Cops: Pedestrian Dies After Being Knocked Down by Hit-And-Run Cyclist

6th Avenue and West 23rd Street, where Collopy was struck by the cyclist. (Google Maps)
6th Avenue and West 23rd Street, where Collopy was struck by the cyclist. (Google Maps)

Update: Any preliminary information from the NYPD is highly suspect, based on a follow-up reported by Streetsblog after initial publication of this article.

A Harlem man has died from his injuries sustained in a crash caused by a hit-and-run cyclist — and the NYPD is searching for the suspect, police said on Wednesday night.

According to the NYPD, Michael Collopy, 60, was hit by a cyclist at about 11:53 a.m. on July 31 as he stood in the protected bike lane at Sixth Avenue and 23rd Street, a busy corner. The cyclist kept on pedaling.

Emergency responders took Collopy to Bellevue Hospital, where he died on Aug. 5. The NYPD said that the city’s medical examiner declared that Collopy’s death stemmed from the injuries sustained in the crash with the cyclist. [Update: That information from the NYPD is not accurate.]

Police offered little other information, including a description of the cyclist, more on Collopy’s injuries beyond “head trauma, or even if there is video that could help ascertain what happened.

The intersection where Collopy was killed was the same location where Robyn Hightman was struck and killed by a truck driver in June. Collopy is the second pedestrian killed by a cyclist this year, and the 62nd pedestrian killed overall in 2019.

Sixth Avenue and 23rd is a chaotic street, with four through lanes for cars and two turning bays for drivers looking to go east or west on 23rd Street. Six cyclists, 18 pedestrians and 15 drivers have been injured at the intersection since January, 2016.

The death of Michael Collopy is likely to spur a backlash from drivers and some media figures who complain that cyclists are “out of control” in the city — but very few pedestrians have been killed by cyclists, especially when compared to the carnage caused by automobile drivers.

Since 2012, the first full year when the Department of Transportation was required to collect such data, seven New York City pedestrians have been struck and killed by cyclists, compared to 1,008 killed by drivers.

On average, the pedestrian annual death toll by cyclists is less than one. But roughly 138 pedestrians are killed in the average year by cars in New York City.