Saturday was a bitter one for safe streets advocates after three were struck in two different incidents, one of them proving fatal for a 31-year-old nurse after being run down by a motorcycle.
The second incident proved more sinister in intent.
Video footage shows that a group of protestors on bikes were confronted with a motorist who sped through their group on 5th Avenue on 25th Street and struck two people at about 7 p.m., prompting an investigation by NYPD.
Driver intentionally runs over cyclists during bike protest heading down 5th Avenue.@StreetsblogNYC @Gothamist @nypost
Clip from: https://t.co/fthOZC3Nce pic.twitter.com/hjBtqsFO82
— NYC Bike Lanes (@NYCBikeLanes) October 4, 2020
According to NYC Protest Coverage on Instagram, the vehicle was identified as a black 2014 Infinity QX-60 with a license plate of JFA2384. NYPD, however, did not provide a description of the vehicle in question, which fled the scene, claiming no arrests thus far in the investigation.
Among those injured was a 19-year-old woman who is in stable condition at Bellevue Hospital and a 37-year-old man who refused medical attention. Both were listed as “pedestrians” who were part of the “Justice Ride” bicyclist protest group.
A full video of the incident is available on Twitch.
The nurse fatally struck while cycling home from a shift at NYU Langone Hospital–Brooklyn stood as a reminder to Transportation Alternatives Executive Director Danny Harris that as essential workers opted for safer means of transportation in the COVID-19 pandemic, Mayor Bill de Blasio did the bare minimum to provide safe space on roads.
“The cyclist is at least the 19th killed on New York City streets to date in 2020 and one of thousands of essential workers who have come to rely on cycling as a reliable and physical distancing-compliant method of getting to and from work,” Harris said. “Early on in the pandemic, advocates called on the mayor to quickly roll out protected bike lanes so that more essential workers would be able to commute in a safe manner. Instead of rising to the occasion and launching a network of protected lanes, the mayor did the bare minimum, plugging only a handful of gaps in the city’s bike network.”
Taking place at 7:40 a.m., the motorcyclist was also thrown from his 2018 Suzuki GSZ-R in the collision. According to police, EMS first transported the woman back to NYU Langone Hospital–Brooklyn where she died. One NYPD arrived on scene, the motorcyclist was also taken to the same medical facility where he was treated for head trauma, listed in critical but stable condition.
NYPD’s Highway Patrol Collision Investigation Squad is taking a look into the matter.
The unnamed Brooklyn bicyclist, having been killed at 56th Street and Third Avenue in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, was the 19th cyclist killed in 2020 and part of a surge of deaths on Third Avenue in the past two years.
Despite the city being on shutdown for a number of months and making a slow, phased-in return, Harris believes the city is on track for an average amount of cyclist fatalities. 2019 was the worst year in the last two decades after 29 people simply pedaling about their business were killed on city streets.