UPDATE: Brooklyn Moped Rider is Killed by a School Bus Driver

File photo: Dave Colon
File photo: Dave Colon

Updated | This year’s road bloodshed crisis continued with another killing, this time of a moped rider on notorious Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn.

The Department of Transportation, which has taken over public information of crashes from the NYPD, offered less information than reporters previously received. For now, all we know is that a 32-year-old woman, who initially had been reported as riding an e-bike, but was later revealed to have been on a moped, was struck by the driver of a yellow school bus “in the vicinity” of St. Marks Avenue and Eastern Parkway at around 11:20 a.m. on Friday.

The victim, later identified as April Reign, was taken to Brookdale Hospital, where she died. Police could only say that the bus was driven by a 48-year-old man who “did come into contact with the victim.” Police said he remained on the scene and was not initially charged.

Police declined to say the directions of the various vehicles or even which street each one was on, which has previously been standard information.

A subsequent video obtained by the Daily News showed that the bus driver cut off Reign as she turned right from Eastern Parkway onto St. Marks Avenue, knocking her off her moped. The driver then ran over Reign with his back wheels and sped away. He later returned to the scene thanks to a Good Samaritan, who called 911 and waved down traffic to alert the driver of the crash. (The video’s depictions were confirmed by Streetsblog by a witness who saw it and said, “That bus driver, man, he is totally to blame.” A spokeswoman for the bus company has denied that claim.)

A split-second before the impact, the bus driver is clearly making a right turn that is too sharp.
A split-second before the impact, the bus driver is clearly making a right turn that is too sharp.

Last year was the bloodiest year on the city’s roadways in all eight years of the prior mayoral administration. But this year is turning out to be alarmingly bloody. Through Thursday, 19 people had been killed on New York City roadways, up from 15 in the previous year. The death toll includes 12 pedestrians.

Pedestrian injuries are also up 16 percent so far this year, according to the NYPD, with 600 walkers already injured between Jan. 1 and Jan. 30, or roughly 20 pedestrians every day.

Eastern Parkway is one of the city’s wider roadways and, despite a lower speed limit and an off-road bike lane along part of its length, remains dangerous. In 2021, there were 487 reported crashes on just the 3.4-mile stretch of Eastern Parkway between Grand Army Plaza and Atlantic Avenue, injuring 241 people, including 20 cyclists, 50 pedestrians and 171 motorists, according to city stats. Two pedestrians were killed, one in November and one in April.

And the chaotic, six-way intersection of Eastern Parkway, Rockaway Avenue and St. Marks Avenue has long been on the DOT radar screen as unsafe, as this 2015 presentation shows. Only a minor pedestrian improvement has been made since.

“Brooklyn streets remain horrifically deadly for pedestrians and cyclists,” said Danny Harris, executive director of Transportation Alternatives. “Eight of the 19 traffic fatalities this year have been in Brooklyn alone. We are angry, heartbroken, and demand immediate action.”

Harris cited Mayor Adams’s and DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez’s promise to upgrade 50 percent of all plastic-protected bike lanes in the first 100 days of the administration, plus a more-recent promise to and redesign 1,000 intersections for safety, neither has been begun.

Here is this year’s carnage, via the DOT:

reconciled through 2-6-22

Please come back later for updates to this story.