Hit-and-Run Trucker Kills Cyclist in Harlem — 28th of the Year

A Google image of the crash scene — from the driver's perspective — clearly shows that the attempted turn was illegal. Photo: Google
A Google image of the crash scene — from the driver's perspective — clearly shows that the attempted turn was illegal. Photo: Google

A cyclist was fatally struck as he exited the Willis Avenue bike path by a dump truck driver making an illegal turn from the industrial area under the bridge early Saturday morning.

Police said the 25-year-old cyclist, whose name was not released as of Sunday night pending notification of his family, was heading southbound on the bridge bike path at around 2:30 a.m. when he was slammed by the driver of the dump truck, who was attempting to access the bridge by turning left from a service road parallel to the bridge — technically First Avenue — onto 125th Street and then onto the bridge itself.

Signs clearly indicate that the only legal turn from that service road is right onto 125th Street.

The truck driver fled into the Bronx, police said. The victim was taken to Harlem Hospital with severe body trauma. He died at the medical center.

Cops said they are seeking the vehicle, but did not give a description.

The cyclist is the 28th to die this year on New York City streets — up from 10 in all of last year.

After initial publication of this story, Transportation Alternatives put out the following statement:

Northern Manhattan lacks the proven life-saving infrastructure that other parts of Manhattan have received in recent years, including protected bike lanes.

This tragic death marks the 28th cyclist killed this year on Mayor de Blasio’s streets. Mayor, New Yorkers are dying on your watch and you have the power to save them. You must prioritize the lives of New Yorkers and act with the urgency that this crisis demands by prioritizing the Green Wave safety plan and Streets Master Plan.

We invite the mayor, elected officials, and all New Yorkers to join us, the United Nations, and cities around the world in commemorating victims of traffic violence at the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims on Sunday, Nov. 17 at noon, at Bowling Green in Manhattan.

The death also underscores the absurdity of Mayor de Blasio’s recent discussion about how mandatory helmet laws for cyclists may be “the right direction” — even though the National Transportation Safety Board recently found that better infrastructure such as protected bike lanes and slower speed limits are far more successful in eliminating crashes.

A national organization of city transportation officials said late Friday that a helmet laws requirement “flies in the face of best practice on bike safety.”

The cyclist who died on Saturday morning would not have been saved by a helmet in a collision with a 10,000-pound dump truck.

This is a breaking story that will be updated later.



One City, By Bike: Unlocking Uptown Cycling With the Harlem River Bridges

This is part four of a five-part series by former NYC DOT policy director Jon Orcutt about the de Blasio administration’s opportunities to expand and improve cycling in New York. Read part one, part two, and part three. Forging good cycling routes across the Harlem River represents a strong organizing principle for a multi-year program to deliver better cycling […]