The family of a 41-year-old woman who was struck and killed in May while crossing Niagara Falls Boulevard has filed notice that they intend to sue New York and the towns of Amherst and Tonawanda, arguing government agencies failed to address "long-standing dangerous conditions" on the busy route.
The notice of claim, a precursor to a lawsuit, was filed Aug. 3 on behalf of Raegan Duffin and Mark Bailey, the children of Jennifer L. Duffin, who was fatally injured around 12:40 a.m. May 12 as she crossed Niagara Falls Boulevard between Inn Keepers Lane and Willow Ridge Drive.
Michael O. Ohare Jr., 22, of Rochester, was driving the vehicle that struck Duffin. Police said Ohare pulled over immediately and has cooperated with the investigation.
Duffin, who lived in a hotel near the accident site, suffered a collapsed lung, broken right leg, broken pelvis and lacerated liver. The notice seeks payment for medical and funeral bills, pain and suffering and loss of financial support and parental guidance.
Duffin was the sixth pedestrian to die on a 6-mile stretch of Niagara Falls Boulevard between the Buffalo city line and the Niagara County border at Tonawanda Creek over the last five years.
Niagara Falls Boulevard is a state route that serves as the border between Tonawanda and Amherst. It is maintained by the state Department of Transportation.
The notice contends that government agencies knew of numerous serious, and fatal, accidents on Niagara Falls Boulevard and did not do enough to address unsafe conditions.
Officials from the towns and the state are discussing how to make this section of Niagara Falls Boulevard safer, and the state promised in June to make immediate improvements.