UPDATED: IT’S FIFTEEN NOW: Woman Cyclist Killed in Bushwick
Updated | A cyclist was killed by a cement truck in Bushwick on Monday at around 12:20 p.m., police said.
According to updated information from police, 29-year-old Devra Freelander was riding northbound on Bushwick Avenue when she was struck by the 70-year-old driver of a 2017 Mack cement truck that had been traveling eastbound on Boerum Street. EMS said Freelander died at the scene.
Other information was not available, police said. The investigation is ongoing. A video obtained by Streetsblog suggested that the truck driver had the light — but also showed the truck driver moving at a fast speed.
The Daily News identified the driver as Alan Vega of the company, United Transit Mix, which is near the crash scene. The company’s owner Tony Mastronardi told the paper that he blamed the cyclist — and all cyclists, apparently.
“Too many bikes, too many bikes on the road,” said Mastronardi.
It is unclear why a cement truck was on Boerum Street in the first place. The roadway is not labeled as a truck route on city maps. Locals told the Daily News that trucks are often speeding in the residential area.
The 90th Precinct does a very poor job of enforcing truck route violations, which is a particular problem in the neighborhood because the eastern part of the precinct is largely industrial.
Yet through May this year, 90th Precinct cops wrote just five tickets to truckers operating outside their legal routes, according to NYPD statistics. Exactly zero tickets were written in all of May.
In 2018, the precinct seemed to be a bit more aggressive, writing 101 truck route violation tickets between January and October, stats show.
Monday’s victim is the 15th cyclist to die on the roads this year, up from 10 all of last year.
Transportation Alternatives’ Interim co-Executive Director Marco Conner said the latest cyclist death — the third in a week — shows that “Vision Zero is in a state of emergency and Mayor de Blasio is in denial about his signature program faltering under his neglect.”
Conner said that the mayor’s signature street safety initiative has shown promise — but “today we are in a crisis.” His group demanded that de Blasio “immediately task DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg with creating an emergency response plan worthy of this crisis that can be implemented as soon as possible.” If not, the City Council should pass a “Vision Zero State of Emergency Omnibus Bill to protect walking and biking New Yorkers.”
This story was updated at 3:50 p.m. and will be updated when more information comes in.