Derek Lake, 23.

derek.gifBelow is a note from Kerri Savage, a friend of Derek Lake’s:

Today was probably the most miserable day I have ever had.

A good friend of mine (who happened to be working for my husband) was killed today on Houston and LaGuardia while he was riding his bicycle to work. He was not an avid cyclist, and apparently tried to maneuver between a truck and a van and was thrown from his bike and run over by a truck and pronounced dead at the scene.

As I am sure you can imagine, we are absolutely devastated. Derek was only 23 and graduated from SVA film school last year. He completed his first short film Sans Pertinence, which is absolutely amazing. His film was recently accepted into a film festival (I don’t know which one).

Derek lived in Brooklyn and was, as I mentioned above, also working for my husband full-time and very happy to have a job where he could use his talents and work with a small and tight-knit team of people. He told me he was thrilled to be in such a great position right out of college. He was a really inspirational director and a talented artist. He was also a very sweet and kind person. This is a horrible tragedy and we are completely emotionally destroyed. It is incredible that someone who was so endlessly talented and brilliant could be gone in an instant. He was very driven and always intensely professional.

We’d like to spread the word about his films if at all possible. This is such a great loss and he will be missed.


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  • Derek Lake was a friend and subject of my portraits. We both attended SVA together and met in a class. In an instant it was clear he would make a perfect subject. Derek was a natural model and understood that what was required was that he be himself. The subsequent prints caused a tremendous amount of attention and ended up in 2 major collections and part of a show of the 1st exhibition of photography for the North Carolina Museum of Art. Of course, I shared all of this success with Derek and he was achieving success of his own; it was an exciting time for both of us. I had to leave the City for 9 months and recently saw Derek riding past me on the Williamsburg Bridge and thought about what might have transpired with him since I’d been away. And of taking his portrait again. I was devastated to learn of the accident that took him. All that’s left is the beautiful portraits we created together, which my gallery is investigating donating to a museum so he can live on. It’s a small gesture in the face of a life with so much potential lost. One that I would be happy to do for such a wonderful person.

  • Dave C

    Boy, the apple sure did not fall far from the tree. I see a lot of both parrents in him. He is now there with the Lord before us. What great achievements for a young man just getting started. I will contribute to his foundation to continue supporting the creative arts and education. I pray many others will too.

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  • Rami

    Hi, I am trying to get in touch with Derek Lake’s family. If anyone has a phone number or mailing address I will greatly appreciate it. Thank you.

  • Anonymous

    I read about Mr. Lakes unfortunate accident while browsing the web. It’s 2016 and he’s certainly not forgotten. RIP!


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