Design of Roadway Blamed in Accident

Intersection of Sunrise Highway and Old Sunrise Highway. Image Credit: Google Maps

Motorcyclist was killed when he made contact with another vehicle, lost control, and skidded approximately 95 feet until he struck a guardrail. On a clear dry afternoon Vincent Iovine drove a motorcycle east on Sunrise Highway in Nassau County traveling at a speed of 62 miles per hour in a 45 mile per hour zone. At the same time, Guadalupe Carranca had stopped her car at a stop sign on Old Sunrise Highway. Carranca intended to turn right onto Sunrise Highway. As Carranca attempted to merge directly into the left-turn lane of Sunrise Highway, she crossed over three lanes of traffic and then over a solid white line. Before Carranca could successfully complete the merge, Iovine’s motorcycle collided into Carranca’s vehicle. Iovine lost control of the motorcycle, skidded about 95 feet, and made contact with a guardrail. Iovine died from the injuries.

Robin J. Iovine, the administrator of Vincent Iovine’s estate sued the State of New York. Iovine alleged that the State negligently designed the roadway where Vincent Iovine died.

At trial, Iovine presented testimony by a civil engineer that the merge from Old Sunrise Highway onto Sunrise Highway was unsafe. The engineer testified that the merge should have included warnings to discourage drivers from crossing three lanes of traffic and a solid white line. On September 10, 2014, Court of Claims Judge Stephen J. Lynch, ruled in favor of the motorcyclist, denied the State immunity, and found the State to be 33 percent at fault.

On appeal, the Appellate Division, Second Department, reversed and held that the State was protected by qualified immunity. The Appellate Court cited an Urbitran engineering study prior to the accident which had considered safety conditions, accident history, traffic volumes, and traffic control devices. In accordance with the Urbitran study, the State had concluded that no additional safety measures were necessary at the location. The Appellate Division ruled that the study and the State’s decision which was based on the study were sufficient to establish immunity from liability.


(CIT) Iovine v. State of New York, 85 N.Y.S.3d 520, (2d Dep’t 2018).


By: Caitlin Larke (Caitlin is a New York Law School Graduate, Class of 2019).


3 thoughts on “Design of Roadway Blamed in Accident

  1. listen your wrong who every wrote this and he wasnt going 62 miles hr because there was noone there to take the speed so idk wtf your talking about i know of two witness that it wasnt even close to that. so go fuck yourself talking shit about my family saying he was going 62 in a 45 more like 55 thats ten over.

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