Bus kills cyclist in Chelsea in Citi Bike’s first fatality

Dan Hanegby, 36, of Brooklyn Heights was hit by a charter bus while riding a Citi Bike on June 12 and died that day, making him the transit system’s first fatality. Photo via Facebook.

BY JACKSON CHEN | A Brooklyn resident was killed on Mon., June 12, when the Citi Bike he was riding collided with a bus on W. 26th St., between Seventh and Eighth Aves., police said.

Dan Hanegby, a 36-year-old investment banker, was on his way to work at Credit Suisse when he was struck by a charter bus at around 8:15 a.m., according to police. Police said the cyclist swerved to get around a parked van, fell off the bike, collided with a bus that was traveling the same direction, and was run over by its rear tires. Hanegby is the first fatality since Citi Bike’s start four years ago, according to a Citi Bike spokesperson.

Police said Hanegby was brought to Bellevue Hospital Center where he was pronounced dead shortly after. Police said the bus driver stayed on the scene and was not charged. The Daily News identified the Coach USA operator, who passed sobriety tests following the incident, as 52-year-old Dave Lewis from Poughkeepsie.

Christine Berthet, Transportation Planning Committee co-chairperson of Community Board 4, said that W. 26th St. between Seventh and Eighth Aves. — which does not have a bike lane — is often congested with vehicles, adding that buses shouldn’t even be allowed down that street.

“This bus should have never been on that street because this is not a truck route,” Berthet said. “Buses go everywhere and trying to control them and get them on the right track is very difficult.”

C.B. 4’s Christine Berthet says the bus involved in June 12’s fatality “should have never been on” W. 26th St. — seen here near Eighth Ave., looking toward Seventh. Photo by Rebecca Fiore.

According to C.B. 4, the city inadvertently funneled large tour buses onto W. 26th St. after banning left turns for eastbound traffic on W. 23rd St. trying to get onto Eighth Ave.

While W. 26th St. currently doesn’t allow trucks, C.B. 4 penned a letter to the city’s Department of Transportation in February requesting that the truck restriction include buses due to safety concerns and community complaints. “Commercial bus traffic on such a busy residential street is putting all these parents, children and seniors in danger,” the letter read.

According to the Police Department’s Motor Vehicle Collision statistics, W. 26th St. between Seventh and Eighth Aves. has seen more than 100 incidents — two involving injured cyclists — in the last five years. Following Monday’s incident, police officers near where Hanegby was struck were seen ticketing Citi Bike riders going the wrong direction, as well as double-parked cars.

When asked repeatedly about any statistics Citi Bike keeps of injuries or collisions, company reps could not provide any information.

The Citi Bike station at W. 26th St. and Eighth Ave. The June 12 fatality happened on that same street, a block to the east, between Eighth and Seventh Aves. Photo by Rebecca Fiore.

Hanegby lived in Brooklyn Heights and is survived by his wife and two young children. He was born in Israel, where he became the country’s number 1 ranked tennis player by age 16, according to a report by Brown University’s campus newspaper. The Brown Daily Herald also reported that he moved to the U.S. in 2003 to study at Binghamton University before transferring to Brown. Hanegby also served in the Israel Defense Forces from December 1999 to December 2002, according to his LinkedIn page.

Citi Bike currently has 10,000 bikes throughout the city and has been used for 43 million rides.

“Together with the City of New York, we wish to express our heartfelt condolences to the rider’s family and loved ones on this terrible tragedy,” Dani Simons, Citi Bike’s spokesperson, said in a statement.