NBC 4 New York
An off-duty police officer died this morning when her car slammed into a store on the Long Island City side. Roseanne Colletti reports.
An off-duty NYPD officer was killed early Tuesday when she drove into a barrier and flipped her car as she came off a Queensboro Bridge exit ramp where several other cars have crashed before.
Elisa Toro, 36, was driving a 2004 Ford Focus shortly before 2 a.m. when she hit the guard rail, then a cement barrier, and flipped the car.
The car hit a storefront at Crescent Street and Queens Plaza South, at the end of the exit ramp where several other cars have crashed in recent years.
"We're lucky it never happens to our store," said Christina Hrestha, a clerk who works next door to the building that was hit by the car. "It's always next door, and we're just wondering why."
The Queens Plaza ramp was redone in 2011 as part of the Queens Plaza Pedestrian and Bicycle Improvement Project, but it hasn't seemed to stop cars from flipping over. State Sen. Michael Gianaris says he and others have urged the Department of Transportation to redesign the ramp, with no results.
"In just three weeks there will be a new DOT, so maybe we'll have better luck with the new administration in getting some attention to this problem before someone else dies here," he said.
Doug Korman, a contractor who was picking up scrap metal from the demolished storefront at Queens Plaza, said, "This is like at a speedway, where race cars can roll off into the people. You obviously have to put a large fence here, with bars."
--Roseanne Colletti contributed to this report.