Recent news reports describe two hit-and-runs in New York City in the last few months, one of which killed a cyclist in the Bronx. According to StreetsBlog, the cyclist was on Southern Boulevard in Bronx Park when he was hit by the driver of a Mercedez Benz apparently attempting to overtake him “at an apparent high rate of speed” near the Bronx River Parkway on-ramp around 11:20pm last Friday. StreetsBlog reports that the driver struck the cyclist from behind, “sending him flying backwards, first into the windshield of the Benz, and then onto the pavement.”
The cyclist died at the scene of the collision, after “severe trauma to his head and body, per StreetsBlog.” The driver reportedly parked his Mercedez Bens and “fled on foot,” having yet to be apprehended by police. As StreetsBlog notes, there is a protected bike lane on Southern Boulevard, and it’s unknown whether the cyclist “missed the turn” onto it or chose to stay on the road “during a low-traffic period.” he is reportedly “the sixth cyclist to die in the city” in 2021.
Another, nonfatal hit-and-run took place in Flushing, Queens in May. According to StreetsBlog, a pedestrian was walking near Queens’s 103rd police precinct office “when a driver smashed right into him, roughing him up and spraining his ankle.” The pedestrian told StreetsBlog that he was turning outside of a marked crosswalk “which was blocked by at least three police cars” that were parked illegally when the driver, “whose line of sight was also blocked by the illegally parked cars,” hit the man while trying to turn onto the street. The pedestrian noted that the car was not a police squad car, but that the driver fleed the scene. He additionally told StreetsBlog that when he went to the precinct to report the incident, police there “reflexively defended the unidentified driver, and didn’t even know that there was a crosswalk right outside the station house,” and that they said he was at fault for walking outside the crosswalk.
When a police officer at the station found a surveillance video that captured the incident as the pedestrian described it, the officer reportedly “refused to give [it] to him, telling him to file a Freedom of Information request.” A police report later obtained by the pedestrian “blamed him” as well. StreetsBlog notes that the New York Police Department has repeatedly blamed car crashes on the victims, for instance after the 2019 death of a worker riding an e-bike in Gowanus “when he was run over and killed by a private sanitation truck driver.” In that incident, the police initially blamed the incident on the driver, asserting he was riding on the sidewalk; they eventually “secretly amended” their official report to disclose both that he was in the street and that he had a green light.
More information on recent car crashes in New York City is available via StreetsBlog.
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