SEE IT: Video Shows Bus Driver Killing Citi Bike Rider Dan Hanegby

This is the moment when bus driver Dave Lewis passed too closely to cyclist Dan Hanegby, who had the right of way, killing him.
This is the moment when bus driver Dave Lewis passed too closely to cyclist Dan Hanegby, who had the right of way, killing him.

The bus driver did not slow down. The cyclist did not swerve.

A video showing Coach USA operator Dave Lewis driving his 50,000-pound bus over Citi Bike rider Dan Hanegby bolsters the prosecution case that Lewis was reckless as he tried to pass the cyclist on W. 26th Street on June 12, 2017, knocking him to the ground and killing him. (See video below, starting at roughly :43.)

The video — a key component of Lewis’s ongoing trial — was released by Judge Heidi Cesare on Thursday, against the wishes of Lewis’s lawyer. Lewis is on trial for violating Hanegby’s right of way, a misdemeanor punishable by just 30 days in prison, though advocates called for a harsher charge.

In the footage above, Hanegby, 36, enters the frame shortly after :43 and is seen biking east between Eighth and Seventh avenues. The bus is behind Hanegby as he cycles between a white commercial van parked to his right and a black SUV that was jutting into the narrow one-way street on the opposite side.

Hanegby, who is wearing headphones, travels in a straight trajectory near the middle of the roadway. As Lewis passes, Hanegby’s front wheel jerks to the right just before he slips out of view — the video apparently showing the bus clipping Hanegby’s handlebars, causing the front wheel to twist right.

The video appears to counter an original police conclusion that Hanegby, who was an experienced cyclist, swerved. At the time of the crash, a police spokesperson told Gothamist that Hanegby was “swerving left,” a conclusion that is not supported by the video.

During the trial, Lewis’s lawyer Jeremy Saland had blamed Hanegby for the collision, but witnesses rebutted that. Last year, Lanette Perez, who had been riding in the front seat of the bus, said Lewis was to blame.

“We brushed him causing him to loose [sic] control,” she wrote in an email to Gothamist. “My heart breaks for this man and his family.”

Dan Hanegby was killed by bus driver Dave Lewis last year.
Dan Hanegby was killed by bus driver Dave Lewis last year.

A guilty verdict in the bench trial would send Lewis to jail for a month, but send a larger message to drivers who hit the accelerator pedal instead of the brake on narrow city streets. And it would undercut what has become the NYPD’s default reaction after collision: blaming the cyclist.

Saland objected to the release of the powerful video, saying it would bias future witnesses.

“There has been a significant amount of press coverage on this case, and it’s my concern that there could be undue influence on [future witnesses], because objectively, it’s a horrific, horrendous event,” he said. “As we know in this particular case, there are strong emotions in the biker community and some of them might be very reasonable… There’s such emotion here this is just going to add to that fodder.”

But Transportation Alternatives Executive Director Paul Steely White hailed of the judge’s decision to release the tape.

“When a crash victim can’t tell their side of the story, we end up with flawed accounts of what actually happened,” he said. “Without video evidence, Dan Hanegby might have been just another cyclist being blamed for his own death.”

A verdict is expected as early as Oct. 1.

— with Gersh Kuntzman

  • Danny G

    It looks like the black SUV parked in front of building #233 lines up approximately with the manhole cover, so it is quite far from the curb.

  • MatthewEH

    IMO, Hanegby ended up in the van’s door zone, which wasn’t the most defensive spot on the road to be; not 100% the safest line. Further out into the lane would have been better still.

    Not that it mattered at all for this crash.

  • JarekFA

    The thing is, if you’re going to take the lane, in part because it frequently causes the vehicles behind you to become impatient — you need to be somewhat more aggressive in riding.

    Whereas, if you want to ride more casually, and not rush, then you may not feel comfortable to take the lane. There shouldn’t be anything wrong with going slow, riding on the side, listen to tunes, and have a leisurely ride. You’re still going a lot faster than walking without breaking a sweat. But this again illustrates the importance of having separated infrastructure.

  • ALWAYS ride on the left on one-way streets if no bike lane. You’ll be more visible to drivers and less likely to be doored.

  • Joe R.

    I’m entitled to question other people’s likes or dislikes, aren’t I?

    And no, I can’t understand a lot of things “regular” people in the world do simply because I don’t share their experiences. Putting aside my preferences here, dulling one of your senses while using a mode of transport which requires all of them doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. That’s the primary reason I don’t understand it. I offered up some other reasons for not wearing headphones which had nothing to do with safety just in case anyone on the fence still wasn’t convinced to not wear them.

    BTW, others bought up the headphones, not me. I personally see it as victim-blaming, but as the subject was already out, why not discuss it further? Dan wasn’t killed because he was wearing headphones. He was killed because the bus driver passed him in a spot he shouldn’t have. End of story.

  • Joe R.

    I don’t doubt that’s true given how much modern cars drown out sound. I still like to have 100% of my hearing when I’m on a bike. It’s saved my life many times.

  • Joe R.

    That’s exactly the reason why taking the lane is a tool, but shouldn’t be the default way of riding. I never feel comfortable taking the lane unless I can keep pace with motor traffic (or there is no motor traffic, like late nights). Side streets are about the only place I can consistently keep pace with motor traffic. On some arterials it’s possible during rush hours when traffic moves at 25 mph or less, but in general you have to ride the right of traffic on such roads.

  • com63

    You know what is also illegal: honking at a cyclist who has the right of way, giving them less than 3ft while passing and then running them over with your bus.

  • Alexis Leonardo Solórzano

    I agree, but unfortunately the law says you have to ride on the right side.
    So theres a chance a cop might pull you over for it.

    I would still advise cyclists that its safer to ride on the left side of the street.

  • com63

    yeah, that is a BS law. It says on one way streets greater than 40ft, you can ride on both sides. It should really be any one way street.

  • qrt145

    The law says that on one-way streets that are at least 40 ft wide, you can ride on either side.

  • vbtwo31984

    Whenever I encounter a situation like this, or a blocked bike lane, I always take the lane in advance (looking over the shoulder to find a safe moment to do so), and then move over when I pass the parked vehicle.

  • djx

    “No headphones, you’ll hear a big ass bus approaching you.”

    And do what?

    Does a bus about to hit you sound different than a bus about to pass you?

    Hearing might help in recognizing a car/bus/truck coming from the side, say when you’re passing through an intersection. But if you are going straight and the overtaking vehicle is going the same direction, I don’t see how it could help.

  • Betsy Larey

    The bus driver did not murder the biker. He accidentally hit him. That is not a crime, its a tragedy. Bikers should not wear headphones, and it is illlegal. There isn’t a perfect solution ( so far ) to completely separate bikes and cars. And then throw electric scooters into the mix and you will have incidents like this happen with greater frequency. Best if all on the streets pay more attention to their surroundings and other people. Me? You couldn’t pay me to bike in the city.

  • djx

    “If he has heard the bus in time, there’s a chance he would have swerved away from the bus.”

    By this standard, he’d have to swerve dozens of times an hour, even for vehicles not hitting him but getting close. Is that what you do?

    “I rely on hearing as much as seeing to stay safe.”

    Really? I can look down an intersection and know it is clear (there are few invisible vehicles). I cannot hear down an intersection to know it is clear, since there are vehicles that are nearly silent.

    Hearing is a bonus, but we cannot rely on it the same was we do sight.

  • Betsy Larey

    Jail time, never driving again and calling this murder is an overreaction to a horrible accident. If the biker would not have had headphones on, he would have known the bus was coming. I’m not excusing the bus driver. But clearly this was an accident. I don’t bike in the city, ( go farther out ) but why shouldn’t the lane for cyclists be on the left side? Not sure.

  • Joe R.

    You couldn’t pay me to bike in Manhattan but that has nothing at all to do with anything here. The fact is people in this city do bike, and will continue to do so. There’s no reason people should die because drivers don’t do what they’re supposed to do. The headphones may or may not have been a factor here. As I mentioned below, I personally don’t understand why cyclists would wear headphones, illegal or not, but the reality is that many do. Headphones may prevent you from hearing approaching traffic, but in practice that wouldn’t matter if motorists did what they were required to do, which is pass only when it’s safe to do so.

    There isn’t a perfect solution ( so far ) to completely separate bikes and cars.

    Yeah, there is. Put the bikeways on viaducts. They did this already in China and now South Korea. If these fledgling experiments go well, we might see this as the new paradigm for urban bikeways. Whether or not NYC would be willing to spend the money to do this is an open question, but the concept solves a host of problems.

  • Joe R.

    First off, this street doesn’t even have a bike lane. If it did, then the left side is absolutely where that bike lane should be for reasons others have mentioned.

    Second, it’s not incumbent upon a cyclist to get out of the way of approaching traffic, even if I and others espouse doing so as an urban cycling survival tactic. This incident was 100% on the bus driver. He honked, which means he saw the cyclist. That means he could have slowed down until Dan was past the van and could go to the right. He didn’t. He exercised terrible judgement. Anyone who exercises such bad judgement that it causes another person death or serious injury has proven they’re unfit to drive, ever. Remember driving is a privilege, not a right. A motorist must continually prove they’re worth of this privilege.

  • JarekFA

    “No headphones, you’ll hear a big ass bus approaching you.”

    And do what?

    Pull over, stop behind the parked van. NOT slightly veer left (he doesn’t swerve but you can see in the video that he indeed does move slightly to the left to give himself a slightly larger cushion as he passes the parked van). Look at the pics, he’s looking at the blond or the van. He has no idea he’s about to be overtaken/bumped by a giant ass bus.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b9e44a38ec5c103db337fbb8989ae9c88c1747d13f95eef10124d3e9e0b2e09a.png

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/652bb11d11d68d922f5f4c5e72080464d9270ca0a957cf56966b7c074f2decf8.png

    Buses like that are loud. You should be able to hear them. But if you’re wearing headphones playing music, you might not hear it. I feel awful for the guy. He should be alive. And the driver should go to jail. But I think we’re being dishonest if we try to suggest that his headphones played no role here. Passing vehicles should give no less than 3 feet clearance. But those 6 inches of leftward movement might have been fatal.

    Does a bus about to hit you sound different than a bus about to pass you?

    The sound of a bus about to pass me as I enter a pinch point is going to sound like a bus about to hit me. I’m going to want to look at it. I’m going to want to situate myself by either taking the lane or getting the fuck out of the way. Buses and trucks are my greatest fear out there. This poor guy was barely grazed and was going at a relatively slow speed. He wasn’t even really struck but rather swiped from the side and pulled under. I feel for him and his family. I really do. But I don’t think it does any good to pretend that the purposeful diminution of his ability to hear the other vehicles on the street played no role.

  • Betsy Larey

    Stop it, all of you are acting like 4 year olds. No one is “blaming” People are stating a fact that without headphones you can hear someone behind you. That’s simply a fact.

  • Joe R.

    You and I have different cycling experiences. I often cycle at 2 or 3 AM. That time of night is so dead silent I easily hear vehicles a block or two away. I rely on hearing more to determine if vehicles are overtaking me than if an intersection is clear. However, even in the latter case hearing comes in useful at the times I ride.

  • thielges

    It wasn’t an accident. The driver saw the bicyclist but continued to make an unsafe pass. That is bad judgment and is not accidental.

  • squidonabike

    All of this talk about headphones is nonsense. Yes, it’s probably a bit safer in general to have full hearing when biking. It’s also safer to never leave the house lest you be robbed or assaulted. The only person responsible for this man’s death is the bus driver. He chose to pass the cyclist even though there wasn’t enough room to safely do so. Since our pathetic laws will only lock him up for a month, he should also lose his CDL forever. And I hope that a civil suit takes every penny he has.

  • Joe R.

    It’s likely a lot safer not using anything which interferes with your hearing (that includes wearing a helmet) but yes, headphones or not, the bus driver was 100% in the wrong. It’s not incumbent upon cyclists to get out of the way of speeding traffic, even if it’s a good survival strategy.

    As for a civil suit, he’s a bus driver. He’s probably broke. It makes more sense to sue the bus company. Besides having deeper pockets, technically speaking they’re responsible for the behavior of their drivers. I’ll be happy if the ultimate outcome isn’t just losing his CDL, but losing his driving privileges altogether for the rest of his life. If I was among the victim’s next of kin, that’s exactly one of the conditions I would specify in any settlement.

  • William Lawson

    I’ve been in some extremely hairy situations taking the lane, including one last year in which a tour bus driver got within an inch of my back wheel and honked constantly. If I’d have slowed down even slightly, or hit a pothole awkwardly, I would have been under the front of that bus.

  • MiklosMeszaros

    There considerations anyone should take in when using a headphone while riding is that one of your senses in which you use to provide information to make a judgement on surroundings and a possibly safety threat is no longer available to you. Some headphones would block enough sound to prevent emergency sires with those vehicles specifically violating traffic laws for an emergency. As for wearing a headphone in a single ear, you reduce your ability to determine the direction of a sound due to Doppler effect. I would advise anyone riding to not use headphones and external speakers are more than fine if you feel the need to have music while riding.

    As for this accident, I can’t agree with homicide charge at that requires the specific intent to kill, unless evidence like a altercation prior to was present, or the driver was knowing impaired and yet decided that the public safety was of no concern. I could certainly see manslaughter charges as the driver did make the pass at an unsafe distance.

    As for road riding safety, the safest on this particular road is in the middle and is perfectly legal here. The cyclist is in no way required to yield to vehicles in smaller side streets as such. Driver education is sorely lacking in this country, I hope we can update that in the near future, but especially in states where conditions like NYC are present.

  • Greggzuk

    It’s not bad judgement; it’s second degree murder: “under circumstances demonstrating a ‘depraved indifference to human life,’ the defendant ‘recklessly engages in conduct which creates a grave risk of death to another person, and thereby causes the death of another person’.” https://statelaws.findlaw.com/new-york-law/new-york-second-degree-murder-laws.html The operator of the lethal weapon was indifferent to the life of the cyclist, operating the lethal weapon recklessly thereby causing the death of the cyclist. Go ahead and argue it if it pleases you. It’s fairly straightforward to me and others, I suspect.

  • Greggzuk

    I get paid to operate bicycles and tricycles in Manhattan; in fact, I’ve been paid to do so since 1994. Obviously, the solution is to ban motor vehicles; however, in the meantime the fact is people in this city operate lethal weapons in the streets. Cyclists operating bikes and trikes (not to mention peds) while wearing headphones are creating dangerous conditions for themselves and others; it’s illegal, as well, to do so. Fledgling experiments to separate the lethal weapons from peds and cyclists with separated lanes are going well overall. We see urban modes retaking streets from the lethal weapons once again; in the meantime, vigilance all around or face the consequences.

  • Greggzuk

    Grow up, take responsibility for your faux pax, and move on, dude. The operator of the motorbus is up for second-degree murder as far as I’m concerned. Doesn’t mean the cyclist isn’t also a perp. Own it.

  • Greggzuk

    Bingo. People who indicate headphones had nothing to do with this incident know nothing about street riding in N.Y.C. They just frontin’, projecting self-serving lies out there due to insecurity, fear, and righteousness I reckon. I’ve been paid to pedal in the streets of Manhattan since 1994. Cyclists (let alone peds) donning headphones have a deathwish. Period. (Honestly, I feel they deserve it – but we’ll leave that one aside.)

  • Greggzuk

    How many deaf people do you know who operate bicycles in Manhattan. Full stop.

  • Andrew

    But clearly this was an accident.

    There was nothing accidental about the driver’s choice to deliberately proceed into a space too narrow for his bus to safely fit. He could have slowed down and waited behind the cyclist until there was enough room to safely pass. Instead, he honked his horn and kept going.

  • Stephen Simac

    Reckless endangerment, vehicular manslaughter, these are more appropriate charges than violating his right of way.

  • Stephen Simac

    Taking the whole lane can be either safer, by not allowing motorists to pass in unsafe situations, or more dangerous by enraging already aggressive motorists. Having been hit from behind while” riding as far as practicable to the right side of the traffic lane” by a driver who “never even saw” me, and T boned while taking the whole lane by a sausage truck rolling through a stop sign who also “never even saw me”, it’s not an easy choice.

    I definitely advocate taking the full lane on downhill or when riding at speed in traffic. There was no other traffic with the sausage truck,(a risk factor I wasn’t aware of at the time) so even though I believed we had made eye contact, I was wearing the ‘cloak of invisibility” that motorists see instead of solo or groups of cyclists.

  • Stephen Simac

    Large vehicles (especially at speed) generate a wind vortex that can knock cyclists and even pedestrians down and suck them under their wheels. Happens frequently enough that it should be part of the commercial vehicle driver’s test, but isn’t. Also their side mirrors frequently are at head height, no legal liability for manufacturers though.

  • Stephen Simac

    what’s really rude are Harley Davidson motorcyclists (loud enough to penetrate nearby walls and windows) also playing loud country music.

  • Stephen Simac

    actually you can hear motorists with headphones on, not that I would wear them, but can understand why people might want to moderate traffic sounds. A rear view mirror works better than your ears, because the Doppler effect makes approaching sound difficult to determine distance.

  • Stephen Simac

    This discussion has veered away from the most critical reasons why Dan was killed to whether he had it coming because of his headphones, not dissimilar to dissecting sexual assault victim’s clothing or lack of.

    Let’s talk more about the size of the bus on city streets, unsafe speed limits in areas with high pedestrian and bicycle presence, and driver’s unwillingness to wait to pass. Apparently the driver did not even stop=in the video there’s no sign of the bus after he runs over the cyclist.

    The delivery van, parked too far out in the traffic lane,two feet away from the curb. This parking position further squeezed what was already a narrow lane, because of parking on both sides of the one lane road, (so riding on the left side would not necessarily prevent dooring, much less being turned into by drivers not looking for cyclists on the left.)
    Commercial driving licenses and standard ones must include safety rules for cyclists and pedestrians, not just other motor vehicle traffic.

  • Alexis Leonardo Solórzano

    It’s A LOT safer to ride your bike when you have your full hearing vs having it obstructed by loud music. I would assume you have not ridden in mixed traffic with headphones fully cover your ear, but I hope you don’t. I use a Bluetooth speaker and I occasionally look behind me whenever I hear a motor vehicle to determine how fast and/or how close they are to me. And I can’t count how many times a car has gotten dangerously close to me and required me to adjust myself to make sure I don’t get sideswiped. I shouldn’t have to be constantly looking behind me to make sure motor vehicles are providing me with sufficient space, but that is the world we live in.

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