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Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf is a New York Plaintiff's personal injury law firm specializing in automobile accidents, construction accidents, medical malpractice, products liability, police misconduct and all types of New York personal injury litigation.

Articles Posted in Bicycle Accidents

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1 bicyclist, 15 pedestrians, 11 motorists and 3 passengers lost their life in crashes in New York City last May. That is a total of 30 fatalities. Since Vision Zero started in 2014, this is the first time that such a high number of traffic accident fatalities were recorded during a month of May.  Last year because of the Covid-19 lockdown, only 5 fatal crashes occurred in May and during the previous years respectively, 18, 13, 11, 18, 28, 25 and 15 people died in NYC traffic accidents in May 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013.  Since the beginning of  the Covid-19 crisis, the de Blasio administration seems to have given up on all the efforts deployed during Vision Zero and the recent traffic accident fatality numbers are similar to the numbers reported during the pre-Vision Zero era.

car-crash-deaths-New-york-May-2021
4,927 people were injured in crashes in New York last May compared to 2,437 during the Covid-19 lockdown in May 2020 and 5,554 in May 2019. The number of car accident injuries last May is a little bit lower than what it was during May 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.

traffic accident injuries nyc May 2020
While looking at fatalities by category of road users, pedestrians and motorists accounted for the majority of the fatalities last May. Bicyclist fatalities have been lower than usual and passenger fatalities remained somewhat stable.  It is the first time since 2013, before Vision Zero started, that road fatalities in New York City are above 25 for two months in a row.  Over the last 12 months, monthly traffic accident deaths in New York have been 5 times over 25. Even in 2013, before Vision Zero started, monthly auto accident deaths only went 4 times over 25 during the entire year.

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A 71 year old cyclist was fatally struck by a postal truck at the intersection of 86th Street and Central Park West in Manhattan, NYC.

Last Tuesday around 5:40 pm, Jeffrey Williamson, an avid cyclist, was commuting back from his work downtown to his house in the Upper West Side when a postal truck making a right turn from Central Park West onto the 86th Street traverse hit him. The cyclist, a marketing professional who was close to retirement, was in the bike lane when the truck struck him.

He was rushed to the hospital where he died a few hours later from body trauma. He leaves behind his wife, 68 year old Chris Brimer and two children.

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New bike lane will prevent collisions on Brooklyn Bridge The crowded overpass of the Brooklyn Bridge has led to multiple collisions and close calls between cyclists and pedestrians over the years. For a long time, the DOT has been studying options to remediate this problem.

A previous plan in 2016 was to widen the walkways on the top of the cars to give more space to pedestrians and cyclists but the DOT dropped the idea as they were not sure the cables would be able to support the extra weight.

Narrow two-way protected bike-lane

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accident sceneA cyclist was fatally struck by a car  in the Bronx, NYC, last Friday night. The accident occurred around 11:22 pm  on Southern Boulevard, near the ramp of the Bronx River Parkway, in the Bronx Park. According to the police, the driver who was speeding was attempting to pass the cyclist but there was not enough space to do so and he struck the back wheel of the cyclist. The victim whose name was not released by the police, flew onto the windshield of the car, a 2019 Mercedes Benz Sedan, and then landed on the street. He died at the scene of the accident from severe body and head trauma.  The driver of the Mercedes abandoned his car on the side of the Boulevard and ran away on foot. The police are still looking for him. (read more in the Gothamist)

Less than 24 hours later, also in the Bronx, a man riding a e-scooter died after being struck by an Amazon Prime delivery van. The accident occurred in front of 1230 E. Tremont Avenue,  a little bit before 7:30 pm. Both the van and the e-scooter were travelling in the same direction when the van struck the scooter. The victim who was not identified, died at the scene of the accident. The driver of the van stayed at the scene of the accident and was not charged by the police. (Read more in the NY Post). 

In Brooklyn, a couple who was heading to work on a moped, were struck by a dump truck on Rogers Avenue near Bergen Street in Crown Heights. 36 year old Jose Garcia Cruz was taking his girlfriend, 25 year old Kristina Walker, to work when the accident occurred. The circumstances of the accidents are not exactly clear. CBS News indicates that the truck rear ended the moped while the police told the NY Daily News that the driver lost control of the moped when he tried to pass the dump truck. In NYC, the police have a habit of protecting the motorists and blaming the victims. (read more in the NY Daily News)

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15 pedestrians, 8 motorists and 4 passengers died in car accidents in New York City during the month of April reaching a total of 27 traffic fatalities. This is the highest number of motor vehicle accident fatalities in NYC ever recorded during the month of April since Vision Zero started in 2014. The lowest number of traffic fatalities in April was recorded last year with 11 deaths as New York was observing a lockdown because of the Covid19 pandemic. Prior to the lockdown, 16 people died in crashes in New York in April 19 and respectively 12, 20, 14, 19, 21, 15 in April 18, 17, 16, 15, 14 and 13. Globally traffic fatalities in New York City remain on a declining trend. However recent numbers have more often been above the trend rather than below. (click on the graph for full size)

Car Accident fatalities NYC April 21

Peak in Pedestrian Deaths

Pedestrians accounted for more than half of the deaths with 15 fatalities while motorist deaths slightly decreased compared to a year ago but remained high with 8 fatalities. No bicycle accident fatalities were reported to the NYPD in April. Such a high number of pedestrian fatalities at a time when tourists have not even come back to the city and a high number of New Yorkers are still working from home is alarming.

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The-NYC-intersection-where-the-e-bike-fatally-struck-the-pedestrianA pedestrian died after being struck by a e-bike rider in New York City last Friday night. 54 year old Kelly William, a Queens real estate professional, was taking a walk with a friend in her neighborhood. The young woman and her friend were in the crosswalk  at the intersection of 21st Avenue and 31st Street in Astoria when a delivery man on a e-bike struck Kelly.

The pedestrian died from head injuries

She fell on the ground and suffered serious head injury.  According to her mother, her skull was fractured at several locations. She was rushed to the hospital where she succumbed to her injuries the following day. Kelly’s family was devastated by the accident. Her 78 year old mother told the NY Daily News that her daughter was a very energetic and lovely person who left her corporates career to create her own brokerage company, Kelly NYC LLC.

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location of the fatal pedestrian and e-bike collisionA pedestrian died from his injuries after being struck by an e-bike in NYC. The accident took place on the Upper West Side in Manhattan. 71 year old Hing Chung, the manager of the Dim Sum restaurant Jing Fong, stepped on the bike lane between two cars and was hit by a 39 year old cyclist travelling North on the bike lane. The accident occurred a few steps away from his restaurant. The e-bike rider stayed at the scene of the accident and was not charged.

Hing Chung was hospitalized and later on died from his injuries at the hospital. The restaurant manager immigrated from Hong Kong more than 30 years ago and was a friendly and funny man who was loved by his clients and employees. (read more in the Gothamist)

3 fatal collisions between pedestrians and e-bikes in NYC since 2014

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1,393 pedestrians, 695 bicyclists, 2,564 passengers and 4,332 motorists were injured in car accidents in NYC during the first 3 months of the year compared to respectively 2,206, 715, 3,306 and 5,032 during the same period a year earlier. After a peak in the first quarter of 2019 the number of  injuries sustained in crashes in the city declined in 2020 and reached a record low in 2021.

car accident injuries NYC Q1 2021
New York car accident fatalities followed the same trend. 22 pedestrians, 1 cyclist, 5 passengers and 10 motorists lost their life in traffic accidents in New York during the first quarter of 2021 compared to respectively 26, 1, 4 and 10 during the first 3 months of 2020.

New York car accident fatalities Q1 2021
In a city that has not yet returned to its usual level of activity, it make sense that less people would be injured or killed in crashes.

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Ghost bike showing locations of previous NYC deadly bicycle accidentsA cruel and reckless driver  blows a stop sign, hits a cyclist critically injuring him, drives away, comes back, takes a look at the cyclist, gets back in his car and speeds away.

The accident occurred at night last week in the Bronx. A 46 year-old cyclist was riding his bike through the intersection of Dudley and Edison Avenues in Pelham Bay when a driver blew the stop sign and slammed into him.  A video surveillance first shows the driver taking off.  He then returned to the scene of the accident, took a look at the victim who was suffering critical injury and took off again. The victim was found by EMS and rushed to the hospital. (Read more in the Daily News)

Bicycle accidents injuries in the Bronx have been on the rise during this period of the year compared to the same period last year.  According to the most recent NYPD traffic statistics, 17 people were injured in bicycle accidents in the Bronx during the week of April 5 to April 11 compared to 2 during the same week a year earlier.  Last years numbers were much lower because the city was observing the Covid19 lock-down and the streets were mostly empty. The same can be said when looking at statistics on a 4 week basis. 54 people were injured in Bronx bicycle accidents between March 14 and April 11 2021 compared to 20 for the same period a year earlier.

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Bike lane in front of Flor de Mayo restaurantCyclists travelling at a high rate of  speed in bike lanes crossing outdoor dining areas  in New York City are putting restaurant staff and clients at danger and a restaurant owner who tried to put speed bumps on the bike lane had the DOT remove them shortly after.

After an e-bike rider almost hit a child in front of his restaurant, Jose Chu, the owner of Flor de Mayo bought two plastic speed bumps and installed them in front of his restaurant.  Flor de Mayo is located in the Upper West Side on Amsterdam Avenue between 83rd and 84th Streets. Cyclists and e-bikes are constantly zipping through the popular bike lane with e-bikes often going 20 miles an hour near the restaurant sheds. While Shu  says speedy cyclists “are an accident waiting to happen'”,  Upper West Side cyclists were pretty quick at denouncing the speed bumps on social media and calling them “an accident waiting to happen”. A  cyclist tweeted a pic of the new bumps and mentioned that  her bike severely jolted as she rode over them. Bike advocates followed up on the tweet asking officials to remove them and the DOT got quickly involved. 24h later, a  NYC Department of Transportation employee showed up at the restaurant front door and asked Chu to remove the speed bumps. The employee mentioned that the speed bumps were illegal and caused a hazard to cyclists. He told Chu that restaurants had to use signs asking cyclists to slow down.

When interviewed by the West Side Rag, Chu said he already has signs but cyclists simply ignored them. That is why he tried a new tactic. He said he tried to go over the speed bumps with a bike and it was fine  as long as he was going slowly.