Flatbed Truck Driver Hit and Killed Cyclist in East Williamsburg Last Night

The intersection of Morgan Avenue and Meserole Street, where a truck driver hit and killed a cyclist last night. Image: ##http://maps.google.com/maps?q=Meserole+St,+Brooklyn,+NY+11237&hl=en&ll=40.70961,-73.933129&spn=0.008702,0.019076&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=37.188995,78.134766&vpsrc=6&hnear=Meserole+St,+Brooklyn,+Kings,+New+York+11237&t=m&z=16&layer=c&cbll=40.70961,-73.933129&panoid=ynNFYrGuEwdMwtmSSpOy2w&cbp=12,179.62,,0,8.96##Google Street View.##

A flatbed truck driver struck and killed a cyclist in East Williamsburg shortly after midnight last night.

As first reported by Gothamist, the 30-year-old male victim was riding to the right of the truck while traveling southbound along Morgan Avenue, according to NYPD. The driver turned right at Meserole Street, striking the cyclist, who was dead by the time an ambulance arrived three minutes later.

Police say the driver did not stay at the scene, but the truck was found legally parked one block away. An NYPD spokesperson said the department might pursue charges but would not do so until the driver is located.

Two months ago, Erica Abbott, a professional dancer, was killed in a traffic crash while riding her bike on Bushwick Avenue a few blocks away. Last year, a garbage truck driver hit and killed a cyclist while turning from Varick Street onto Meserole.

  • J

    Morgan Ave is a very heavily trafficked bike route, as it is one of the few streets that connects Bushwick/East Williamsburg to Greenpoint. Unfortunately, the road is also a heavily-used truck route and the pavement is in very poor condition, with a railroad crossing and many many potholes. There are currently zero plans for any bike facilities on this route. It wasn’t in the 1997 bike master plan and the artists and young people who bike here are highly transient often don’t attend community meetings. In short, this route desperately needs a protected bike lane. Neither the bicycles nor the trucks are going away, so the bikes need to be separated and protected. Otherwise, well just keep hearing disturbing stories like this.

  • carma

    so was this an accident or a crime?

    Did the driver even know they hit the cyclist?

    If the driver did flee the scene, would they “really” legally park the truck a block away only?

    obviously, if they did flee the scene, automatically its a crime.

  • krstrois

    We live two blocks south of here and have for 10+ years. In that time the neighborhood has gone from fully industrial to mostly residential and commercial. 15 minutes on the L to Union Square = not long for industry. 

    This has always been a deeply bike-dependent neighborhood. The members of the community are perhaps blase, but community meetings in this neighborhood are tricky for another reason, too. Plenty of people who bike in this neighborhood are either not living in this country legally or not living in their apartments legally. So they don’t exactly want to go to the neighborhood police meetings, or to the CB meeting, either. It’s a problem — but I do think DOT is responsible to the many, many members of this community who bike.  I’m very sorry for the cyclist’s loved ones. 

  • Andrew

    @d8d46f16f380afef59ca318522397233:disqus It was not an accident.  At a bare minimum it was the result of negligence.

  • carma

    Andrew,  I only ask that cause it still seems like a lot of information is left out in the details.  however, negligence is still not a crime.  the only crime would be fleeing the scene.

  • carma

    Andrew,  I only ask that cause it still seems like a lot of information is left out in the details.  however, negligence is still not a crime.  the only crime would be fleeing the scene.

  • @Andrew_J_C:disqus The prob is, negligence seems to often be considered “acceptable” when it happens in conjunction with a motor vehicle…  (“no criminality suspected”)

  • Sorry, that last comment was a reply to “@Andrew” (it actually said that in the entry box, but disqus apparently had other plans…)

  • Sorry, that last comment was a reply to “@Andrew” (it actually said that in the entry box, but disqus apparently had other plans…)

  • Fed Up

    Noah, did you call NBBL for comment? They’re all about better bike lanes, after all.

  • Trying to be very respectful to the fact that a human being is dead, I still want to know if the cyclist had equipped his bike with a the proper assortment of lights, for and aft, as required by law.  I see WAY too many NYC cyclists riding at night without lights, often close to 80% are riding with no or an improper assortment of lights (very rough estimate).

    Before we jump to conclusions about the driver of the truck, I think it is only fair to ask this question as well.  To assume the driver of the truck was at fault is in my opinion rather naive when the rates of cyclists using lights at night is so low.

  • carma

    Andy,

    Thats what i would question too.  did the driver of the truck really see the cyclist?  to me, the consequence of “legally” parking your truck after you hit someone seems odd.  if you really wanted to do a “hitandrun” you would get away far from the scene? no?

    the only details we know are that 1.  the cyclist is dead.  2.  the driver is nowhere to be found. 3.  the driver did not stay at the scene.

    although #3 could be due to the driver unaware of his actions that he may have hit something.

    as i said, if there was an intent on the driver to run away from the scene in which they know they hit the cyclist, it is obviously now a criminal case.

  • ” if you really wanted to do a “hitandrun” you would get away far from the scene? no?”

    Parking close to the scene has convinced you that it wasn’t a hit and run.  Seems like that would be a good strategy, then, right?  In other words, it proves nothing.

  • carma

    Steve, I dont know what the mind of a hit and run driver would be.  at best, im guessing also on what the facts of this incident are.  b/c there are so many unknowns that are not reported.

  • digamma

    You forgot the guy who was killed in August at Metropolitan and Gardner, right near there.

  • Driver

    My first thoughts when reading this story:  either it is a really spectacular coincidence that the driver was planning to park a block away from where he (or she) hit a cyclist and didn’t notice, or the driver was doing something illegal and decided hit and run with a defense of “I didn’t know I hit anyone” was preferable to the alternative of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.
    My gut tells me the driver knew he (or she) hit someone. 

  • guest

    The cyclist was an accomplished artist living & working in New York legally.
    The whole family is totally devastated.
    Anyone who leaves the scene of an accident definitely  makes it a hit & run, Parking legally a block away makes no difference & the driver must have known at least that there was an accident at that corner with ambulance being there within minutes….even before they had the time to drive the truck away & park. Why did the driver abandon the truck if is also a big question and not return to the scene. Parking the truck legally a block away means nothing. Using the excuse I didn’t know that I hit something or someone is no excuse for at least not going back to find out.
    How can the driver live with themselves? Why are they hiding & still at large when I am sure they know & am sure they know by now that they are being looked for.
    Here the driver would definitely be charged with hit & run & vehicular homicide and should be.

  • guest
  • Anonymous

    Thank you for sharing this .

    Laptop

    Batteries

  • guest
  • Pedal Power Pete

    The driver of this truck might say, as did the driver of the US postal service truck that struck Marilyn Dershowitz, that he had no idea he hit someone.  From L Magazine, July 5: “DNAinfo reports that the driver of the seven-ton postal truck that hit her was unaware of the collision until he was tracked down by authorities, though he isn’t expected to face charges, according to the Post.”  Interestingly, both drivers went missing for a while.  Q: Who was driving this flatbed truck and was a commercial driver’s license required, and does the driver have one and is it in good standing?  And why the late night run? 

    Addressing the unaware defense, if these trucks cannot be operated in such a way that drivers are aware as they barrel down streets whether they are striking people or objects, then sue the manufacturer, who will then go after the driver. 

    Sue the manufacturers until they make technological changes that leave no doubt or that eliminate the ability for a driver to claim the truck’s design impaired his awareness.

     

  • drivers will get excellent training that can help them become better drivers. This might help them avoid some accidents along the way and help ensure they are a quality driver for the long term. Another nice benefit is the CDL Training is performed at truck driving schools that often have an excellent placement service.

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