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Telephone Co. truck injures eight year old

The records of the personal injury case showed that an eight-year old child was playing cops and robbers when he was struck by a car directly in front of a building owned and operated by a telephone company. The sources said the truck of the Manhattan telephone company was standing adjacent to and west of a vehicle parked near the easterly curb of the avenue where the accident happened. Thus, within the roadway of 32 feet, at the site of the truck accident, parked parallel, were three vehicles, two near the easterly curb and one near the westerly curb.

Prior to the occurrence of the truck accident, the child ran across the avenue from the west curb to the east curb. Upon arriving at the east curb, he was directly in front of the telephone company building; he then turned to retrace his steps in a westerly direction of the avenue and was struck down by one foot west of the telephone company’s truck by an automobile proceeding northerly. The Queens operator of the northbound vehicle testified that prior to the accident he had stopped for a red light and then made a right turn into the avenue traveling north toward the scene of the accident. He said he observed the double parked truck.

The right front headlight of the northbound vehicle came in contract with the child. The operator of the northbound vehicle said he did not see the child prior to the accident. The child also testified that he did not see the moving vehicle before the accident. The mother of the infant testified that children habitually played in front of the telephone company building.

In the light of the physical and traffic conditions and the known propensity of children to play at or near the building, whether or not the telephone company’s parked truck served to obstruct the view of the infant as well as the view of the operator of the northbound vehicle and thus present a hazard within the range of reasonable apprehension was a question of fact, the court ruled.

The evidence, the court found, does not establish the height, width, shape and construction of the parked vehicles, including the telephone company’s, adjacent to the easterly curb of the avenue. The court noted, however, that the telephone company’s brief concedes that the view of the operator of the northbound vehicle was obscured. This concession supports the inference that when the infant stepped off the easterly curb of the avenue, his view of the northbound vehicle also was obscured by the two paralled parked cars in front of him. The court said it cannot, as a matter of law, state that the infant was not within the zone of danger apprehended by the regulation against double parking.

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