Witness Accounts Wanted in Union Square Cyclist Crash

051910pilar.jpgPilar Ortiz. Photo via Gothamist

On May 13, 36-year-old Pilar Ortiz was hurt in a collision with an MTA express bus while riding her bike on Broadway between 13th and 14th Streets. Corresponding with Gothamist, attorney Ben Rubinowitz says Ortiz remains in the hospital with severe injuries, the details of which are not for the faint of heart.

Pilar suffered extensive, life threatening injuries including fractures of one leg and horrific degloving injuries and fractures to the other leg. A degloving injury is one in which the skin, underlying tissue, muscle, nerves and fascia are peeled away from the body very much the way a glove would be removed from a hand. The injury has been so severe that the surgeons have already conducted 4 surgeries to try and save her leg.

Needless to say, the injuries occurred when she was struck by the bus while she was lawfully on her bicycle. According to the police report the bus driver never saw her and wrote, among other things, that the accident took place because the bus driver failed to yield the right of way while Pilar was crossing the intersection with the signal in her favor. The report also states that the bus driver heard a "crunch and scream."

Rubinowitz is collecting witness accounts of the crash. Here is his contact info:

Gair Gair Conason Steigman Mackauf Bloom & Rubinowitz

80 Pine Street

NY, NY 10005

212 943 1090

Fax 212 425 7513


  • Worse than buses are private sanitation vehicles that whip around the corners of Union Square including 14th and Broadway at about 10 PM to 11 PM on pickup evenings.

    It is unforgivable the way drivers are allowed to drive considering the density of people at Union Square.

  • yesterday I saw a sign in the window of the bagel store on bedford ave at north 3rd in williamsburg that was soliciting witnesses for a wreck that happened recently at 3am on havemeyer and metropolitan i believe. i wish i had the details for the wreck but i didn’t really note them all. i do remember that the bike rider was hit by a livery cab and had broken ribs and their back. i walked away after reading it with chills. i’d never seen a “witnesses wanted” sign before, but based on this post i guess it’s sorta common?

  • The scale differences between humans and cars, trucks, and buses are enormous creating tremendous dangers for humans.

    Forcing humans to travel next to these huge heavy extremely dangerous vehicles is absolutely stupid just as if humans were forced to travel on train tracks along with trains or even worse if trains were allowed to travel without tracks but, this is the current situation which helps perpetuate transportation systems as corrupt as the financial, insurance, and oil industries which incidentally have a huge stake the maintaining legacy transportation systems — mainly based on cars — which will ultimately destroy civilization as we know it if left unchecked.

  • Virginia herrera

    Solo decir Pilar que te recuperes de esto muy pronto, como chilena te envío todo mi cariño, he estado en Manhattan varias veces, sé el atractivo que tiene esa ciudad que impresiona a cada instante, también soy ciclista y sé la pasión que esto implica, ojala seamos respetados como un automovilista mas y no como un peatón que les ocupa un espacio con dos ruedas, recibe mi apoyo y mis buenas vibras para que te recuperes muy pronto y tu abogado pueda contar los las personas que vieron tu accidente, un abrazo cordial.

    Virginia Herrera


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