Myriam Pauta and her cousin Darwin Duque, 2, who was severely injured in the May 27 crash. (Photo: Myriam Pauta)

The attorney representing two of the victims in the deadly May 27 crash on Hudson Avenue—Joe Lalvay and his late wife Zoila Zhingri—says that Lalvay and members of his family are being “threatened” because they are bringing a $30 million lawsuit against the city, in which they allege the city created “a dangerous condition” that led to the death of Zhingri and injuries to three of her family members.

“It is actually unfortunate that some of the locals are now threatening my clients and making it seem that they are at fault for the injuries they sustained,” said Michael Levitz, of Shulman & Hill, PLLC.

When asked to elaborate, Levitz said the following:

Zoila Zhingri (Photo courtesy of Myriam Pauta)

“People are stopping them on the street saying, ‘How can you sue the city?’ Children and cousins are being told in school by other children that they have no right to sue the city and they are getting dirty looks by police officers. Things like this. Obviously, there has been a lot of media coverage of this accident, our position of negligent design was not mentioned or focused on until your article, so there may be a shock.”

Peekskill Chief of Police Eric Johansen said he had no comment on Levitz’s claims.

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The accident scene late afternoon on Saturday, May 27 (Photo: Kempter’s Fire Wire)

Shortly before 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 27, a car driven by Peekskill resident Maria Inga went out of control and crushed 69-year-old Zoila Zhingri to death, as she and three family members were walking on Hudson Avenue towards Washington Street.

Seventy one-year-old Jose Lalvay, Digna Lalvay Zhingri and her 2-year-old son, Darwin Duque, were taken from the accident scene to Westchester Medical Center. Duque, according to his cousin, Myriam Pauta, “won’t be the same little boy again.”

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