Truck Driver Severely Injures Cyclist in Downtown Brooklyn

A semi truck driver ran over a cyclist at the corner of Jay and Tillary streets in Downtown Brooklyn this morning.

The crash happened at around 7:15. NYPD told Streetsblog the truck driver was turning right from Tillary onto Jay when the collision occurred, but photos from the scene show the truck stopped while turning right from northbound Jay onto Tillary.

The victim, a 35-year-old man, sustained trauma to his left leg and was transported to New York Methodist Hospital in critical condition, NYPD said.

The victim suffered a “massive head wound,” according to the Daily News:

As cops investigated, the mangled bike remained lodged under the truck’s cabin, just paces away from a pool of blood and the victim’s helmet.

The driver was not ticketed or arrested. The NYPD spokesperson we talked with said the crash “looks like an accident.” The investigation is ongoing, the spokesperson said.

Jay Street and Tillary Street are local truck routes. However, trucks longer than 55 feet are allowed on surface streets only if the load is “non-divisible,” such as construction beams, and the driver has a permit. It is illegal to operate a tractor-trailer carrying boxed or other loose cargo on New York City streets if the total truck length exceeds 55 feet.

Today’s crash was at least the second such serious collision in or near Downtown Brooklyn this year. Last April an off-route semi driver killed cyclist James Gregg at Sixth Avenue and Sterling Place in Park Slope.

Whatever the circumstances of this morning’s crash, a truck that size on city streets filled with people biking and walking is a disaster waiting to happen. NYC needs big changes to freight policy and enforcement to move loads on smaller vehicles within the city.

Today’s crash occurred in the 84th Precinct, where local officers essentially do not enforce truck route regulations, and in the City Council district represented by Steve Levin.

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