The great-granddaughter of Henry Hale Bliss and others placed roses Monday at 74th Street and Central Park West, marking the 100th anniversary of his death in the first recorded automobile accident in North America.
Since then, more than 30 million people have met a similar fate.
A New York Times report noted that on Sept. 13, 1899, Bliss was struck by an electric automobile after he exited a trolley car and turned to help a woman out of the trolley. The electric automobile was driven by the chauffeur for a prominent physician.
The physician assisted at the scene, but Bliss, a real estate dealer, later died at Roosevelt Hospital.
Linda Bliss Salisbury of Fairfield, Conn., joined safety officials and others at Monday's commemoration, which was sponsored by the Safety Sense Institute, a U.S.-Canadian non-profit organization. The group says that 30 million people have died in automobile accidents worldwide since that first death in 1899.
Mrs. Salisbury said she attended to increase awareness of traffic safety. "It's time this problem is addressed and steps are taken to curb these preventable deaths," she said.