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New York Man Suffers Serious Head Injuries in River Road Strike

A Monroe, N.Y. man was struck by a vehicle Saturday just before 4 p.m. while crossing River Road at Hopper Avenue.

Update: Pedestrian Struck on River Road Succumbs to Injuries

A New York man was rushed to the hospital Saturday with serious head and leg injuries after being struck by a car while crossing River Road at Hopper Avenue, police said.

Igors Cernenoks, 49, of Monroe, N.Y., was crossing westbound on River Road just before 4 p.m. when he was hit by a northbound vehicle driven by 46-year-old Fair Lawn resident Staci Callea, Lt. Bob Kneer said.

Cernenoks was about halfway across the street and in the crosswalk when he was hit, Kneer said. Surveillance footage shows the collision's impact threw him all the way back to the eastside curb.

“As he was walking, the tape shows that he gets struck — he really had no warning — and he flew back on the curb by B&B Liquors," Kneer said.

Cernenoks suffered traumatic head and leg injuries and was unconscious at the scene, Kneer said. He was rushed to St Joseph's Regional Medical Center in Paterson, where he underwent emergency surgery. Police have yet to hear from the hospital on Cernenoks' condition since he entered surgery, Kneer said.

Callea, a Radburn resident whose 15-year-old daughter was in the car with her, was issued two summonses: one for careless driving and one for failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk. Her gray 2009 Toyota Yaris sustained major damage to the windshield and hood, Kneer said. Neither alcohol nor road conditions were factors in the accident and it was unclear whether Callea had been distracted, he said.

Fair Lawn police, county police, the Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the county prosecutor's office's Fatal Accident Investigation Unit all responded to the scene.

The roads in the vicinity of the accident remained closed for about three hours, Kneer said.

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Sandy Amin March 17, 2013 at 12:01 AM
What a horrible tragedy. My heart and prayers go out to the victim's family. My son and I drove by this just moments after it happened; the police weren't even there yet. I had no idea he died until I saw this article. I can't imagine the pain his family is suffering. I wish there was something we could do for them. Rest in peace.
Zak Koeske March 17, 2013 at 01:20 PM
@Sandy - The victim was still alive last the police heard. He went into emergency surgery last night after the accident and they're waiting on an update. The Fatal Accident Investigation Unit investigates accidents that involve not only deaths but also serious injuries, as was the case in this instance.
kristine March 17, 2013 at 01:39 PM
Crossing River rd any where is insane but River and Hopper and River and Berdan is exceptionally bad... something needs to be done, to many pedestrians get injured or killed here. ....
getswabbed March 17, 2013 at 01:48 PM
prayers for all involved.
Michelle Rowe March 17, 2013 at 02:51 PM
The problem is two-fold; you have people trying to cross the street wherever they feel like it on River Road, then you have cars that don't yield to pedestrians. Perhaps if some attempt were made to enforce the laws so people could actually cross safely at crosswalks, incidents like this wouldn't happen. Fair Lawn residents needs to be aware of all the cross walks and actually yield and obey the laws.
Deleted because of harassment March 17, 2013 at 04:14 PM
Crossing anywhere on River Road or Fair Lawn Ave., even at the crosswalk, is hazardous. Vehicles do not stop. Pedestrians often walk out in front of cars without looking, either. People will park and exit cars right into traffic, and, going to a store, not even bother to walk a few feet to a crosswalk, I have had people literally walk casually in front of my car, as if a car even at minimal speeds can stop instantly. And I've tried to cross in the crosswalk and been completely ignored by a stream of drivers; Last week, crossing to the post office, I was passed by a school bus that had plenty of time to see me - more than a half block - with cars in the opposite direction already stopped. The bus was followed by several cars who also ignored me. Try crossing in the designated crosswalks north of Fair Lawn Ave., on River Road, and NO ONE EVER STOPS, not at Bergen Ave., or on the other side of TD Bank where there is a crossing guard stationed in the morning for children walking to Westmoreland. They actually run over the pedestrian crossing warning signs, too.
SeenItAllTooOften March 17, 2013 at 04:20 PM
Policing is a minor portion of the issue. Drivers in Fair Lawn are impatient, discourteous and sometimes downright rude. Pedestrians too seem to have a aura of entitlement. . put the two together and you get a tragedy
Go Figure March 17, 2013 at 08:05 PM
I've crossed here before and it's a nightmare. Cars park too close to the intersection and then the oncoming cars can't see you. Perhaps a traffic light should be put here. I know that is a long drawn out process, but in the middle of busy business district it might help. Just a thought...
Joan March 18, 2013 at 01:44 AM
Many states such as Tennessee, Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania & California have major towns that put roadway speed bumps in their commercial districts with stores, mostly a short way before pedestrian crosswalks. It slows down the traffic and permits for a safer crossing. Many drivers learn to be more cautious as a result. Joan
SeenItAllTooOften March 18, 2013 at 12:26 PM
Jesus! traffic lights, speed bumps Whatever happened to Pedestrians paying utmost attention to their surroundings or vehicle operators using diligence as they drive up a busy street? The driver in this case was summonsed! WHY does the community have to endure the punishments of costs, and inconvenience for the sake of the lowest common denominator. Bottom line, PAY ATTENTION out there
Phil Kestenbaum March 18, 2013 at 12:47 PM
Policing would help but we are told that the police cannot devote resources. I used to work in Rahway and cars stop for pedestrians, because the police give alot of tickets on this. This is why many of us don't want to see more housing developments built in Fair LAwn. More apartments means even more cars on these crowded streets, will mean even more accidents.
JDBlackhawk March 18, 2013 at 01:06 PM
River Road is a horror show-the town better do something or this will keep happening. What is wrong in Fair Lawn, all I seem to read about is house breakins in broad daylight and pedestrians getting killed. Who is minding the store, anybody? This is what happens when over-development runs amuck-the town is not equipped or designed for all the townhouses and condos built in the last ten years-traffic accidents and house break-ins are only symptoms of this much larger problem. How sad.
Chris March 18, 2013 at 01:48 PM
First and foremost, my thoughts and prayers go out to this victim and his family. This is a rough time for all of them. They need all the prayer and support they can get. Although this particular incident was caused by a Fair Lawn resident, the Fair Lawn Ave/River Rd corridors are highly travelled thoroughfares used mainly by folks from OUTSIDE of our town during weekdays and on Saturdays. They’re used as a cut-through to get to RT 208, RT 17, RT 4, RT 20 etc.. I personally don’t care for one of the comments - “Drivers in Fair Lawn are impatient, discourteous and sometimes downright rude”. This problem is NOT exclusive to Fair Lawn! Although I love the idea of “speed bumps,” this is not realistic as they would create horrific traffic back-ups in our town during certain hours. Even “curb bump-outs” - although they help to some degree to slow down the traffic, these aren’t the answer. I’ve personally crossed River Rd by Bank of America and by the Post Office and almost became a hood ornament. On the flip side, I drive down River Road several times a month and I’m amazed at how people will just step out from between cars or throw their car doors open into oncoming traffic’ I’ve had this happen on Broadway as well. I don’t know what the answer is for pedestrian/vehicle traffic but something definitely needs to be done – especially in these highly travelled tight corridors.
Glen Van Olden March 18, 2013 at 02:09 PM
Pedestrians are often looking at their smart phones while walking and drivers are speeding about, dodging pot-holes. Not a good combination.
FLResident March 18, 2013 at 03:18 PM
A traffic light would help the pedestrians however the traffic on River Rd is already terrible adding another light would be even worse...it would be like Fair Lawn Ave between 208 & Plaza Rd. The crosswalks should be changed to be slightly raised & made with pavers like the ones that are along River Rd in between the street & sidewalks. Then put up pedestrian crossing signs before the crosswalk...maybe the signs could light up like the flashing stop signs at 12th & Berdan?
JDBlackhawk March 18, 2013 at 05:02 PM
There must be a way to alleviate the dangers being imposed on everyone who lives or does business here. Perhaps some brainstorming by area business owners and residents at next council meeting. Businesses will suffer if this road and others cannot be made safe for everyone.
reallyChris? March 18, 2013 at 05:05 PM
Really chris where are the " out of town drivers " when driving on River Rd. IN FAIR LAWN ?
Bergenbot March 18, 2013 at 05:26 PM
This is absolutely tragic. As a pedestrian who has been nearly hit at legit crosswalks throughout Radburn on several occasions, I am disgusted with the town's lackadaisical attitude towards pedestrian safety. Sure some pedestrians don't cross at crosswalks. In a way I understand this. How many times have I tried to cross at a well-marked crosswalk and had a driver literally GUNNING for me. It's sometimes safer to cross in between, amazingly. Fair Lawn's streets have become the Wild West and our police department is too busy catching drug dealers on Broadway or shoplifters at Shop-Rite to properly police the cell-phone yapping, texting, pedal-to-the-metal drivers who continue to put our safety at risk. I have resorted to wearing an ugly yet noticeable neon vest when I go walk to mass transit in this town. It's the only protection I have, since our police and local government sure as hell aren't doing anything to protect us.
Zak Koeske March 18, 2013 at 07:17 PM
The man who was struck on Saturday has succumbed to his injuries, police said. Here's the updated story: http://fairlawn-saddlebrook.patch.com/articles/pedestrian-struck-on-river-road-succumbs-to-injuries
reallyChris? March 18, 2013 at 07:17 PM
Hey BergenBot are you serious? Blaming the PD for catching drug dealers or thief's?!? The true blame goes to the Governing Body that laid off cops and forced the downsizing of the Dept. I understand there used to be a Dare program and Used to be a Traffic Unit....The problem is LESS cops = more problems.
Chris March 18, 2013 at 09:26 PM
First let me say that my heart goes out to the family that has now lost their son, brother, Uncle. Now, back to your simple mind. To a person with common sense – “out of town driver” usually refers to someone who does not live within the limits of the city or town being discussed. You’ve clearly shown your lack of common sense by making a moronic statement. Sadly, even the man who was hit and has since lost his life was from out of town. Maybe your focus should be more on the sadness of the story and condolences to the family instead of picking apart what people say. This will be my last comment back to you – not that you actually deserved a reply to begin with…
Igors Friend March 19, 2013 at 06:55 PM
Igor was a wonderful, kind and strong man. A true gem and amazing person. He left behind a wife of about five years and they recently celebrated their 10th anniversary together. Both have children from previous relationships. They are immigrants from Latvia and they both were US citizens. She cleans 2 houses a day 5 days a week. Igor painted houses and took such pride in his work. They were in the prime of their life enjoying a young grandchild. They live a humble but happy life. This is tragic. Please pray for her family. She is devastated and went back to work today already to keep her mind of the tragedy.
Anna March 23, 2013 at 12:33 PM
New York City has recently taken the word "Accident" out from their investigation unit and now calls it "Collision". These are not accidents but careless and reckless driving by drivers. She should be charged with a felony. That's the only way this kind of thing will stoop. My mother was killed 11 years ago in a similar fashion: hit by a driver while in the crosswalk, and didn't last 7 hours. The driver was charged with reckless endangerment, criminally negligent homicide and manslaugther. On top of which the vehicle wasn't fit to be driven. Only tough action by law enforcement will stop this.

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