Brooklyn Carnage: Pedestrian Killed, Pedicabbie and Passengers Injured

pedicabaccident.jpgPhoto: CBS 2

A 65-year-old man waiting for a bus was killed Tuesday night by a 16-year-old male driving with only a learner’s permit. From 1010WINS via Gothamist:

Stanislaw Zak, of Brooklyn, was struck and killed as he waited at a bus
stop near the intersection of Bay Ridge Parkway and 18th Avenue at
about 9:20 p.m. Tuesday, police said.

The teen will be ticketed for driving with a learner’s permit without a
licensed driver, police said. No word yet as to whether the teen will
face additional charges.



Police say the teen’s Mazda struck another car before it struck and killed Zak.


The teen was taken to Lutheran Hospital, and is said to be in stable condition.

Also in Brooklyn, the Post is reporting that "a pedicab crashed into a yellow taxi" this morning at Broadway and Bedford Avenue, near the Williamsburg Bridge bike approach. The pedicab must have been traveling at an amazing speed, because the impact caused it to snap in half, according to the story. The Post says the pedicab driver and two passengers were all hospitalized in critical condition with head injuries, but CBS 2 reports that one passenger was not injured. No mention of any pending charges.

  • I came upon the pedicab scene at about 8:45 this morning (just across Bedford from the ped/bike entrance). The pedicab was surrounded by yellow tape and there were four police cars there (one of them unmarked). I asked two of the cops what happened and if anyone was hurt, and they both said they did not know. Did you mean to say that the taxicab (not the pedicab) “must have been travelling at an amazing speed”? I doubt that a pedicab with 2 passengers could have been going that fast.

  • Will the 16-year-old eventually go from learner’s permit to fully licensed driver? Might be worth a follow up.

  • Pedicab was coming off the williamsburg bridge walkway and t-boned the cab. anyone know if the passengers are ok?

  • “Did you mean to say that the taxicab (not the pedicab) ‘must have been travelling at an amazing speed’?”

    I think the author was being sardonic.

    My best wishes for a quick recovery to all involved.

  • You know what this is going to mean.

    There will be a push to get rid of pedicabs in the city. Unfortunately in many ways, I must agree with many of those who would like to see pedicabs go the way of the Dodo.

    I know there a few very reputable pedicab companies in NYC (there rates reflect their professionalism) however most that I’ve seen cruising the city are truely a menace to law abiding pedestrians, cyclists and yes, drivers. As an avid cyclist and advocate for all things sustainable I would NEVER, EVER hire a pedicab off the streets in NYC.

    NEVER!

    I really hope that this acts as a wake-up call.

  • According to Cityroom the Pedicab was coming off the path of the WIlliamsburg Bridge and did, indeed, hit the cab. Two passengers suffered head injuries and were taken to Bellevue Hospital.

    http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/10/2-hurt-in-pedicab-crash-near-williamsburg-bridge/

    Of course this begs the question of braking power when a Pedicab is on such an incline and carrying multiple passengers.

  • It looks like the intersection between the bridge walkway and street is essentially a driveway, which means that the pedicab driver ought to have yielded to the taxi; it also seems quite possible for the driver to build up excessive speed coming off the bridge. Those pedicabs also often don’t appear to have particularly potent brakes, and breaking a standard steel bike frame doesn’t seem particularly impossible when it’s carrying a load of several hundred pounds. So, from an uninformed perspective, it certainly does look like this could be the fault of the pedicab driver.

    Or several other things: maybe the frame snapped from excessive braking force and caused the bike to lose control?

  • ed

    I saw the accident scene this morning and the pedicab was crashed on the other side of the street from the on/off bike ramp to the bridge. I don’t know how it got over there or how it could’ve hit a cabbie and ended up there.
    I am certain that coming off of the bridge on the southside in brooklyn drops you directly into speeding traffic on bedford and you really have to slow down in order to not hit someone on the sidewalk or fly into the roadway. Poorly designed all around. Why a pedicab would’ve taken that side is beyond me, it’s really steep compared to the northside.
    I’m waiting for someone who saw it to pass judgment on anyone here.

  • ed

    That driveway in the picture leads to a dead-end as far as I can remember.

  • Fendergal

    Are pedicabs even allowed on the bridges? The pedicab drive is a moron.

  • I don’t know of any laws preventing pedicabs from using the bridge or other MUPs. After all, they are human powered vehicles. Even so, riding one of those things up the ramp with passengers on board seems like it would be quite a challenge.

  • Shemp

    The pedicab driver is a total moron – the ramp he took those people down is incredibly steep and narrow, as opposed to the ramp on the north side of the bridge which reaches street level in Brooklyn a full two blocks east of the Bedford ramp (and thus has a much gentler grade). The steep ramp is not even much fun to ride a standard bike down, especially when there are crowds of peds on it (happens sometimes when bridge work shuts the other approach – but not the case yesterday). It’s easy to picture a pedicab with passengers getting out of control on that kind of grade. I’ve seen roller bladers lose it at the bottom and careen into traffic or hit parked cars at this same spot.

  • Today’s coverage confirms, per Stacy’s City Room link, that the pedicab did indeed crash into the taxi, and it was traveling at a high rate of speed.

    City laws against pedicabs on bridges are apparently on the books but not yet being enforced.

  • Rather than banning pedicabs, I think there might be consideration of having helmets available (but not required to be worn) for passengers. In reading this rather frightening story, where it’s clear the driver was indeed negligent (with passengers yelling at him to ‘slow down!) I would want to have a helmet on regardless of the speed being driven – after all, it’s far more likely that one could be hit be a speeding cab while in the pedicab!

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