Biking into the city yesterday evening, over the Williamsburg Bridge and onto Delancey Street around 5:40pm, I came across a huge number emergency vehicles—NYPD, FDNY, at least one ambulance—just past the intersection with Chrystie Street, right outside Bowery Ballroom. I rode up to Rivington to avoid the blockade, only to get home later and find out that minutes before I passed the intersection 52-year-old Cobble Hill resident Jeffrey Axelrod was killed by a cement truck while turning his bicycle from Chrystie onto Delancey.
Jose Martinez, a cyclist who was stopped at the intersection as Axelrod passed him turning right from Chrystie’s southbound lane onto the westbound side of Delancey, told DNAinfo that Axelrod became pinned between the cement truck and a parked car then began to shake and fell between the truck’s rear wheels. Axelrod was pronounced dead at the scene—Bowery Boogie has a particularly gruesome photo of the accident’s aftermath.
As Gothamist points out, the latest in a summer spike in bike fatalities took place mere feet from a ghost bike commemorating the death of Rasha Shamoon just over three years ago near the intersection of Delancey and Bowery. After the accident, Manhattan borough president Scott Stringer tweeted: “Reports of another cyclist struck dead on Delancey St by cement truck. No more waiting: DOT must fix this dangerous mess and save lives now.” That’s what we keep saying!
Both the truck and Axelrod had turned right onto Delancey from Chrystie, although the cyclist—who was wearing a helmet—did so after the light had turned red. He apparently lost control of his bike, and witnesses told DNAinfo that his bike chain had come off. The truck driver didn’t see the accident, but remained at the scene, and will not be charged.