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Hospitalized Homeless Man Improving After Hackensack Crash

Daniel Gallagher
Daniel Gallagher Photo Credit: SHELTER PHOTO COURTESY: Victor Sasson / MUGSHOT COURTESY: Bergen County Sheriff

HACKENSACK, N.J. — A hospitalized homeless man was doing better after being hit by a pickup truck near the Hackensack city shelter, sources said Thursday.

Daniel Gallagher, 57, had made it across both southbound lanes and one northbound lane toward the South River Street shelter -- narrowly missing being hit by another vehicle –when he was struck in the middle of the block around 6:15 p.m. Tuesday, surveillance video shows.

The pickup driver from New Milford, who was headed north in the right lane, “never saw him,” a responder said.

The city volunteer ambulance corps took Gallagher to Hackensack University Medical Center, where he was admitted to the trauma unit, said Capt. Brian Corcoran, commander of the police Traffic Bureau.

He remained there Thursday, his condition improving, after undergoing surgery, sources said.

Gallagher, who received a summons for jaywalking, has a brief criminal history.

Back in 2011, he was charged with burglary, theft and receiving stolen property in Bogota – after being arrested on similar charges in River Edge two years earlier, records show. Thirteen months ago, he was jailed for more than $4,000 worth of arrears before being released hours later.

He “wasn’t considered a risk at any shelter by any standard,” homeless advocate Paul Nickels said Thursday.

Three weeks ago, Gallagher was evicted from a group home on Spring Valley Avenue in Hackensack owned by the Alliance Against Homelessness (AAH) – apparently after a dispute over smoking, Nickels said.

Gallagher apparently could stay at the River Street shelter only during a “Code Blue” -- when the National Weather Service predicts temperatures at or below freezing with rain, snow or sleet, or below 25 degrees under any circumstance, or a wind chill of less than zero degrees for two hours or more – but could still have meals there, he told Daily Voice.

Nickels said he didn’t know why.

Records show Tuesday night’s low had reached 34 degrees at 6 p.m., minutes before Gallagher was struck.

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