Marilyn Dershowitz, Sister of Famous Lawyer, Killed While Cycling in Chelsea

07/05/2011 8:57 AM |

Entrance to the West 29th Street mail tunel where Marilyn Dershowitz was fatally struck.

  • Entrance to the West 29th Street mail tunel where Marilyn Dershowitz was fatally struck.

On Saturday afternoon Marilyn Dershowitz, 68, sister-in-law of the famous Brooklyn-born litigator Alan Dershowitz, was killed while riding her bicycle on West 29th Street near Ninth Avenue in Chelsea. The block in question (pictured) is a covered, tunnel-like passage lined with postal trucks and fed by various access ramps to the surrounding mail sorting plant. DNAinfo reports that the driver of the seven-ton postal truck that hit her was unaware of the collision until he was tracked down by authorities, though he isn’t expected to face charges, according to the Post.

Marilyn Dershowitz and her husband Nathan were riding westbound on West 29th Street around noon Saturday. According to Nathan, two vehicles—a car and the mail truck—were alongside one another driving down the wide one-lane street, and as the roadway narrowed and the 24-year veteran mail truck driver Ian Clement maneuvered to avoid the other vehicle on his left he hit Dershowitz on his right. A police source told DNAinfo: “He heard a thump, but he thought he hit a bump or a crate. At one point, he thought the car hit him.”

While the NYPD doesn’t expect Clement to face charges, Nathan Dershowitz told the Post: “You cannot crash into a person on a bike and keep going.” Marilyn Dershowitz was a lawyer and a retired Manhattan Supreme Court referee.


2 Comment

  • This is a tragic accident. However, as a seasoned New York cyclist, I have to challenge the judgment of riding on that block…ever. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should and the better part of caution dictates going up or down a block or two to use a route with better visibility and more suited to safe cycling. Coming into a dark tunnel from bright sunshine is reason enough. Heavily trafficked by big trucks. A street just wide enough for New York drivers to make it a two-lane situation. Etc., etc.

    Again, tragic. But, just not too smart.

    You can

  • As a lifelong New Yorker and Cyclist I rode that block every day for years as part of my daily commute home. It is one of the few streets that goes through to the West Side Highway with a light and crosswalk that allows you cross over to the bike path, on West St. The cars speeding on that block going to the Tunnel and 9 th. ave in addition to Postal trucks of all sizes, turning into the main processing center in the city, make that a dangerous block. But that doesn’t absolve the drivers of any responsibility of sharing the road with other vehicles including bicycles. I go fast through that block but like Mrs. Dershowitz would be at the mercy of a truck bearing down on me.
    My heart goes out to the family of Mrs. Dershowitz who epitomized the admirable ideal of lifelong cycling.
    Greg Atlas