A 10-Year-Old Cyclist is Dead in Brooklyn — 24th Rider this Year
Another reckless driver — this time unlicensed — has killed a child on his bicycle in Brooklyn.
Police say Dalerjon Shahobiddinov, 10, was riding his bike in the crosswalk on Foster Avenue in Kensington at about 10:30 on Saturday morning when the driver of a Ford SUV with Illinois plates slammed into him as h eattempted to make a left turn from Seton Place.
The boy was taken to an area hospital, where he died. The driver, Victor Mejia, 29, remained on the scene and was later charged with driving without a license, failure to yield and failure to exercise due care — rare charges that are often made only in combination with a license suspension. A search of the car’s violation record revealed 22 summonses, mostly parking tickets, but including two for running red lights.
Police offered few details about the crash, but neighborhood residents complained of recklessness by drivers that turn residential neighborhoods into killing fields. Shahobiddinov is the 24th cyclist to die this year, up from 10 in all of last year. Pedestrian and motorist deaths are up by double-digit percentages this year.
“The drivers rush and rush and rush,” a resident of the neighborhood told WPIX11.
Later, Mayor de Blasio tweeted the classic “thoughts and prayers” trope — and promised a minor tweak that typically come after fatal crashes.
DOT is already making changes to the intersection by clearing parking spots to improve visibility, assessing the need for speed humps and reviewing if there were any prior incidents at Foster Avenue and Seton Place.
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) October 5, 2019
Many of the mayor’s followers pointed out that they are frustrated with after-the-fact fixes (and that there were three crashes last year alone at that intersection, injuring two people). And Transportation Alternatives called for more.
“What we have before us is a preventable public health crisis,” said TA Executive Director Danny Harris. “We call on our elected leaders to do everything in their power to get Vision Zero back on track. Specifically, we urge Mayor de Blasio to accelerate implementation of his Green Wave Bicycle Safety Plan. In addition, we press members of the New York City Council, and especially those in Brooklyn, which has seen the most bicyclist deaths this year, to pass Speaker Corey Johnson’s Streets Master Plan bill, which would systematically address streets across the city, like Foster Avenue where the crash took place, that have no accommodations for people on bikes.”
This story was updated to make it clear that the mayor did not actually offer a prayer.