Jean Chambers
61 years old

John Chambers recalls that two unexpected events occurred on the night of his 27th birthday. The first was a surprise party at his apartment in Greenwich Village. The second was meeting his future wife, Jean Duffy, who came to the party with a friend. “That was 1982,” John said. “And we were together since that night.”

The couple married two years later and moved to an apartment on the Upper West Side. John said the stability of community kept them in the neighborhood for over 30 years.

Jean worked as a commercial artist and contributed to publications such as The New York Times and Good Housekeeping. But she also found time to volunteer as a Sunday school teacher and as a member of the choir at St. Michael’s Church on W 99th Street. Most mornings, Jean walked the family dogs, Pickle and Brody, in Riverside Park, and often stopped to chat with neighbors.

The Upper West Side was also where Jean and John Chambers raised their daughter, Maria, whom they adopted in 1996. Maria is now a freshman at Curry College in Massachusetts. “Jean was looking forward to seeing her success at college,” said John, “And we looked forward to spending more time together.”

This collision happened on July 10, 2014 near 95th Street and West End Avenue in Manhattan. See details in the Mean Streets Tracker.

Mean Streets 2014: Who We Lost, How They Lived

Throughout 2014, WNYC tracked the 265 men, women and children killed in traffic crashes in New York City. In addition to reporting the circumstances of their deaths, we looked at who they were in life: mothers, fathers, grandparents, students, recent immigrants and native New Yorkers. To read some of their stories, click on a photograph.