A 25 year old bicyclist was fatally struck by a hit and run truck driver in NYC. Aurilla Lawrence was fatally hit by a gas tanker truck near the intersection of Broadway and Rodney Street in Williamsburg last Thursday night around 11:30 pm. The driver fled the scene of the accident and so far is still at large. Lawrence was a beloved member of the bike messengers community who nicknamed her “Aurilla Gorilla”.
Last Sunday around 200 bike messengers and street safety advocates organized a memorial ride on the streets of New York to commemorate the victim. Bicyclists met at Lenox Avenue in Harlem and rode their bikes South on Fifth Avenue toward Union Square. The Union Square Park is an area where Lawrence used to hang with fellow bike messengers in between deliveries. As a tribute to her, the bike-a-thon made a stop at the park and participants raised their bikes to her memory.
Then the 200 cyclists continued their way toward Brooklyn. They crossed the Williamsburg bridge to ultimately arrive at the location of the accident where a ghost bike and a makeshift memorial were installed. The participants gathered around the memorial and paid tribute to their beloved co-worker.
On March 4th the police announced that they had solid leads in regards to the truck driver who killed her but they haven’t announced any name so far. After the accident occurred the police were seen ticketing cyclists at the corner of Broadway and Marcy’s Avenue. It is a common pattern for the NYPD to crackdown on cyclists at accident locations. However, cyclists and their advocates find this practice very irritating and believe that police should concentrate more on reckless drivers rather than launching a ticket blitz against cyclists.
Fatal bicycle accidents were at a record low in 2018. However 2019 didn’t start as well. During the first 8 weeks of the year 8 people lost their life in bicycle accidents in New York City.