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Police: Fort Lee disabilities advocate, 64, pinned on scooter after going wrong way

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo

A 64-year-old Fort Lee woman known in town for her advocacy efforts on behalf of those with disabilities struck and pinned in her wheelchair last night by a sedan driven by a 70-year-old motorist, sending her to the hospital with serious injuries, police said this afternoon.

Barbara Lebow, who for years has advocated for greater accessibility and compliance with ADA regulations, was “on the wrong side of the driveway” heading out of the A&P Supermarket parking lot on Lemoine Avenue when she was struck by a 2012 Buick Lacrosse driven by Frank S. Davis of Englewood CliffsFort Lee Police Chief Keith Bendul said.

Patrol officers and detectives responded, along with Fort Lee firefighters and ambulance crew members, as well as Port Authority Police, Bendul said.

The emergency workers lifted the vehicle off Lebow, who was taken Hackensack University Medical Center, the chief said.

The northbound lanes of Lemoine Avenue were closed until 1:30 this morning while the crash was investigated by Fort Lee police and the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Fatal Accident Investigation Unit.

Bendul said police were able to speak with Lebow, as well as Davis.

No charges had been filed of this afternoon in what the chief said is an ongoing investigation.

Lebow, who has both lymphedema and arthritis and lives on nearby Bridge Plaza North, is known for moving around the bridge area in her scooter and black plastic helmet.

She has often pointed out what she called “troubled spots” to town officials, leading to what she said was a warning two years ago from an officer who found her headed against traffic in the street on Lemoine Avenue, very close to where she was struck last night.

“My goal is to make it easier for everybody,” Lebow told at the time. “I would like to see corner-appropriate corner cutouts that aren’t going to put anyone in danger and get them off the sidewalk.”

She also said there were “a number of stores you can’t get into. [The scooter] doesn’t jump. It won’t go up a flight of steps.”

Lebow has attended various Mayor and Council meetings in town – as well as to the Port Authority, which has jurisdiction over most of the area she travels — as part of her advocacy efforts.

She most previously worked from home as the director of sales and marketing for a firm that sells restaurant equipment and supplies, according to Patch.

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