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Hit-and-Run Box Truck Driver Kills Cyclist on Webster Avenue in the Bronx

A box truck driver fatally struck a man on a bike where Webster Avenue intersects with the Cross Bronx Expressway. The white arrow indicates the direction the victim was traveling and the red arrow shows the approximate path of the driver. Image: Google Maps

Last night the driver of a box truck ran over and killed a man riding a bike on Webster Avenue, then left the scene.

Available information suggests the cyclist had the right of way and was the victim of a right hook. The Daily News says the driver was turning right from southbound Webster onto an entrance ramp to the southbound Cross Bronx Expressway when he struck the victim, who was riding parallel to the truck, and kept going.

The crash happened at around 10:40 p.m. The victim was pronounced dead at Bronx Lebanon Hospital. He was not carrying identification, NYPD told Streetsblog, and his name and age were undetermined as of this morning. [Update: The victim was identified as Carlos Vasquez.]

Media reports say the vehicle was a white commercial box truck. The driver remains at large.

The city has failed to prioritize safety for people who walk and bike on Webster Avenue. There is no bike lane on Webster where the collision occurred. Instead, southbound Webster is designed to maximize motor vehicle throughput.

The bike network is sparse in this part of the Bronx. The buffered southbound bike lane on Park Avenue, to the east of Webster, terminates just south of the expressway. The Grand Concourse is several blocks to the west, and to the east, a southbound bike lane on Crotona Avenue is also several blocks away, with poor connections to the street grid since it runs through Crotona Park.

Since 2009, 12 people, including one other cyclist, were injured in crashes at the location of yesterday's crash, according to city data. Eleven of the victims were motor vehicle occupants, indicating collisions occurring at high speeds.

When developing the plan for Webster Avenue Select Bus Service in 2012, DOT and the MTA chose to put bus lanes curbside, rather than in the middle of the street, in part to “[maintain] appropriate traffic flows and circulation.”

Hit-and-run drivers have killed at least eight city pedestrians and cyclists in 2018, according to crash data tracked by Streetsblog. Most drivers who strike people and leave the scene in NYC pay no penalty whatsoever.

This fatal collision occurred in the 46th Precinct, and in the City Council district represented by Ritchie Torres.

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