Gonpo Dorjee, 16-year-old nephew of popular Tibetan singer Yungchen Lhamo, is now at the Bellevue Hospital Center in Manhattan, New York after a red Jeep Cherokee with Florida license plates collided with a silver Honda Civic at a traffic light on Queens Boulevard and 47th Street near his home in Sunnyside Queens. The police say the driver of the red Jeep Cherokee, who has yet to be detained, caused the accident and sped away from the scene. The collision sent the Honda over the curb and into a pole, striking Gonpo, his mother Nyiga Tenzin Nordon and two other pedestrians before they ever got a chance to cross the dangerous traffic way, dubbed the Boulevard of Death years ago when it had become a perilous place for pedestrians, though the New York City Department of Transportation reports pedestrian deaths have significantly decreased over the past two years with only four deaths down from an average of 10 per year as of the year 2000.
Gonpo, a native of Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, had been in New York less than two weeks after being away from his family at a boarding school in India for almost two years when he and his mother went for a walk on that morning of June 8 he has been in the hospital ever since. With his right leg crushed below the knee he is unable to walk and awaits both plastic and orthopedic surgeries scheduled for next week.
In addition to worrying about her son’s condition, spending every day by his side at his hospital bed, Ms. Nordon troubles over the hospital bills and health insurance. She said she is unsure, since her son just arrived in New York in May, if her health insurance will cover his medical bills. Plans are in the works for a benefit concert on Gonpo’s behalf.