NYPD: No Charges After SUV Driver Leaves 29-Year-Old Bay Ridge Cyclist “Likely to Die”

Police said the driver had the green light.

Photo: John Tomac
Photo: John Tomac

A cyclist is in critical condition and considered “likely to die” after he was struck by an SUV driver at 73rd Street and Ridge Boulevard in Bay Ridge this morning.

An NYPD spokesperson told Streetsblog a 63-year-old woman driving the SUV was headed westbound on 73rd and entered the intersection with a green light. Police said the cyclist, a 29-year-old black male, was northbound on Ridge. NYPD’s public information office had no further details on how the crash occurred.

The victim was transported to Lutheran Hospital. NYPD did not identify either individual by name.

No charges were filed and no tickets were issued. NYPD told Streetsblog there was “no criminality suspected” and said investigators were still working the crash.

Streetsblog reader John Tomac came upon the scene at around 10:30 a.m. His photos show the driver’s door and left front fender severely damaged, with the SUV stopped in the crosswalk on Ridge, the front wheels turned slightly to the left.

A man is in critical condition after being struck at 73rd Street and Ridge Boulevard by the driver of a Ford Explorer. Photo: Google Maps
73rd Street and Ridge Boulevard. Photo: Google Maps

Tomac, who lives in the neighborhood, said he’s seen collisions and near-misses at the intersection before.

“I’ve had a few close calls crossing here, too,” he said in an email. “There’s a lot of racing to beat the light and a lot of failure to yield to people in the crosswalk.”

The location of today’s collision falls under the jurisdiction of the NYPD’s 68th Precinct. If you’d like to share you concerns about traffic safety in the area, the precinct community council meets next Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the precinct house, located at 333 65th Street.

Photo: John Tomac
Photo: John Tomac

With reporting by Brad Aaron.

  • JarekFA
  • jaxbot

    “no criminality suspected”

    It’s criminal to injure someone with the RoW in New York. So one should really suspect criminality any time someone is hit by a driver, ahem.

  • Mark

    The article says that the driver of the SUV had the green light. So what is your point about the RoW? Did you see the part about the green light for the driver?

  • Mark

    From the photos, both the bicycle and the shot of the car, it appears that the bicycle hit the car. See the driver’s door? See the front wheel of the bike? The article says she had the green light. Yet from what I am reading in the comments section, it is the driver’s fault? Everyone needs to slow the F down, agreed. But in this case, it appears the bicyclist was a fault. So I am assuming now that the comment about slowing down is for the cyclist. ?

  • Luis Calleja

    So if it’s a green light, all living things are collateral damage to your impatience and momentum? Mark sounds like a motorist to me. Any victims, Mark?

  • Mark

    Can you make a headline any more geared for readers of Streetsblog, and not the way a normal reporter would place the headline? The headline makes it sound like the driver of the SUV left the scene of the accident. WTF. Nice reporting Brad, you idiot.

  • jd_x

    Possibly, but the police are notorious for not giving an unbiased assessment of bicycle vs car crashes and tend to unfairly blame the bicyclist, especially when the bicyclist can’t share his side of the story. So I remain skeptical that the bicyclist is at fault with only this preliminary info.

  • Mark

    What is your point? I am responding to jaxbot stating that the biker had the right of way. That is all. Who is impatient? The cyclist running a red? Because that is the information in the story. You say collateral damage, not me. Jaxbot called the driver criminal. That is not what the article said. You have a different take on the article?

  • Mark

    Use your brain instead of talking out of your ass. Learn how to read, that might help.

  • Brad Aaron

    Thanks for the input.

    Good-bye.

  • dave “paco” abraham
  • This one says the driver was turning when she hit the person on the bike. Who knows what happened, but given NYPD’s history it’s possible there’s more going on here than whatever the cops are saying.

    https://twitter.com/ToddMaisel/status/994651840783495169

  • Simon Phearson

    The police saying that the driver had the right of way is a universal feature of their post-crash statements. I don’t think I’ve read a single example since moving to this city where a driver wasn’t in some way completely exonerated from fault. At this point, it’s best to think of it as simple noise and assume that the truth has yet to be established.

  • Simon Phearson

    Just another suicidal cyclist, huh?

  • Ken Dodd

    There is absolutely no insinuation of the sort contained in that headline, except maybe to an idiot. Well done.

  • Jesse

    No one here knows what actually happened but at least one account suggests that the driver was turning which seems plausible. If it’s a left hook type crash then the cyclist did have the right of way and the green light doesn’t excuse the driver. But in order to know what actually happened the police would need to perform an investigation and until they do that, they really have no business offering exculpatory evidence on the part of the driver.

  • Ken Dodd

    Where is your proof that the driver had the green light? The NYPD frequently release claims about fatal collisions which subsequently turn out to be false. They have an institutional policy of taking the word of killer drivers as gospel without requiring any further proof. This allows them to wrap up cases like this without having to go through all the trouble of pressing charges.

  • Ken Dodd

    Once again. The article merely repeats what the NYPD is claiming. And as we have seen countless times, “what the NYPD claim” and “the truth” fail to intersect more often than not. I have first hand experience of this, having been privy to an NYPD officer brazenly falsifying an accident report – in front of me – to make it look as though I was the guilty party.

  • Ken Dodd

    The article says nothing more that an NYPD spokesman claims the woman had a green light. That does not mean anything with regards to what actually happened.

  • Joe R.

    First off, a bicycle couldn’t do that much damage to a car unless it was traveling at 50 or 60 mph. That’s about as likely as getting struck by lightning. Second, notice where the dent is. If it was caused by the bicycle, the dent would be about at the center point of the front wheel, which would be about 13″ off the ground. The center of that dent is easily twice that high.

    As for the cyclist not having the green light, you’re taking the driver’s word over the cyclist’s. The police here regularly believe whatever the driver says. That’s one reason I want cameras running 24/7 installed at every intersection. When something happens, you pull the video. The police can no longer summarily exonerate drivers.

    Don’t quit your day job to be an collision investigator.

  • Joe R.

    Surprisingly, the police didn’t bother to mention whether or not the cyclist was wearing a helmet. That’s always another of their “blame the victim” tactics.

  • Joe R.

    SUVs and pickups should be banned from large cities. In China they are because they’re consider “farm vehicles”. That’s where they belong, not in dense urban environments.

  • Somebody is likely to die and this is what you focus on? I guess that makes you the _____.

  • Jesse

    It probably just means that he was wearing a helmet.

  • Simon Phearson

    Correct.

  • Larry Littlefield

    That damage seems strange. Was there another vehicle involved?

    It may be that another vehicle hit the SUV and fled the scene, driving it into the cyclist.

  • Anonymous

    Well he must have been going pretty fast to make that huge of a dent in the SIDE of an SUV. Do speed limits not not apply to bicycles on the street, only cars? Because that doesn’t seem to make sense.

  • Anonymous

    Even when the damage is on the side of the car? That’s a joke, the SUV was clearly the one that was hit. What if there was a child in the street. The bicyclist couldn’t even stop for an SUV how could he have stopped for a child?

  • Joe R.

    Who said that damage was caused by the cyclist? It looks more like the damage caused by another motor vehicle. I highly doubt a bike could damage a big tank SUV that badly unless it was going at highway speeds. That’s impossible in that location because the street is pancake flat. A strong cyclist might be doing ~30 mph tops.

  • Andrew

    According to this tweet, the driver was turning. The police statement implies that the driver was going straight.

  • Andrew

    … @disqus_1dJ2wxNJH3:disqus says to himself.

  • Andrew

    given NYPD’s history it’s possible there’s more going on here than whatever the cops are saying

    Possible? Extremely likely.

  • Vooch

    left hook

    negligent homicide by driver

    case closed

  • Vooch

    especially the 68th

  • newshuman

    Agreed, not sure how you could generate enough force from the side to dent the vehicle. Perhaps the dents were pre-existing.

    On another note, the headline is unintentionally misleading. I read it as if the driver left the scene…

  • Larry Littlefield

    A person could cause the damage to the door if they tried to stop, were going down, and hit the door at speed at that height.

    But then how does one explain the broken windshield?

  • newshuman

    Good question. Just look at that bike….

    This SUV must have been traveling at a tremendous speed for all that damage to occur from a bicycle.

    Another young bicyclist taken from us.

  • JL

    Unfortunately, the police investigation always reveals “the car had the green light”, or “the cyclist swerved under my wheel”. So they’re kind of useless.

    What we do know- either the driver or the cyclist ran a light. Or it was a yellow/red kind of situation and both people didn’t pay attention. I can’t tell where the bike ended up, but the SUV is the at the CWalk of Ridge(2way) after a left turn?
    The young cyclist can easily travel at 20+mph with a head of steam.
    The bike looks relatively OK (body is the crumple zone) because if the body went into the SUV side ways (knee /hip into door, head/shoulder into fender) pushing in the left corner of windshield also.

    This is all just speculation without knowing where the different pieces ended up.

    It’s very easy to dent a door with knee, even without velocity of a moving body.

  • Brad Aaron

    Even a relatively small person, on a bike or not, can impact a vehicle with sufficient force to do that kind of damage.

    The damage to this SUV is consistent with the Rasha Shamoon crash. She was hit head-on at an intersection.

    https://nyc.streetsblog.org/2012/02/14/driver-cleared-by-nypd-found-negligent-in-death-of-cyclist-rasha-shamoon/

    “One of Soldaner’s passengers, who was sitting in the back seat, testified that the Land Rover was traveling between 40 and 45 miles per hour, and that the impact was such that she was jolted to the right.

    Pictures of the SUV … showed damage to the left front fender, deep scratches down the driver’s side, and a cracked windshield. The rear view mirror was torn from the driver’s side door.“

    NYPD blamed Shamoon, of course, before a civil jury found the driver responsible.

    The driver in yesterday’s crash was also injured, so there’s more to this story than NYPD is saying. As there always is.

  • Joe R.

    That caveat to that is the motor vehicle has to hit the pedestrian or cyclist, not the other around, because a person on foot or on a bike can’t generate enough speed to do that kind of damage, especially to an SUV which is built like a tank. I’ve seen cars totaled that hit deer, for example. But only when the car hit the deer, not the other way around. A deer ran into the side of my sister’s car once. It put in a big dent but still less than the damage to the SUV. And my sister was driving a compact car, not an SUV. Also, a deer is considerably heavier than a person, and was likely moving pretty fast when it hit her, probably at least the speed of a fast cyclist. Surprisingly, the deer was OK. It just shrugged it off, got up, and walked away.

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