Op-ed: Sammy’s Law must pass this year – A legislator’s personal encounter

It could have been anyone, but on January 4th, it was me.

One second I was crossing 35th Avenue in Jackson Heights to meet friends for dinner, my feet between two white stripes of the crosswalk, and the next, I was lying on the ground, my arm throbbing and my knees scraped. I’d done everything “right”: waiting until I had the right-of-way, carefully crossing, watching for cars – but in the end it didn’t matter. A driver still hit me, throwing my body to the pavement.

The crash left me badly bruised and disoriented. I had a broken arm, but I felt lucky. I felt grateful to walk away with my life – especially when so many New Yorkers weren’t as lucky as I was. Not even a month later or a mile away from my crash, a hit-and-run driver killed a 61-year-old woman from my neighborhood.