16-Year-Old Brooklyn Cyclist Killed in Saturday Evening Crash

06/06/2011 3:02 PM |

The site of the accident at 62nd Street and 21s Avenue in which Aileen Chen, 16, lost her life.
  • The site of the accident at 62nd Street and 21s Avenue in which Aileen Chen, 16, lost her life.

Shortly after 6pm on Saturday evening, as Aileen Chen pedaled north along 21st Avenue in Mapleton, she was fatally struck by a BMW at the intersection of 62nd Street—after running a red light, according to the NYPD. The Stuyvesant sophomore was taken to Lutheran Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.

The unidentified 29-year-old driver of the white BMW that struck her remained at the scene, and according to the Post will not face charges.

Chen’s cousin Dila Szeto told Gothamist that when her family went to identify the body:

They couldn’t recognize her face at all. It was totally swollen. Her clothes were all bloody and thrown away. The only thing we have left of her is her iPod and her watch.

Counting the cyclist killed on Fort Hamilton Parkway a month ago, and the 4-year-old killed on his tricycle in South Williamsburg in mid-May, this makes three bike deaths within a month. And with summer around the corner that rate is only likely to increase as more cyclists get their bikes out of hibernation and drivers get more irritable (which, anecdotally, really does seem to happen in summertime).

3 Comment

  • it’s so sad to hear this happen but both drivers and bikers have to start taking responsibility for their actions. A lot of people blame drivers, but you can’t expect a car to stop in time whether they’re going 10mph or 30mph. From what I’ve seen and being a driver myself; bikers tend to disobey the rules time and time again. They continue to ride against the flow of traffic and run red lights. Many not do not wear any protective gear and they sway into the streets way too often. I get that it’s hard to see if there’s a car behind them but when ever they turn their heads to see they tend to sway towards the cars behind them. I think there should be stricter laws for cyclists. Or at least better enforced. For cyclists they should have protective gear and mirrors attached to their handles. They should always go with the flow of traffic as well. It’s hard to bike on the streets of Brooklyn because many streets lack a bike lane. Many of the laws already input aren’t enforced. People should stop complaining it’s hard to make things safe for both bikers and cars. It’s just sad to hear about these accidents happening when you know if both the driver and biker did things differently, these situations could be avoided.

  • Yes,bikes do swey in traffic when they look back.That why you should give them at least 3 feet from the left an not try to pass a bike if there is 3 inches between his handlebar an you.Just share the road-follow the bike until you may pass it safely same way as you would pass a car.And mirror on handlebar will be smashed first day by passing car-it will just increase chances to be sideswipped.I installed one and took it off next day.
    There is not much choice for biker than to hope that driver behind is not an idiot and understands-if there is standing car in front biker will need to pass it and “sway” into traffic.
    I switched from everyday car commute to bike most of the weekdays and can tell you that most bikers (if) not obeying the rules are not ignorant-just trying to survive.

  • What protective gear would you suggest to prevent a 3000 lb. vehicle from injuring a human being? A bicycle helmet is just going to leave a pretty(er) head, it wasn’t made to protect from that much energy. Most cyclists die from massive blunt-force trauma even when they have head injury because they didn’t wear a helmet. It doesn’t matter if you’re wearing a helmet when you’re hit by a motor vehicle, even motorcycle helmets aren’t made for that kind of impact.