Manhattan Pedestrian Killed by Revel Moped Rider

Photo: Revel
Photo: Revel

A Revel scooter operator ran down and killed an Upper West Side senior last month, police revealed on Wednesday.

According to the NYPD, Helga Schnitker, 82, was crossing W. 60th Street at the dangerous intersection with Broadway at around 7:30 a.m. on Sept. 29 when she was slammed into by the 23-year-old electric motorcycle rider, whose name was not released.

The crash knocked Schnitker down to the pavement, leaving her with head trauma. EMTs took her to Mt. Sinai Morningside Hospital where she died later that day, police only just now said.

The Revel operator remained at the scene and was not initially charged. A police spokesman did not say if the moped operator was speeding or ran a red light, saying only that the investigation is ongoing.

It’s the latest fatal crash involving a Revel machine — and it is believed to be the first since late July, when the moped company pulled all its e-motorbikes from the streets after three deaths, all of which involved operators or passengers on the Revel moped itself. CBS2 reporter Nina Kapur died while she was a passenger on a Revel on July 18. A few days later, Jeremy Malave died after he crashed his Revel into a light pole in Queens. A third man, Francis Nunez, had crashed a Revel on July 25, but did not die until Aug. 4.

At the time, Mayor de Blasio derided Revel as a “new technology” that had proven it could be safe (though the mayor dodged questions about why he was not similarly troubled by the old technology of cars, whose drivers kill hundreds every year and injure tens of thousands).

After a city-imposed suspension, Revel returned in late August with a new set of safety requirements for all of the company’s 360,000 subscribers.

reconciled numbers through oct 20 2020
Graphic: DOT

The death of Helga Schnitker is the latest fatality in a bloody, bloody year. Despite historic reductions in vehicle traffic in the city during the COVID-19 pandemic, 192 people have been killed thus far on New York City roadways this year, up from 176 during the same Jan. 1 to Oct. 20 period last year. The increase is almost entirely due to a rise in deaths of motor vehicle and motorcycle operators and passengers during the COVID era, when wide-open roadways encouraged many drivers to speed. Crashes at high speeds tend to be far more fatal.

Revel issued the following statement:

Electric moped sharing is an increasingly important part of New York’s transportation ecosystem, especially as COVID-19 has created a real need for socially-distant modes. Revel should face the same consideration for how it works on the streets as any other part of the transportation system — commercial trucks, livery, drivers of private vehicles and more. Our condolences are of course with the family of the person lost last month. As a company born and bred in New York, we care deeply about the city and its people. That’s why we’re working so hard to make New York’s streets work better for all of the city and why we’ve introduced industry-leading safety protocols across all seven of Revel’s markets.