By Pierce O’Reilly
A Queens mother of two young children spent the Christmas holiday watching over her critically ill husband after he was injured on Queens Boulevard, apparently when he was hit by a car.
Relatives are now concerned with the lack of information police have managed to obtain since the Friday, Dec. 15, incident. They say they feel more must be done to solve this latest incident on a stretch of road that has long been notorious for the high number of pedestrians who are struck and often killed by speeding vehicles.
Enda Reilly, a native of Longford, was found lying on Queens Boulevard with serious injuries after what appeared to have been a hit and run incident. Reilly was on his way home, apparently from a bar in Woodside, when the incident occurred. It is not known whether anyone saw Reilly struck.
His sister in law Collette McDonagh said she is outraged at the apparent lack of progress being made and wondered why the investigation is taking so long. She also questioned why police still have not been able to determine what exactly happened.
"It’s simply unacceptable to think we still don’t know," she said. "The police have left us in the dark as to what they know and we’re very concerned."
Sign up to The Irish Echo Newsletter
Reilly, who has been a construction worker in the Woodside area for the last 10 years, was brought to the trauma unit of Elmhurst Hospital. His condition was still described as critical as the Echo went to press Tuesday. He is on a life-support machine.
Queens Boulevard has been the focus of much media attention in recent days for the high number of accidents occurring as pedestrians try to cross the busy street.
"It’s a complete mystery to everyone," said Reilly’s sister-in-law. "We tried to enjoy the Christmas for the kids’ sake. They are 9 and 10 years of age, but it was very difficult".
A police spokesperson at the 108th precinct, which is investigating the incident, said that they still weren’t sure if a car was involved in the incident and that no further information is being made available at this time.
Michael McGinley, proprietor of Breffini’s Bar and Restaurant, has spent the last 30 years crossing the busy street.
"The pedestrians are as much to blame as the drivers," he said. "They often walk out in front of the passing cars without looking up or down the street. That said, this is a 30-mile-per-hour zone and I’m sure that very few motorists travel at that speed.
McGinley is a member of the Sunnyside Businessmen’s Association. The group has argued for stricter enforcement of the speed limit on this particular stretch of road following a number of fatal accidents during the last several months.
"It’s time something was done," McGinley said. "Motorists and pedestrians must be made aware of the dangers and we feel it must be done sooner rather than later."