Cyclist killed in Sunset Park

A truck struck and killed a cyclist in Sunset Park this morning, marking the 18th cyclist death this year.
Brooklyn Paper
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A truck driver struck and killed a 30-year-old cyclist in Sunset Park on Monday.

The victim, identified as Em Samolewicz, was traveling north along Third Avenue near 36th Street when she swerved into the path of a massive 18-wheel Freightliner truck traveling behind her to avoid a door of a parked van at 9 a.m., cops said.

Emergency responders rushed the victim to NYU Langone Hospital-Brooklyn where she was pronounced dead, according to police.

The 37-year-old driver remained on the scene, and the investigation remains ongoing, authorities say.

Police set up a crime scene surrounding the fallen bike, which lay on Third Avenue near a pool of vomit. The white van that forced the cyclist into the trucker’s path remained barricaded behind police caution tape, according to witnesses.

The victim’s death marks New York City’s 18th cyclist fatality in 2019, the 13th in Brooklyn, and the first fatality since Mayor Bill de Blasio announced an expansion of the city’s bike lane network last Thursday in response to the mounting bike deaths.

“The fact that this all happened in such a small amount of time — it’s a crisis and an emergency,” de Blasio said at Thursday’s presser.

Under the bike plan, the city will install 80 miles of protected bike paths, police will issue more tickets to vehicles parked in bike lanes, and transit officials will redesign 50 intersections.

The mayor’s plan would create a two-way protected bike lane on Fourth Avenue in Sunset Park. Some cycling advocates think it’s time to make Third Avenue more bike-friendly, too.

“Third Avenue, which has eight lanes for cars and zero for bikes, is a product of a bygone era when transportation decisions were made with the sole intention of moving as many vehicles as possible through our neighborhoods, without regard to the people living and working in those neighborho­ods,” said Ellen McDermott the deputy director of Transportation Alternatives.

The first cyclist killed in 2019 was struck only eight blocks from Monday’s incident, McDermott added.

Local politicians expressed their sadness after Monday’s tragedy.

“This crisis is real and mounting,” Councilman Carlos Menchaca (D-Sunset Park) said on Twitter.

Reach reporter Rose Adams at or by calling (718) 260–8306.
Updated 11:55 am, July 31, 2019
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Reasonable discourse

Mike from Williamsburg says:
We can't get rid of on-street parking soon enough.
July 29, 2019, 11:30 am
Susan Rosenfeld from Sheepshead Bay says:
Before opening a car door a driver is supposed to by law check if anyone is coming towards them. The car driver should at least be ticketed and charged.
July 29, 2019, 11:45 am
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
Another self entitled motorist kills a cyclist. Life in prison, take all their assets and give the to the cyclist's family.
July 29, 2019, 11:58 am
Ann Chilada from El Torito says:
Just wait til all the illegals get their drivers licenses and they can’t read english signs! Another brilliant move by our NY leaders!
July 29, 2019, 12:38 pm
Ken from Bropoklyn says:
Susan Rosenfeld from Sheepshead Bay says: must of the time its the passenger door, there is no way to protect the bikes especially it's a blind spot, or driving between the lanes or driving upside directions, etc
July 29, 2019, 1:35 pm
Bob from Greenpoint says:
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says: you must be an Illegal Immigrant with much hate to the country,
July 29, 2019, 1:39 pm
Proof Possitive says:
NYC.GOV has failed its people by encouraging them to play-bike in traffic. So many more will die at the hands of this mayor - it is an obvious crisis and he should be banning bikes in unprotected lanes. Cyclists and bikes must licensed to develop some sense of accountability and limit bikers that are unwilling to take cycling seriously.
July 29, 2019, 2:20 pm
Susan Rosenfeld from sheepshead bay says:
I am a passenger in a car at least twice a week. I would never open the door without looking first if a cyclist or pedestrian was nearby. The driver should remind the passenger to look first. Saying there is a blind spot is very often just an excuse for irresponsibility. This cyclist was on his way to work- a taxpayer just like everyone else. Thousands of people in Brooklyn without exaggeration use bikes to commute to their jobs or do their ordinary errands. For them biking is a necessity.
July 29, 2019, 2:22 pm
Ben from Brooklyn says:
it's time to get rid of the bikers, they are just a pain for cars and pedestrians etc
July 29, 2019, 2:34 pm
Penelope from Brooklyn says:
This is a tragedy. I think the answer may be to ban all vehicles, trucks included, from entering the borough of Brooklyn. Who needs these fossil fuel spewing vessels from our distant past. I wouldn’t mind picking up my packages from a central point in Manhattan. And with email, who needs snail mail anymore?
July 29, 2019, 3:06 pm
Mathematician from Brooklyn says:
The obvious question is; Why wasn't he in the BIKE LANE on FOURTH AVENUE?
July 29, 2019, 3:10 pm
Jeff from Brooklyn says:
It's time to get rid of Ben from Brooklyn. Proof Possitive drivers are licensed and some have no sense of accountability. Susan is correct regarding the law, however this applies to both the passenger side AND the driver's side. I have been a driver (and biker) for over 50 years, always checked for oncoming traffic, there are no blind spots when checking for oncoming traffic from either side of the vehicle. It's about time that drivers and bikers have respect for one another and learn to share the road.
July 29, 2019, 3:28 pm
Nae from Sunset Park, Brooklyn says:
I don’t think it’s a good idea to have bicycle lanes on 3rd ave. Already a lot of these people don’t watch where they going they run the lights they have NO helmets on. I think if a car driver should stop on red they should as well and also be ticketed for passing the light. Ijs keeping it real. My Community can do without bicycle lanes, it’s too much of a headache.if they do it they should also follow rules and get ticket if helmet is not on.
July 29, 2019, 3:45 pm
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
Nae, there is no helmet law for cyclists. As for the rest of your gibberish post, GFYS.
July 29, 2019, 3:55 pm
Nae from Sunset Park, Brooklyn says:
I been this community for over 48 years and never seen stuff like this. May that person RIP my prayers to the family. But there should not be a lane on 3rd ave. Go on 4th and 5th.
July 29, 2019, 3:56 pm
Nae from Sunset Park, Brooklyn says:
Henry Ford there’s a law for everything in NYC, idk where you get that from but i know there is a law for Helmets look it up bruh. Don’t get mad with my gibberish talk it’s real talk.
July 29, 2019, 3:57 pm
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
Nae, anyone over the age of 12 is not required by law to wear a helmet when riding a bicycle, you fukkking idiot. Of course your a morbidly obese nimby on the board your whole life.
July 29, 2019, 4:03 pm
Nae from Sunset Park, Brooklyn says:
Even if there isnt’t a law to wear it, then they should make the law for one because more and more people gonna keep running the red light and getting killed. I’m sorry but helmets should be worn at all times Henry don’t you think that’s right. If motorcyclists have to wear them why not bicyclist.
July 29, 2019, 4:05 pm
Nae from Sunset Park, Brooklyn says:
Why you mad and cursing at me. Did at anytime I curse at you, you are a childish man or boy. keep it moving move out my lane. I’m not an idiot. Someone’s having a bad day today. Smh
July 29, 2019, 4:08 pm
Somebody from Somewhere says:
The cyclists are the fools if you ask me. Its unfortunate that they fell vitcim but at the same time, common sense seems to be the nonfactor with some of these bikers. Dont go putting all the blame on the drivers & vehicles. After all, thats what & who the streets are really built for in the 1st place.
July 29, 2019, 4:11 pm
Rufus Leaking from BH says:
What day this year is bicycle rule enforcement day?
July 29, 2019, 5:03 pm
Rufus Leaking from BH says:
Asking for a friend
July 29, 2019, 5:03 pm
Fiddle Faddle from Flatbush says:
Pedal Pushers reap what they sow. Pedestrians no longer give a damn about these self indulgent prima donnas. They are getting their just desserts andexactly what they deserve.
July 29, 2019, 6:32 pm
Mai Dai from Homecrest says:
MayorDeBlasio and Henry Ford from Bay Ridge are as alike as peas in a pot.
July 29, 2019, 6:33 pm
James Maggio from MillBasin says:
And in Brooklyn ,millions of people walk every day. We want the bikes off the sidewalks, especially after dark.
July 29, 2019, 6:38 pm
Frank from Furter says:
My car has a warning system which also warns of bike riders. Ny law does rewuire helmets for those under 12. Condolences to the family. We need protected bike lanes but not on thru truck routes
July 29, 2019, 6:39 pm
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
There some $hitty people posting here. A cyclist was killed because some fukwit flung their door open and he was flattened by a semi. Biching about helmets and riding on sidewalks? GO FUKKK YOURSELVES!I hope you all get runover on the sidewalk, it's not like that never happens.
July 29, 2019, 7:04 pm
Angela from Neck Road says:
If you're riding slow enough one should be able to brake when you see a car door opening. Swerving into traffic lane is not always a good option.
July 29, 2019, 7:14 pm
Somebody from Somewhere says:
For all of you anti-car & truck folks out here..i wanna see you carry 1 of those big boxes of kale that you love so much or the items that you ordered on amazon on your bikes & tell me how that works out for you.
July 29, 2019, 7:21 pm
Angela from Neck road says:
Penelope, you are so right. We gotta stop those trucks coming into brooklyn. Especially those trucks delivering food to shop rite!
July 29, 2019, 7:25 pm
Wilbur D. Horse from Bananadale says:
The deceased cyclist was a female, not a male. Angela from Neck Road is right; the cyclist was going too fast. (Also, she might have been texting while pedaling.) Part of the problem is that cyclists do not obey the rules of the road. Since the numbers of cyclists is growing, it's time we held them responsible for their actions by forcing them to register their bikes, display license plates, and purchase insurance. Issue them summonses for running red lights and for speeding.
July 30, 2019, 6:23 am
Susan Rosenfeld from Sheepshead Bay says:
To Angela from Neck Road, we do not hate truck drivers, but they have to follow the law and rules when driving. They should not get a pass just because they are delivering to a supermarket. Also, the police said and video showed the car door was opened so fast the cyclist had absolutely no chance to not get hit by the car door. The driver of the van who opened the door admitted he made a terrible mistake he will always have to live with. There is a law on the books in this city about opening car doors without looking.
July 30, 2019, 7:41 am
Susan Rosenfeld from Sheepshead Bay says:
To Somebody from Somewhere, We do not hate car and truck drivers, just the terrible reckless ones who just don't care.
July 30, 2019, 7:43 am
nakedhikernyc from Downtown Brooklyn says:
plenty of victim blaming on this thread ...
July 30, 2019, 8:52 am
Daryl from Park Slope says:
What does the mayor expect? He's encouraged bike riders to jump into NYC traffic willy nilly. They don't have to pass a road test, don't have to have licenses or carry insurance. Who's surprised when these bikers flout traffic rules, ride any way they like, blowing red lights, riding the wrong way and on sidewalks, squeezing between cars and trucks, cutting across traffic. When will the city require these cyclists to learn and obey the rules of the road?
July 30, 2019, 10:49 am
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
Go back to bed, Daryl. Critical thinking is not your thing.
July 30, 2019, 11:21 am
Ssuan Rosenfeld from Sheepshead Bay says:
Daryl, the cyclist killed yesterday was not flouting any traffic rules and any of the other offenses you listed. The driver who opened his van door without looking was at fault. I know some bikers do not follow rules, but it was not the case here and was not the reason in the majority of cyclists killed in Brooklyn this year.
July 30, 2019, 11:31 am
Frank from Furter says:
Please forgive me if tbis seems unkind. I am truly sorry for the loss. Yes she was right. Dead right. Defensive driving teaches that everyone who drives makes mistakes and that you need to plan ahead for those misstakes. Some mistakes are intentional others are purely negligent. Negligent mistakes are rarely criminal. No mens rea. Look it up. But it stills makes you civilly liable. And it still makes her/him dead... A place you dont want to be biker or driver or pedestrian.
July 30, 2019, 8:46 pm
Barry from Kenya says:
Shut the fuk up, Frank! Nobody asked you for your fukking opinion! You are a piece of dog $hit! That is a fact! Go Fuk yourself!
July 30, 2019, 9:24 pm
Frank from Furter says:
How the he'll are you Barry. Still don't know the difference between sh&t and shinola. Probably not taught in Kenya.
July 30, 2019, 10:47 pm
Barry from Kenya says:
Sure I do, You are You piece of dog $hit! Go Fuk yourself!
July 31, 2019, 7:15 am

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