April 9, 2024
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April 9, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

As many of you know, our community suffered a terrible tragedy several weeks ago. On the morning of January 25, Dymond Fryson, a mother of two young daughters and the guardian of a young niece, was driving home on Palmer Avenue after dropping off two of her kids at school, when her car was struck by a Ford Explorer on the corner of Sherman Avenue. The other driver, a Bogota High School student who was with a classmate, sped through multiple stop signs and struck Ms. Fryson’s SUV with such force that it hurled her car into a nearby house.

As always, Teaneck’s finest were on the scene. They worked valiantly to save Ms. Fryson’s life. But unfortunately she succumbed to her injuries and passed away the following morning. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family in this difficult time.

This story struck close to home for me. Literally. We live just around the corner from where this young mother lost her life. Palmer Avenue is a beautiful street. It is peaceful and quiet. It is a block frequented by many young children, including my own. It is where we take nature walks on Shabbat to observe birds and collect pinecones; and where we casually meet friends doing the same.

Our streets should be places of warm memories and happiness, not tragedies.

But the truth is that what happened here was part of a pattern.

Just a few months ago, in the fall, an SUV speeding through stop signs on Palmer slammed into a transport minivan from Holy Name hospital on the intersection between Palmer and Vandelinda, just a few yards from where Ms. Fryson lost her life. That collision happened with such force that the hospital’s minivan did a full flip, which was caught on camera. I heard the crash from my home—the screech, the smash, the cries for help—and was on the scene within seconds. It was a miracle that no one was killed.

Major accidents of this type should not take place on quiet residential streets; and that two happened on the same block in the span of just a few months is a call to action. All of us —drivers, pedestrians, law enforcement and elected officials—need to do more to keep Teaneck’s streets safe.

As drivers, we can all afford to slow down. Chances are that someone you or your friends know lives on the block you are zooming down. We can show some courtesy and stop and let pedestrians cross the street. Even if they have no business crossing, be the bigger person–stopping and making sure pedestrians cross safely is just the right thing to do.

As pedestrians, we can wait for cars to stop or for the next light. Don’t play chicken with oncoming traffic. And let’s look up from our phones and both ways when we cross the street.

To law enforcement, know that you have our full support in enforcing the law. Cars who disregard pedestrian crosswalks, who run stop signs and/or traffic lights, or test their speedometers on quiet residential streets should get pulled over. They should pay big fines. There should be meaningful consequences for recklessness.

And as elected officials, we need to find a way to make Teaneck’s streets safer, and I urge this body and our community to work together to find a way to do that, so that what happened on Palmer Avenue never again happens on any other street in Teaneck.

Yigal Gross
Teaneck
Executive Committee Member, Bergen County Jewish Action Committee
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