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Businesses sue over 3 accidents

April 23, 2012 3:24:56 PM PDT
Along Queens Plaza South in Long Island City, right at the base of the 59 Street Bridge exit ramp, a boarded-up building front now stands where two thriving businesses once operated.

Both were casualties of a series of unfortunate car crashes.

"We never got to open back. We were repairing and like two weeks after, the next one happened," restaurant owner Tony Espinal said.

Espinal, who also owns Champion Bar and Grill on Northern Boulevard, ran a Caribbean restaurant on that ill-fated corner for 4 years until a Volkswagen smashed thru the front window of his place and the hair salon next door.

Nine days later a second Volkswagen followed the identical destructive path. The drivers apparently failed to make the sharp curve off the bridge's outer exit ramp.

Believe it or not, after the first two crashes here, there was a third, but the scaffolding kept the vehicle from actually hitting the business.

Although barriers, additional signs and even a caution light are now in place at the base of that ramp, the business owners have filed suit against several parties, including the city and the department of transportation, citing in part the negligent design of the traffic pattern.

Espinal insists he's not trying to get rich. He just wants the money to re-open his restaurant.

"it's been a year now and they're still fixing it. They haven't been able to re-open the building. As soon as they re-open the building we plan to go back in there," he said.

A decision he hopes will be lucrative, but also less dangerous.

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