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Snow Banks Posing Yet Another Hazard After Winter Storms

GARDEN CITY, N.Y. (CBS 2) -- At least one big hazard lingers in the Tri-State after the winter storms have departed – towering piles of snow that can hamper a driver's view.

A seven-year-old girl was critically injured on Sunday on Long Island, and her mother was hospitalized as well, when a driver plowed into them. He told authorities that he couldn't see them around a snow bank.

For many areas, there was no place for plows to put the snow but up, reports CBS 2's Jennifer McLogan.

Walking in the street, with no shoveled sidewalks, Locust Valley resident Scott Verni said he was nearly run over on Thursday.

"A car just came right up, I couldn't see," Verni said. "If you slip on black ice when a car passes by? Not a good thing."

Danger seemed to be lurking around every snow bank in Nassau County, with mounds piled as much as 15 feet high along suburban streets. With the frigid temperatures even after the snowfall had abated, nothing was melting.

Cars nose out into intersections, some recklessly, because of the lowered visibility.

Rachelle Vitucci, of Lindenhurst, said she worries about liability.

"You inch up and your car is halfway in the intersection, and if a car's coming down, going too fast, you're going to get hit," she said. "Whose fault is it going to be? Not the county's, not the city."

Jim McGowan, of Manorville, said even his toddler son was fearful as they walked into a toy store.

"It's a constant fear. Some people don't drive as safe as they should," McGowan said. "It's definitely a danger. I mean, it's kind of tough to navigate through a parking lot with mounds of snow."

Police say some drivers are stopping short, while others cavalierly maneuver at speeds too high, when vision is obscured, posing a real risk to pedestrians.

Even pulling out of driveways can be dangerous, with blind spots on all sides. The hazardous scenario played out in front of Smithtown resident Charyl Venditto.

"They're coming right out into oncoming traffic," she said. "You have to stop, because they can't see because of the snow mounds. It's bad."

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