Witness: Bus Driver Backed Over Cyclist in Fatal Crash

According to an eyewitness account on NY1, the bus driver who killed a cyclist on Delancey Street yesterday afternoon was driving in reverse and did not respond to verbal warnings prior to the fatal crash:

A witness says the woman was riding her bicycle on Delancey when she
hit a pothole and fell behind the bus, which then backed over her.

"She
was just trying to get away from the school bus and the school bus just
kept driving, and it was getting closer and closer to her. And
everybody’s screaming at him, ‘There’s somebody behind you!’ And she
was trying to avoid the pothole, but once she hit the pothole, that’s
when she fell over," said one witness.

Police had not charged the driver at the time NY1 filed the report last night. NYPD has not yet returned Streetsblog’s inquiries about the crash.

The driver works for the same school bus operator, Atlantic Express, as the driver who killed cyclist Jonathan Millstein on Eighth Avenue in Brooklyn in 2008.

Two other New Yorkers lost their lives on city streets yesterday. Rosemary Pratt, 46, was killed by a forklift operator at a subway overpass construction project on East 14th Street in Midwood, Brooklyn. And Mary Mason, 59, was killed by a fuel truck driver as she crossed Pacific Street at the intersection of Classon Avenue in Crown Heights.

  • David_K

    I don’t get it: why would the bus driver back up on Delancy? The video on NY1 is heartbreaking, with the witness recounting the victim trying to escape the bus, and bystanders screaming for it to stop, but it offers little explanation as to why the hell the driver was backing up in the first place.

  • “No criminality at this time”–looks like another crack investigation by NYPD.

  • Larry Littlefield

    I don’t think NYCT buses are allowed to back up, although I could be wrong.

  • That’s horrifying.

  • Backing up is more and more dangerous, the larger the vehicle. Perhaps the nose of the bus was past the crosswalk and the traffic agent told the bus driver to back out of the intersection.

  • drewo

    If we leave it up to the NYPD to do an investigation and provide further details — we’ll never hear a thing about this tragedy again.

    Sweep it into a pothole and keep the cars moving.

  • glenn

    Just sickening. I hope her family sues the bus company if the NYPD/DA’s office continue to drop the ball.

  • FYI, the NY DMV chapter on school bus operation says the following:

    10.7.3 – Backing
    Backing a school bus is strongly discouraged. You should back your bus only when you have no other safe way to move the vehicle. You should never back a school bus when students are outside of the bus. Backing is dangerous and increases your risk of a collision.

  • Albert

    Any developments on this? Is drewo right, that “we’ll never hear a thing about this tragedy again”? Or did I miss the news reports of the results of the investigation?

    I assume it’s another case of backup beepers being relied on and a perfect example of someone unable to heed the “warning”.

  • I have the police report at home. The bus driver was not backing up. The cyclist went from the sidewalk into the street, encountered a Con Edison worksite that wasn’t filled in properly, fell off her bike, and was run down by the bus.

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