Cyclist Dead in Hit-and-Run Near Times Square [Second Update]

No one has been arrested for killing Joseph Chiam last week near Times Square.
No one has been arrested for killing Joseph Chiam last week near Times Square.

Police say they have “identified” the driver who killed a cyclist near Times Square early Monday morning and then fled.

According to the NYPD, 72-year-old Joseph Chiam was struck on Eighth Avenue near 45th Street at around 5:53 a.m. When cops discovered him, he was unconscious next to his mangled bike. Police said he had been in the bike lane when he was hit, by the driver of a 2013 Green Western Star truck. The driver’s name was not released. Chiam was taken to Bellevue Hospital, where he died.

An NYPD spokeswoman said that the “driver has been identified.” She declined to give further details. No one has been arrested as of 7:15 p.m. on Monday.

The latest death comes after a particularly bloody January in New York City. Nineteen people were killed in the first 28 days of the year, compared to 10 during the same period last year.

The roadways around Times Square are particularly dangerous for cyclists and pedestrians. Last year, seven cyclists and 17 pedestrians were reported injured on Eighth Avenue between 42nd and 48th streets.

Story was updated at 7:15 p.m. to include the ID of the victim.

  • MatthewEH

    Is this the first instance of a death in a protected bike lane?

    Of course, the protection on 8th Ave disappears at intersections with westbound cross-streets, so the semantics of “protected” here are debatable.

  • ItsEasyBeingGreen

    There was another mixing zone death on 1st Ave in the East Village (the woman died after this article was published): https://nyc.streetsblog.org/2017/04/05/turning-truck-driver-critical-injuries-woman-biking-on-first-ave-then-nypd-tickets-cyclists/

  • MatthewEH

    Right, of course. Boo on both, naturally.

  • William Lawson

    Given the carnage on the Hudson bike path in 2017, no.

  • William Lawson

    The NYPD and the DA are likely at this minute working together around the clock to formulate a credible defense for this murdering fuckbag. If it turns out to be an NYPD officer or someone else from a “protected” city class, they’ll likely get off scot free. Of course this is just speculation, but one thing I’m 100% sure about is that whatever happens, the “justice” meted out for this poor man will be completely and utterly inappropriate.

  • i rode up here a couple of hours later. yes, it was in the protected lane, though because of the STUPIDITY OF DOT the green paint in NYC does not extend through the intersections of side streets. this is to protect the tiny brains of drivers, who might be confused by green paint and might, and bear with me here NOT FAIL TO F-ING YIELD ALL THE TIME which apparently is a problem for the DOT. on my ride there, i was blocked on 8th and 36th by a traffic cops in their car sitting there doing nothing. i spoke with them, not politely, and told them to get the f out of the bike lane. i told them someone had died. the officer lied to me and said “no, that wasn’t in the bike lane”. she and her partner were both really just…evil. lousy humans.

    the cop standing on the corner where it happened, on the other hand, was great, gave lots of info, and was kind and thoughtful. so you never know, i guess.

  • Vooch

    Help me understand why the entirety of Times Square is STILL not a pedestrian zone ?

    Pedestrian Zone video (humorous)

  • MatthewEH

    The Greenway is a different animal. There had been a couple of deaths even before the terror-inspired attack, Carl Nacht and Eric Ng.

  • MatthewEH

    Thanks for the upvote, @AMH. And for reminding me of what I said in the wake of that 1st Avenue crash:

    https://disqus.com/home/discussion/streetsblognyc/turning_truck_driver_critical_injures_woman_biking_on_first_ave_8212_then_nypd_tickets_cyclists/#comment-3241422783

    “How’s this for a compromise solution: mandate that trucks may not use these mixing zones. They do not have the visibility to appropriately register the presence of oncoming/alongside cyclists who they need to yield to, they take forever to clear the intersection, their rear wheels track surprisingly far left, and they injure more severely in the event of a crash. Want to make a left off one of these avenues in a truck? Well, two wrongs don’t make a right, but 3 rights make a left.

    “If the left would keep trucks on a designated truck route, then change the treatment so that there is a split-phase there.

    “You could even enforce this with infrastructure: something hanging down above the turn lane that would smack into the windshield or roof of a vehicle that’s disallowably tall.”

  • We pedestrians have known that mixing zones are dangerous for the last 10 years, since the first bike lane was installed on lower 9th Avenue with Split Phases. But many cyclists would rather go faster , never put a foot down and risk theirs and others’ lives. So please talk amongst yourselves and figure what you all want.
    For us pedestrians, parents and grandparents , we know what we want
    NO. MORE. MIXING. ZONES. PERIOD.

  • EagleEye

    All, I am not sure about this, but I think DOT does not paint through intersections so as to alert bikers that they are no longer “protected.” I sort of get this, but would suggest some kind of new paint scheme like white and green diagonals that would alert bikers that they are entering a crossing area and alert cars that they are sharing space with others. Thoughts? https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/dc8a4e232685a4857439764d3b4e45645da8466f8b9c0350c9eb0436c3da62cb.jpg

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

No Charges Filed as Six Are Killed by NYC Drivers in Seven Days

|
A Brooklyn woman who was struck by a truck driver in Red Hook Wednesday was the latest victim among six city pedestrian and cyclist fatalities in the last week. At approximately 6:40 a.m. yesterday, Lillian Cruz, 60, was crossing Hamilton Avenue at Court Street when the signal changed and the driver of a tractor-trailer, westbound […]