Third Brooklyn biker killed in four days: NYPD

The intersection of 17th Avenue and 53rd Street, where a cyclist was struck and killed on May 15.
Brooklyn Paper
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A 16-year-old bicyclist is dead after a box truck ran him over in Borough Park on Wednesday night, according to authorities.

The teen’s death marks the 10th bicyclist fatality in the city this year, and the eighth in Kings County, according to city data.

The teenager was cycling along 17th Avenue when he swerved to avoid an opening car door, causing him to fall to the ground near the intersection of 53rd Street. The trailing box truck then ran over the teen as he was laying in the street at approximately 5:38 p.m., cops said.

First responders took the victim to Maimonides Hospital, where doctors pronounced him dead.

Another cyclist, pedaling through Crown Heights, was hit by a car and taken to Kings County Hospital on Saturday and pronounced dead on Tuesday, according to police.

Three days before Wednesday’s tragedy, the driver of an SUV fatally struck 29-year-old biker Robert Sommer in Marine Park.

After Sommer’s death on May 14, activists laid blame on city officials for the lack of dedicated bike lanes throughout much of Southern Brooklyn.

“This is a tragedy which Mayor Bill de Blasio could have easily prevented with protected bike lanes installed as part of a complete network of cycling infrastruc­ture,” Thomas DeVito of Transportation Alternatives said at the time.

Borough Park, where the teen was killed on Wednesday, lacks any roadways devoted to cyclists, according to city maps.

The City Council is hoping to improve road safety with their “Vision Zero Streets Design Standard” bill, which would formalize a set of safety measures for the Department of Transportation to consider when renovating City streets. Proponents believe the bill would encourage construction of bike lanes and other traffic calming measures in car-dense neighborhoods.

Council Speaker Corey Johnson recently announced a May 30 deadline to vote on the measure, which is co-sponsored by 14 of the body’s 15 Brooklyn lawmakers. The only Kings County councilmember not sponsoring the bill is Kalman Yeger (D–Borough Park), who represents the location where the teen was killed on Wednesday.

Yeger also represents the area where 26-year-old Pedro Tepozteco was fatally struck last month, while riding on another street without bike lanes, just six blocks from Wednesday’s incident.

Authorities said the driver of the box truck remained on the scene until police arrived. No charges have been filed, and the investigation is ongoing.

Reach reporter Aidan Graham at or by calling (718) 260–4577. Follow him at
Updated 12:50 pm, May 16, 2019
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Reasonable discourse

Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
Condolences to the family. But this one time a maniac on a bicycle almost whizzed by me and nearly almost hit me! A couple meters closer and I could have been scraped up pretty bad. That's months of pain and suffering until the scabs heal, If he would have hit me.
May 16, 2019, 9:06 am
Alexis from Flatbush says:
And if you had been hit by that bike, you would have been told to sell your cat when the medical bills rolled in.
May 16, 2019, 9:27 am
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
No, because I'm not dumb enough to cancel my insurance.
May 16, 2019, 9:49 am
NYC to Blame from NYC says:
It's not the lack of protected bike lanes that would have made the difference as protected bike lanes don't protect anyone except the city from getting sued. Rather, bike lanes encourage bikes to go in the streets which are unsafe for bikes. As long as the bikes are permitted in the streets, we'll have an unsafe condition for cyclists. Neither the people opening their car door nor the truck driving down the street is to blame, rather this death was unnessessarly caused by NYC.
May 16, 2019, 10:11 am
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
It's completely 100% the fault of the person who opened the door without looking. That's the law, so you're wrong.
May 16, 2019, 10:16 am
JJOE from PLG says:
Enough. The only solutions are cameras and enforcement. Ticketing and high fines and prosecution to change the appalling recklessness of NYC drivers. It’s like nothing I’ve seen in other cities. Such a joke. The political will is NOT there and that’s the problem. Yes it is the fault of the person opening a car door without looking but that happens all the time in bike lanes. Bike lanes don’t stop deaths among terrible drivers. No doubt bike-lane promoters are genuinely upset at the bicyclists’ deaths, but it always seems they’re using the incidents to promote their own agenda. Like everyone in NYC. As for us poor pedestrians, we are constantly endangered by everything on wheels and same thing, no cameras and enforcement. Lastly, stop approving construction on every single block of the city all at the same time and drivers won’t be in such desperate hurry getting through all the massive amounts of trucks and equipment and closed lanes. Again, the political will and leadership has to be there. Blaming Uber, ugh, stop. Try a dozen semi trucks on a one-mile stretch of Flatbush. Vision Zero is Actual-Zero.
May 16, 2019, 10:54 am
Jeff from Brooklyn says:
NYC is not to blame for the deaths of bike riders. First, when exiting a car, you are suppose to look behind to make sure that nothing is coming before opening the door. This accident is fault of the person who opened the door and should be held accordingly. I have seen car doors being smashed from passing cars. There is no reason that drivers and bike rider cannot share the road. They must respect each other. NYC to Blame is wrong, the person opening the car door is in the wrong. I have been driving and bike riding for over 50 years before this so called bike lanes, will no problems.
May 16, 2019, 10:55 am
Bob from Gerritsen Beach says:
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge, you may not be aware of it but you have become the strongest arguments for the pro-choice community to keep abortions legal. Oh, by the way isn't your girlfriend waiting for you at Greenwood Cemetery?
May 16, 2019, 11:16 am
Vision Zero from Zero Vision says:
Bob from Gerritsen, you think that loser has a girlfriend?
May 16, 2019, 11:21 am
Susan Rosenfeld from Boro Park says:
To NYC to Blame, they have to ride in the street, not on the sidewalk. Thousands of people in every neighborhood in Brooklyn depend on bikes to get around, going to work,school and going home at the end of the day. I work in Midtown Manhattan and I have coworkers who bike in from Brooklyn every day. I take the subway, but I do admire them.
May 16, 2019, 1:30 pm
Bob from Gerritsen Beach says:
Vision Zero from Zero Vision NO! The fool actually thought he could get to me by saying he had sex with my dead mother. So I'm assuming that's where he gets all his women from. Greenwood Cemetery.
May 16, 2019, 4:23 pm
Henry Finkelstein from Sheepshead Bay says:
For years bikers and their TA apologists have been bragging that they don't have to STOP for anything. They claim that as long as they are on their bikes, they can do what they want, when they want and where they want. They prefer to just swerve out of trouble. They ride to fast and leave no room to just STOP. This unsafe,careless and dangerous activity leads to accidents, injuries and fatalities. Every year more and more paths are provided for bicycles and still the fatal tolls rise. The fault lies in the bikers not in the city. What the world needs now is safer bike riding not more of the nasty insults we critics get from the bicycle lobby. Pedestrians First.
May 16, 2019, 5:39 pm
Shirley Ranz from Homecrest says:
If the bicyclist is riding at too fast a speed, the car door opener , thinks he has a clear exit, until it is too late. Let's have speed limits for all who use our streets.
May 16, 2019, 5:43 pm
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
Shirley Ranz, by your logic, the driver should have stopped instead of running over the cyclist. You've never ridden a bicycle before, have you?
May 16, 2019, 6:13 pm
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
Shirley Ranz, by your logic, the driver should have stopped instead of running over the cyclist. You've never ridden a bicycle before, have you?
May 16, 2019, 6:13 pm
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
Oh great, grandpa Fecelstain has awoke from his nap.
May 16, 2019, 6:14 pm
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
Pipe down, Fekelstain.
May 16, 2019, 6:19 pm
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
Pipe down, Fekelstain. That pipsqueak always shows up after his nap at the nursing home. I think they over spiced his applesauce with too much cinnamon.
May 16, 2019, 6:22 pm
Ranz from Homecrest, says:
If the bicyclist had come to a full stop instead of swerving into traffic, he would not have fell into the traffic and be run over by a 3rd party. i prefer to walk and now have become a member of the 21st century Bike Dodgers
May 16, 2019, 6:24 pm
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
If the motorist had come to a full stop instead of running over the cyclist, he would not have killed him.
May 16, 2019, 6:55 pm
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
Pipe down, Fekelstain. That pipsqueak always shows up after his nap at the nursing home. I think they over spiced his applesauce with too much cinnamon.
May 16, 2019, 6:55 pm
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
Pipe down, Fekelstain. That pipsqueak always shows up after his nap at the nursing home. I think they over spiced his applesauce with too much cinnamon.
May 16, 2019, 8:03 pm
Ralph from Dyker Heights says:
There is so much talk about banning guns or regulating them, yet so many of our children many more than by guns and gasp by bikes. Hardly any regulations, licensing or registration. So what does NYC do, encourage more bikes!!! We live in a contested, stressed city, why allow these murder vessels to be in the hands of unqualified individuals is beyond any realm of sanity.
May 17, 2019, 7:28 am
Sharon Rothenberg from Bensonhurst says:
According to the police, it was the fault of the driver who opened his car door without looking first. The bike, in this instance, did not do anything wrong. He was biking safely. Thousands of people in Brooklyn use bikes to get around. It is so much more convenient than a car for doing errands or just going home. The driver was taken into custody by the police at the scene. Of course, not all bikers ride safely, but plenty of drivers do not follow the rules also.
May 17, 2019, 8:23 am
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
Pipe down, Fekelstain. That pipsqueak always shows up after his nap at the nursing home. I think they over spiced his applesauce with too much cinnamon.
May 17, 2019, 9:38 am
James Maggio from Marine.Park says:
Bikers should take some responsibility on themselves instead of placing all the blame on others. I walk the streets a lot and see many crazy unsafe bikers all the time
May 17, 2019, 1:18 pm
Martin Malakov from Coney Island says:
Stop.......don't swerve. It's safer for all. Try it.
May 17, 2019, 1:19 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
The truth is that when cyclists don't follow the traffic laws, they are placing themselves into harm's way, and that is a fact. In some of these accidents, that was found to be case. Unfortunately, Transportation Alternatives doesn't promote bicycle safety unless everyone is on to them, because they feel that it makes them part of the very system they are trying to fight. For the record, I do call out reckless drivers, but I doubt if anyone in that group ever calls out scofflaw cyclists and most likely either acts silent or rushes to their defense whenever that's brought up.
May 17, 2019, 2:46 pm
Gary says:
Who invited tal the mongo?
May 17, 2019, 5:05 pm
Jacek from Williamsburg says:
But the hasidics don't want bike lanes.. remember Bedford Ave? So should we blame them?
May 17, 2019, 5:21 pm
BB from Atlantic yards says:
Another bike accident and Deblasio has NOTHING TO SAY!!! His Director of Constituent Services can't even make a comment and calls/emails to this hack are ignored. How can you have safe streets, better city planning when City Planning ignores street design, overcrowding. Mariso Largo at city planning is ignoring the big picture of poorly designed streets, overcrowding, and horrible housing developments which contribute to more ppl driving.
May 18, 2019, 6:56 pm
samir kabir from Cobble Hill says:
Why are cyclists riding on streets unsafe for cycling? Many cyclist make citiy streets and sidewalks unsafe for pedestrians. Riding the wrong way on one-way streets, adults cycling on sidewalks , running red lights, zipping up narrow passage ways between cars and curbs where people can't see them approach, scaring pedestrians to death, if not injuring them. Cyclists cry the blues and say its the Mayor's or the City's fault when someone gets injured or killed. My thoughts on the matter? They are hell on wheels.
May 19, 2019, 5:12 am
Wilbur D. Horse from Mockingbird Heights says:
In the Vehicle and Traffic Law, which sadly only applies to motorized vehicles, there's a section called Speed Not Reasonable and Prudent. It is only one sentence long, and does not use a mathematical formula. Just common sense. It sounds like this cyclist chose to go too fast to stop. (Do we like cars that drive, too fast to stop, on the city streets?) The cyclist willingly took that risk, but he lost, and paid with his life. Of course it's a tragedy, and one the cyclist could have prevented. If he had been going slower, he would have been able to fully stop. Either that, or he CHOSE not to stop, and chose to swerve around the opened door -- because it's more fun, and he's a rebel. Either way, the cyclist made his choice. But guess what?? Bikes don't stop for ANYthing.
May 28, 2019, 5:19 am

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