Bushwick Cyclist Killed While Passing Slow-Moving Truck

08/03/2011 1:50 PM |

The intersection of Gardner and Metropolitan avenues in Bushwick, where a cyclist was killed on Monday morning.
  • The intersection of Gardner and Metropolitan avenues in Bushwick, where a cyclist was killed on Monday morning.

On Monday morning a 29-year-old cyclist riding along Metropolitan Avenue in Bushwick went to pass a slow-moving delivery truck at the intersection of Gardner Avenue, only to be clipped by the the vehicle’s front bumper and run over by it as the driver made a right turn. The cyclist—whose helmet wasn’t sufficient to keep his head from being crushed—was pronounced dead at the scene, and police have prematurely assigned blame to the deceased and as yet unnamed cyclist.

The truck driver didn’t even notice the collision, and stayed at the scene after being flagged down by another delivery truck driver who saw the accident. That witness told the Daily News: “I stopped the guy… I said, ‘You hit the guy.’ He said, ‘What guy?’ He looked in the mirror and said, ‘Oh my God.'” The driver was eventually taken to Wyckoff Heights Medical Center to be treated for elevated blood pressure and a panic attack. He won’t be charged.

Meanwhile, an NYPD source tells the Daily News:

The bicyclist was at fault… He should have seen the driver was about to turn. The bicyclist tried to rush by and you can’t do that. The driver had to be going about 5 m.p.h.

At no point is it mentioned how exactly the cyclist should have known that the driver was turning—was he indicating a turn? Shouldn’t the driver have checked his blind spot before turning? Is he not expected to see other vehicles in the road as well? Shouldn’t professional drivers be held to especially high standards of road safety? NYPD reviewed footage from a nearby business’s security camera and determined that the cyclist was at fault, though these crucial questions remain unanswered.

Along with Marilyn Dershowitz and Ray Deter, this marks the third cyclist death of the summer.

(Gothamist)

10 Comment

  • NAME THE SOURCE.

  • “Meanwhile, an NYPD source tells the Daily News.”

  • Technically, that’s not in Bushwick, it’s still East Williamsburg until Flushing Ave

  • @ D
    Hey, are you the same single-initial commenter who was arguing Bushwick purity over at the Best of Music? Because sure, Bushwick is technically in Community District 4, which is bounded by Flushing (and is where the street names change, obviously). But at this point it would seem that, overwhelmingly, conventional usage places, say, Roberta’s in Bushwick, not Williamsburg. You are, of course, within your rights to continue arguing otherwise, wherever the border wars appear…

  • Is anyone setting up a Ghost Bike for this tragedy?

  • Seriously? Listen up cyclists.. you’re a vehicle. In the same way that I’m not allowed to just barge past a vehicle (whether he is turning or not) – you’re required to follow the same rules. NYC cyclists are a bunch of morons, with 1 out of every 10 i see actually following the rules.

    Its sad that he died.. but nope… your assertions that every driver out there has to be mindful of some rogue, rule breaking cyclists safety is just plain wrong.

  • I’ve known this guy for 15 years. He was a very cautious cyclist and an amazing guy. I used to live in that neighborhood and can attest that these trucks don’t drive 5 mph and often don’t use turn signals. I’m also very careful and obey traffic laws and have had numerous close calls over there.
    This isn’t about attacking cyclists or drivers. This is a terrible way to go and unfortunately all the news I’ve seen about it lays blame on him which I seriously doubt is the situation and is typical in bicycle accidents involving vehicles. I feel bad for the driver that he has to live with this but don’t assume that everything you read sets the case in stone.

  • Never ever ride next to a moving truck or bus. Even if you are right, you may die. I’m very mousy and let all traffic pass before I ride on the street, but I can see how that is not practical for hardcore cyclists like couriers. Always be prepared to totally jump off your bike or scooter and run onto the curb. I ride a scooter.

  • I bike this route this area is extremely dangerous for several reasons:

    1) It is a key artery to get from Williamsburg/Downtown Manhattan to Bushwick/Ridgewood areas.

    2) When going to Ridgewood/Bushwick a bike path leads right up to the drawbridge but dead ends there and cars and trucks often move into the bike lane area right at the time it finishes causing extremely hazardous riding conditions. Note this is the opposite travel direction as this accident and is just an illustration of the route.

    3) Going from Ridgewood/Bushwick to Williamburg/Downtown Manhattan the bike lane starts right after the bridge and leads cyclists straight into Grand Street. Unfortunately the vast majority of the cars turn right onto Metropolitan cutting through the bike lane.

    4) It is an industrial warehouse area with a ton of commercial trucking.

    5) Its roads are industrial warehouse roads tons of bike destroying potholes, i cannot tell you how many flats i get here on my commute and i know these roads very very well.

    6) Motorists here generally have no regard for cyclists. The often force us to the right and dont allow us to ride in lane, however when they make left turns they dont check their right assuming since they are in the right lane they dont need to check their right mirror. I got hit along this route by a ford explorer who made a hard right turn and never saw me right next to her, luckily it was slow moving and she effectively just forced me off my bike to the right by turning into me.

    This is the second ghost bike in a 1.5 block radius here. Something will have to give. Some combination of the roads being repaired more often, traffic respecting a cyclists right to ride in the right lane, and/or the creation of a bike lane.

    Trust me this area is too dangerous even for a cyclist who follows all of the traffic laws to the t.

    My take on what happened, the cyclist assumed he had the right of way as he was to the right of the truck (while this may or may not have been true it is a dangerous assumption). The truck didn’t check the right rear view mirror before he turned. Tragedy ensued.

    I do fear for my life on this route but will continue to ride it as safely as i can.

  • Point number 6 should have read they make right turns not left turns, sorry.