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Bicycle Safety

NYPD: No Charges for Driver Who Killed 14-Year-Old Cyclist Edwin Ajacalon in Brooklyn

Video still via WCBS

In Brooklyn over the weekend, a driver killed a child on a bike who worked delivery jobs to help support his family. NYPD filed no charges.

Edwin Ajacalon
Edwin Ajacalon
Edwin Ajacalon

Edwin Ajacalon, 14, migrated to the U.S. alone to send money home to Guatemala. He was riding a bike with an electric battery across 23rd Street at around 5:45 p.m. when he was struck by a 19-year-old male driving a 2017 BMW sedan southbound on Fifth Avenue.

Video posted by the Daily News and WCBS shows the driver enter the intersection at high speed the moment before he struck Ajacalon.

“The driver, coming up [Fifth] Avenue, he went through the light,” witness Rafael Eustaquio told the Post. “He drove that way, and then he hit him in the back. The kid, he fly, when he came down on the windshield and rolled off the car.”

“The boy ended up about halfway across the block,” another witness told WCBS.

Media reports said Ajacalon’s shoes and hat were knocked off upon impact. He died from injuries to his head and body.

The NYPD public information office told Streetsblog the driver had a green light but provided no information about his speed.

The Daily News reported that the driver attempted to flee the scene but was blocked by an off-duty cop in another vehicle.

NYPD withheld the driver's identity, which is typical when a motorist is not summonsed or charged after killing someone. The investigation remains open, police said.

Motorists have now killed at least 20 people riding bikes in New York City this year, including the three victims of the West Side Greenway attack in October, according to crash data tracked by Streetsblog. That surpasses the 18 cyclist fatalities reported by City Hall in all of 2016.

The 72nd Precinct, where Edwin Ajacalon was killed, had ticketed 404 speeding drivers this year -- fewer than two per day -- as of August, the latest month for which NYPD has published summons data.

Under the command of Deputy Inspector Emmanuel Gonzalez, the 72nd Precinct is also enthusiastically pursuing Mayor de Blasio's e-bike crackdown, seizing vehicles like the one Ajacalon was riding despite no evidence that they pose a public safety threat.

Tonight at 6:30 p.m., Borough President Eric Adams, Council Member Carlos Menchaca, and traffic safety advocates will join members of Ajacalon's family at a vigil at the crash site in his memory.

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