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Police investigate CBS reporter’s accident fatality

Battlefields and a capture by Iraqi forces during the 1991 Gulf War could not seriously harm famous CBS News reporter Bob Simon. However, the 73-year-old Simon was killed while riding in the back seat of a Lincoln Town Car as it crashed into a Mercedes Benz that was stopped at a red light in Manhattan’s West Side on Feb. 11.

The Lincoln was traveling southbound on 12th Avenue in the far right lane near 6:45 p.m. It then veered into the center lane near a stop light. The vehicle crashed into the Mercedes near the rear driver’s side door, according to initial findings. The crash propelled the Mercedes through the stoplight head and onto metal stanchions that separated the traffic lanes.

Simon suffered severe trauma to his head and neck in the car accident. As he was being transported to the hospital, he was in cardiac arrest. He was pronounced dead when he arrived at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital at 7:23 p.m. The Mercedes driver was uninjured.

Following the accident, the 44-year-old driver of the Lincoln had two broken legs and a broken right arm. He held a valid taxi license but also had two earlier violations and nine license suspensions that were cleared. The Taxi and Limousine Commission suspended his license pending the police investigation.

The drivers successfully passed breathalyzer test that was performed within three hours of the crash. Police investigators are reconstructing the accident and will determine if there was any crime.

Police are seeking a warrant for the Lincoln’s black box which is similar to the device used on a plane or train which provides information on speed, use of brakes and air bags deployment An official said that the black box will provide a diagnostic illustration of systems such as the vehicle’s speed or whether the brakes failed. Working cameras were not placed at the crash scene.

Bob Simon was a CBS News reporter since 1967 and was a “60 Minutes” correspondent. He was held captive by Iraqi forces for 40 days in the first Gulf War and covered war for the network.

Victims of a speeding or reckless motorist should know their legal right when they have suffered serious injuries in auto accidents. Family members should also seek prompt assistance to help assure that their rights are protected in any wrongful death action.

Source: Wall Street Journal, “Speed may have been a factor in crash that killed CBS veteran Bob Simon,” Pervaiz Shallwani, Feb. 12, 2015