ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED NOV> 25, 2014 | BY LINCOLN ANDERSON | In the short period of just a few hours Monday evening, a bicyclist and a homeless pedestrian were both fatally struck by cars on the Lower East Side.
One of the drivers — who was reportedly going more than 60 miles per hour — was charged with criminally negligent homicide.
Around 10 p.m. on Nov. 24, Shan Zheng, 61, of Ossining, N.Y., was riding a bicycle northbound on Pitt St. when he was hit by a livery cab going eastbound on East Houston St.
Zheng suffered severe head trauma. E.M.S. medics responded and transported him to Bellevue Hospital, where he went into cardiac arrest and was pronounced dead.
“He was not wearing a helmet,” a police spokesperson said.
The cab’s operator, a 50-year-old male, remained at the scene.
The police spokesperson said that, according to witnesses, the cab “had a steady green light and right of way.” The driver was given a breathalyzer test, which came up negative.
Just before 7 p.m. on the same evening, a 57-year-old man crossing Bowery on foot between Rivington and Prince Sts. was struck by a speeding 2001 BMW sedan going northbound on Bowery.
According to police, the car was traveling 62 miles per hour. The man went up onto the car’s windshield and was “thrown more than 150 feet” before landing on the street, the spokesperson said.
After hitting the pedestrian, the driver, Danny Lin, 24, of Coney Island Ave., continued traveling north on Bowery for another block until striking a fire hydrant at Stanton St. where his vehicle came to a stop.
E.M.S. medics responded and transported the victim to New York Downtown Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Lin, the driver, was not injured and was taken into custody at the scene. He was charged with criminally negligent homicide.
“He has a very bad license,” the police spokesperson said. “He has 17 prior suspensions.”
Police did not immediately describe the nature of the license suspensions.
Lin passed a drug-and-alcohol test.
The investigation is ongoing.
Representatives of the Bowery Mission told The Villager that the victim was Robert Perry, and that he was a “community member” there. He had never been in the facility’s residential recovery program, but took advantage of its services, including meals, chapel services and, recently, a photography program. He had been a regular at the Bowery Mission for at least three years.
“We were in the process of having supper at the time” of the accident, a man who answered the phone Tuesday evening at the Bowery Mission said. “Everyone went outside. It was very shocking for us.”
The Bowery Mission released a statement that said, in part: “The news may report that a ‘homeless man’ was killed in a hit-and-run accident. It is true that Robert struggled with homelessness most of life, from the age of 12. Because he spent many days and nights at the Bowery Mission, we got to know Robert as a gifted man with a difficult story. Robert was a faithful participant in the Bowery Mission’s chapel services and activities. Most recently, Robert was a charter member of the Bowery Mission’s photography club, producing haunting photographs taken from his life’s perspective. In his artist’s statement, Robert reminded us, ‘I want people to hear my story, hear my cry… We are looked at like dirt, but we are somebody.’ ”
Some examples of Perry’s photography work can be seen at www.oneglimpse.org. Captions on the photos describe how his mother left him at age 2, and how he would often get a night’s sleep on the A train while riding back and forth three times to Far Rockaway.
The Bowery Mission is attempting to contact Perry’s family in New Jersey, and is planning a memorial for him after Thanksgiving.
In addition, around 5 p.m. on Monday, a 76-year-old male was crossing West Houston St. when he was hit by a vehicle that had the right of way, police said.
The injured senior was transported to the Lenox Hill HealthPlex where he was reported in stable condition. The driver remained at the scene and was not charged, according to police.