NYPD: “No Criminality Suspected” After Turning Box Truck Driver Kills Cyclist in Tribeca

Yan Jindee was one of four cyclists killed or severely injured by New York City drivers in five days. Transportation Alternatives issued a statement calling on Mayor de Blasio to build more protected bike lanes.

Photos: Charles Komanoff
Photos: Charles Komanoff

The driver of a box truck killed 48-year-old cyclist Yan Jindee in Tribeca Thursday evening. Though available information suggests Jindee was the victim of a right hook and the driver violated her right of way, police filed no charges.

NYPD said the driver was turning right from eastbound Walker Street onto southbound Broadway — both streets are one-way where the collision occurred — when he hit Jindee, at approximately 5:45 p.m.

Local resident and Streetsblog contributor Charles Komanoff came upon the scene about an hour after the crash. “Her crumpled bicycle with a helmet alongside lay in the center of Broadway just south of the south crosswalk of Walker Street,” wrote Komanoff on the Right of Way Twitter feed. “The truck, a large vehicle with PA plates … was standing in the middle of Broadway, 50-75 feet south of the bicycle.”

“I heard the sound, it was a loud sound,” a witness told the Daily News. “The truck was stopped and the lady was on the floor.”

A police spokesperson told Streetsblog the NYPD public information office did not know which direction the victim was traveling. If she was riding alongside the truck on Walker Street when the driver turned, which seems likely based on where her bike came to rest, Jindee would have had the right of way.

Unnamed NYPD sources told the Post the driver “had the green light” and that “No criminality is suspected.”

jindee-scene-2

Jindee, who reports said lived on the Lower East Side, was pronounced dead at Lower Manhattan Hospital.

The driver was identified only as a 38-year-old man. It is NYPD protocol to shield the names of motorists who kill people unless charges are filed.

Yan Jindee was killed in the 1st Precinct, and in the City Council district represented by Margaret Chin.

Jindee was one of four cyclists killed or severely injured by New York City drivers in five days. Today Transportation Alternatives Deputy Director Caroline Samponaro issued a statement calling on Mayor de Blasio to build more protected bike lanes:

In just five days, four cyclists in New York City, three of whom are women, have been struck by reckless drivers in serious incidents. Three New Yorkers were severely injured and remain in critical condition; one woman has been killed.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has said that he plans to double bike ridership by 2020. He clearly understands, and Transportation Alternatives agrees, that bicycling is a salve for congestion, pollution, public safety, and overcrowding in a rapidly growing city.

However the promotion of cycling is a false promise without the expansion of the protected bike lane network keeping up with cycling’s growth. All four New Yorkers who were struck were forced to ride on streets without protected bike lanes.

An August report by the Department of Transportation found that cycling in New York City is growing faster than employment, transit ridership, or the population …

Despite this boom, the de Blasio administration only plans to build 10 miles of protected bike lanes in the next year. Annually fixing 0.16% of New York City’s streets to be safe for cycling is woefully not enough.

That same report found that the vast majority of cyclist fatalities occur on streets without bicycle facilities. Without a dramatic increase in the buildout of bicycle lanes, New Yorkers will continue to be killed.

It is unignorable that three of the New Yorkers who were struck in the past five days are women, especially since women make up only 35% of New York City’s cycling population. The D.O.T.’s August report found that, looking at bike share riders in particular, women ride more often where there is a complete and connected network of bike lanes. In response to this finding, they pledged to consider “strategies to increase the number of women who cycle and narrow the gender gap in cycling.”

This week’s incidents underscore the necessity of that pledge. The data is clear: Cyclists are safe in bike lanes; More women ride when there are bike lanes. Mayor Bill de Blasio, build a city where all cyclists are safe to ride.

  • Larry Littlefield

    It seems to have taken more than 4 1/2 hours to release THIS video.

  • Paul G.

    If you run reds in order to get ahead of traffic and be seen, you get a ticket.

    If you ride with traffic and go on a green, you get right hooked and killed.

    You wonder why so many bikers roll through red lights?

    But sure, let’s keep ticketing bikers, as they’ll be doing in droves after this week.

    Let’s take the lane, people. Make them see you and stay alive.

  • William Lawson

    I took the lane on 19th Street headed toward Park Avenue a couple of weeks ago, as a coach driven by the asshole in the picture tailgated about 5ft behind and honked constantly. When we reached the red at Park, he held down his horn because he couldn’t even cope with me being in front of him at the light. He then lurched forward into my back wheel, pushing me and my bike into a 45 degree angle. If I’d dragged him out of his seat and beaten him senseless it would have been perfectly justified. The sad part is that I didn’t even bother calling the police because I knew how utterly pointless it would be. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5a58473e7c3627a1a3aa939f2980814227186ef73457d7e089b0fa6cd0bd4cac.jpg

  • William Lawson

    “In just five days, four cyclists in New York City, three of whom are women” — a 2007 report by Transport For London in the UK concluded that the reason why female cyclists are more likely to be killed by truck drivers is because they are more likely to obey the red and wait in the driver’s blind spot, whereas guys are more likely to assert themselves ahead of the truck and pull out before the light changes. Of course the moral onus is on these scumbag truck drivers to actually obey the law, but whilst the authorities refuse point blank to enforce the law, I think female cyclists need to be a lot more aggressive and assertive around these trucks.

    At red lights, I will roll out into the intersection as far as I safely can to get ahead of any neanderthals behind me. And I will always set off just before the light turns, as long as I’m confident that the cross traffic is stopping.

  • MtotheI

    I had something similar happen to me. I was at a red light and took the lane because a driver was parked in the bike lane on the next block. While waiting at the light, the person in the car behind me bumped into my rear wheel. So I moved up a bit. Then it happened again and I lost it. I told the guy to pull over and I called the cops. The cops came told the guy not to do that again and then the cops followed me for blocks looking for any infraction to write me a ticket.

  • William Lawson

    Depressingly typical.

  • Larry Littlefield

    I also notice that when an intersection features a left turn across the bike lane many women (and men) stay in it. I swing right to get around the turning vehicles. That’s what you have to do.

  • Vooch

    It’s amazing that drivers can’t fathom that they are going to be traveling at 12mph in the CBD at best.

    same speed as a cyclist

  • Elizabeth F

    I would not call what William Lawson described “running the red.” It is putting yourself in the crosswalk or bike box, where you can be seen, before the light turns green. I’ve never heard of anyone getting a ticket for that.

  • Joe R.

    I might expect that of a car driver, but it’s pretty depressing so-called professional drivers have sunk to this type of behavior. If this is the best we can get, then I seriously can’t wait until these assholes are put out of work by autonomous vehicles. When that happens, they have no right to complain in my book. I’ll tell them you bought it on yourself with your dangerous, unprofessional driving habits.

    Fat, disgusting specimen of a human being, BTW.

  • William Lawson

    In my experience, “professional” drivers are some of the worst.

  • Vooch

    Note to self –

    if killed by driver make sure the following happens

    1) you are attractive and have plenty of photos on social media showing how attractive you are

    2) you are young

    3) you work in a hip industry

    4) you moved to NYC from a lily white suburb and your parents are articulate in a interview

    5) you have lots of influential friends in NYC

  • BeyondtheAutomobile

    I applaud the author in correctly implicating the driver of the truck in the death. Notice how it’s “The driver of a box truck killed 48-year-old cyclist…”, and not “A box truck killed 48-year-old cyclist…”. This is the media doing their part in making drivers accountable for their actions. Thanks Brad.

  • William Lawson

    OT but I cycled around the corner to Park Row past the Brooklyn Bridge today, always a hairy bit of road considering the speed of the traffic and the tight curve. Which is why the new two way bike lane on that bend is so important. But what did I come across? Why, not only was the entrance blocked by a car (probably had an NYPD placard but I didn’t stop to look), but also two bone headed NYPD cops stood right in the way to chat up a couple of female tourists and have their picture taken, which made it necessary for me to swerve right out into the traffic. Also, one of them took a couple of steps backward as I passed, to get himself into a better position for the photo, causing me to swerve out even more. This is the NYPD all over. It boils my piss into the stratosphere to see how utterly uncaring and stupid they can be. Apologies for the poor quality, I had to zoom in lots. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/24a69d37112ac05ba7c23fb724d22a9d02479493ff7f5bd07b52f9a522e28e0e.jpg

  • c2check

    See more from a NACTO webinar with Dr Rachel Aldred on the Near Miss Project
    https://nacto.org/event/webinar-near-miss-project/

  • this is an excellent point. on a parallel note, dan hanegby, who i knew from our kids going to school together, and who was killed two blocks from my home, chose to go into the doorzone gutter. that was his choice. i knew him well enough to know that he thought he was doing the “right” thing by doing so. and while he was killed by a POS bus driver driving a bus on a street that it shouldn’t have been on, i can tell you i’ve been on that exact block in exactly where dan was killed, AND I TAKE THE FUCKING LANE BECAUSE CHOOSING BETWEEN PISSING OFF ASSHOLES OR DYING IS NOT A TOUGH CHOICE. take the lane. always take the lane.

  • William Lawson

    The problem with taking the lane is that drivers in this city really are psychotic enough to rear end you deliberately. I had a coach driver purposefully lunge forward into my back wheel at a red light the other week because he was pissed that I’d taken the lane in front of him on E19th St, and I was deliberately rear ended and hit at high speed by a psychotic driver back in April. I’ve also had countless brushes with taxi drivers who got inches behind me and honked because they wanted to get to a frigging red light 5 seconds quicker. In that close situation, all it takes is hitting a large pothole to throw you off track and kill your speed enough to put you in danger of the car slamming into you and going under their wheels. I think we all need to start wearing helmets with front and back cameras and cataloging evidence of these psychopaths. I dunno, maybe we can find out who their insurance providers are and send them evidence of their reckless driving.

  • Joe R.

    Exactly why I rarely take the lane when there’s heavy motor traffic. In order to remain (relatively) safe all of the following need to happen:

    1) The street must be in good enough condition so I won’t need to swerve for potholes or reduce my speed suddenly.

    2) In order for #1 to be true, I need to have ridden that street fairly recently simply because I won’t be able to see any street defects in time to avoid them when I have motor vehicles in front blocking most of my view.

    3) I need to be able to match the speed of motor traffic. Easier said than done in most places. Typically, this means drafting with 20 or 25 feet of a large vehicle which cuts most of my wind drag.

    4) I need to be able to match the acceleration rate of whatever I’m drafting or eventually I’ll fall behind. Loaded semi or dump truck—no problem. NYC local bus—OK up to maybe 30 to 35 mph. Tour bus or fire engine—OK until 25 to 30 mph. Box truck—difficult to keep up with at all. Almost anything else is too small to draft AND also allow a safe following distance.

    5) I need to hope nobody follows ME too closely or there’s zero margin for error on my part.

    6) I need to hope some psychotic bike hater isn’t behind me.

    7) I need to hope some asshole trying to make the light doesn’t gun it right into my rear wheel.

    8) I probably need to be on one of my better days. Even with most of the wind blocked, motor pacing a large vehicle at sometimes 45 or 50 mph isn’t exactly a walk in the park. If I’m lucky, traffic is only moving at 25 to 35 mph, which is far less stressful on many levels.

    All this is why I repeatedly tell a lot of the VC types that taking the lane may work marginally OK in most of the rest of the country but in NYC in general it’s a horrible idea. At best it’s a stressful sleigh ride. At worst you can easily get killed.

  • david

    I just simply slow down or stop and wait til the danger is gone, what’s the rush? I’d rather live than gamble.

  • joyauto

    This is exactly why people should read my book: “What You Don’t Know About Driving Can Get You Killed!” by Al Cinamon — On Amazon.com

  • JarekFA

    If you TAKE THE LANE on those midtown side-streets; cars shouldn’t get too pissed because they cannot get any speed whatsoever. You’re not holding them up, right?

  • AMH

    Yes, telling cyclists to take the lane is not the solution. It’s trading one dangerous position for another.

  • AMH

    The infrastructure should facilitate this maneuver. Instead it directs cycle traffic into a wall of turning cars.

  • AMH

    Wow, awful, I don’t know what I would have done in that situation. Correct action is probably calling 911, although I’d probably be too shaken to think straight.

  • correct. cross town bike lanes are 99% in the doorzone. don’t use them. that will, like the gentleman on 20th street in may, get you doored. getting doored often means getting knocked into the path of another car (the second one will kill you.) as pointed out above, the avenues are a different story. i still take the lane with the proviso that you must move at least 20 MPH. having said that, i think riding in the door zone on an avenue is LITERALLY INSANE. you will die.

  • i hear you william. we all have to make these tough decisions (and i’m in no position to judge yours–it’s personal) BECAUSE THE CITY’S INFRASTRUCTURE FOR US IS INSUFFICIENT. whatever you do, stay safe.

  • neroden

    Someone needs to file RICO charges against NYPD. We now know who the biggest criminal gang in NY is. They spend their time covering up crimes and running harassment operations.

  • neroden

    NYPD need to be in prison. Whole damn criminal gang belongs in prison.

  • neroden

    At this point I think a private militia needs to be organized to enforce safety laws in NYC. It’ll probably end up having to arrest most of the NYPD, so it’s a big project.

  • neroden

    He was actively threatening your life while operating a deadly weapon in a manner where you had no safe way to run. The correct action, *legally* speaking, is for anyone observing this to pull a licensed firearm, and shoot him through the head to prevent him from further threatening your life. Any sensible jury would recognize it as self-defense.

    Unfortunately society hasn’t yet recognized this for the most part. And the NYPD are mostly on the side of the people who threaten others, and opposed to self-defense, because they’re a crime gang.

  • neroden

    The cops need to go to prison for this.

  • William Lawson

    Believe me, if I was carrying a legal gun at the time when he drove into the back of my bike, I would have felt quite comfortable shooting him dead in self defense. Absolute textbook case.

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