports of refusals in the last half of 2010, a 38 percent increase from the same period in 2009, when 1,693 complaints were received.
“A core component of taxi service is that the passenger chooses where to go in the five boroughs,” David Yassky, chairman of the Taxi Commission and a Brooklyn Heights resident, said in a statement.
Rubenstein is not planning on filing a claim against the yellow cab driver for any connection to Sinvil’s death. “The driver is morally responsible for the death of Mr. Sinvil. If he had taken the fare and drove Mr. Sinvil to his girlfriend’s home in East New York, Mr. Sinvil would have been alive and celebrating the holidays with his family,” Rubenstein told the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.
“Unfortunately,” he continued, “we are unable to locate the driver and it is unlikely that the driver bears any legal responsibility.”
The Department of Sanitation says the incident is still under investigation. The driver of the Department of Sanitation vehicle, James Galvin, has not been charged.