24 Year-Old Brooklyn Artist Killed While Cycling in Williamsburg

09/06/2011 9:08 AM |

The intersection of Rodney Street and Borinquen Place where Nicola Djandji was fatally struck.

  • The intersection of Rodney Street and Borinquen Place where Nicola Djandji was fatally struck.

On Friday night around 8:30pm the Williamsburg-based Egyptian artist Nicolas Djandji was riding his bicycle eastbound on Borinquen Place and turning north onto Rodney Street when he was hit and dragged by a black Toyota SUV traveling west on Borinquen. He was taken to Woodhull Hospital, but died shortly thereafter.

According to accounts in the Daily News and the Post, Djandji was riding on a black racing bike, following a friend, when he ran the red light on Borinquen and turned into the intersection. The driver of the Toyota—who remained at the scene and won’t be charged—was traveling in the opposite direction on Borinquen at the time of the collision according to the Post. As that intersection has no left turn signals she must also have been passing through it after the light had turned red.

Djandji’s death marks not only the tenth cyclist fatality of the year, but also the fifth in the past month.


7 Comment

  • Good observation. If he ran the red light then so did she. Convenient that they neglect to mention that.

  • Djandji’s death marks O N L Y the tenth cyclist fatality of the year.
    A number…. That’s how the article concludes…
    I personnally knew Nic and am a friend of the family. No need to tell you how they are all devastated. His mom, his dad, his two brothers, his uncle, his aunt…and the rest of the family. Their whole life has completely changed in a fraction of a second. We are all so so sad for this great loss. His grandmother, who’s 85 was expecting him for a visit here in Montreal in the next few weeks. God knows how she will react when she will learn. So nice, well educated, sensitive lady who lives mainly for her children and her grand’children…we hope her heart will resist this huge shock. We hope but doubt it.
    So many people are affected by this accident. From Egypt where Nic was born, to Dubai where his parents just moved three weeks ago, to Houston where he grew up, to Brooklyn where he lived and worked, to Australia, to Europe, to Montreal… So many people are mourning this young man full of life, whose smile was so contagious and who always had a nice word for everyone.
    Same probably for all the other lives lost. Each one is a tragedy. Yes this is an accident but according to what I read it doesn’t look safe to bike in Brooklyn or in NY. We are in 2011 and with all the top-notch technolgy we have, to die like this is a non-sense. The authorities MUST implement very tight rules to avoid other tragedies. Maybe they should go to places like Amsterdam or other cities and learn how a bike can safely share the roads with cars. No red-light excuses. Both were in fault and, when in a car, the result is certainly more dangerous than for a bike. Finally, please.. please don’t ever mention the outcomes of these tragedies as numbers. This is so insulting.

  • Hani,

    This is actually a typo, and an unfortunate one at that — the sentence was supposed to read “not only the tenth cyclist fatality of the year, but also the fifth in the past month,” in order to convey just how big a problem this has become, especially of late.

    We certainly don’t intend to reduce your friend’s death to a statistic, and we *certainly* don’t mean to downplay the plight of cyclists in Brooklyn. If you’ll take a moment to do a search on the site, you’l see that we’ve written extensively about it over the past year or so, and that it’s a subject that we all care about — especially Ben Sutton, a dedicated cyclist himself.

    Our sincerest condolences and apologies.

    Mike Conklin
    Managing Editor

  • Mike,
    Thank you for correcting it. It does make much more sense now.
    I appreciate the follow-up. It shows the professionalism of your journal.

    Best regards,

  • Is there an ongoing investigation of this crash by the NYPD? I assume that this road has a 30mph speed limit. Any idea how fast the car was going?

  • One possibility presented by a commenter on gothamist

    “No, there is a delayed green from the direction the cyclist was coming, it’s possible for the eastbound lane to have a red and the westbound lane to have a green at the same time. I’m the only cyclist that ever stops at this light when I’m on this street. Most people blow through it without looking which is insane because cars come down Rodney at 50 mph. The fact that there’s a delayed green for the eastbound lane doesn’t really make any sense at all though. “

  • This was confirmed by moocow on the Streetsblog forum, who went to the location to check the light firsthand. It is indeed possible for the eastbound cyclist to have a red light while the westbound traffic has a green light.