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Bicycle Safety

Cyclist Erica Abbott Killed in Williamsburg [Updated]

10:59 AM EDT on August 31, 2011

Erica Abbott. Photo via Daily News

A 29-year-old woman was killed Tuesday night while riding her bike in Brooklyn.

Erica Abbott was traveling southbound on Bushwick Avenue at Powers Street when, according to police and media reports, she fell into traffic and was run over by the driver of a Mercedes.

The Daily News says Abbott was riding near a construction site when she "suddenly lost her balance near a pile of loose wood on the street after a car horn honked and she turned her head." An NYPD summary of the crash simply states that Abbott "fell off of her bicycle." The driver, an unnamed 34-year-old woman, was traveling in the same direction. She remained at the scene.

Abbott was pronounced dead on arrival at Woodhull Hospital. According to NYPD, "There is no apparent criminality and the investigation is ongoing."

Gothamist reports that Abbott was a dancer with an MFA from SUNY Purchase. She was the third known city cyclist killed this month. On August 2, Chris Doyle was hit by a truck driver less than a mile away from the Abbott crash site. Jeffrey Axelrod was run over by a cement truck at Chrystie and Delancey Streets in Manhattan on August 18. No charges were filed in the deaths of Doyle or Axelrod.

Update: A reader contacted Gothamist with details regarding conditions on Bushwick Ave.:

I'm not sure if this information will help with anything, I just picture some idiot commenting and saying "who drives a bike through a construction site." I live on Bushwick Ave and there is a new condo building going up. There were 2 wooden barricade type structures to block off an area. They were both in the street next to the sidewalk, but one blew over with the storm over the weekend and was in the way of any biker or car for that matter. I have no idea why it wasn't picked up Monday or Tuesday. I can see how you wouldn't even see it if on a bike. It would put you into harms way if you were trying to swerve around it. Now we have lost someone and an ugly condo is going up. Really not fair.

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