Cement Truck Driver Hit and Kills Woman in Bushwick
The driver of a cement truck struck and killed a Bushwick pedestrian early on Monday, near an industrialized area that city officials have previously blamed for last year’s uptick of cyclist deaths.
Police say that the 49-year-old driver was driving east on Bushwick Avenue at around 7:10 a.m. when he struck the 34-year-old woman, later identified as Jessica Vollman, near Jefferson Street.
Cops claim that Vollmann “emerged mid-block between two parked cars,” but it is unclear on what that preliminary assessment was based. The driver remained on the scene and may, in fact, be the lone witness.
Last year, DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg essentially blamed urban gentrifiers who are moving into industrialized areas along truck routes for the rise in cyclist fatalities last summer, when a record-breaking 29 cyclists died on the streets of New York City.
“One thing we’re seeing particularly … in areas that were formally industrial – lot of trucks, lot of heavy construction activity – that are becoming residential where cycling is more popular, we’re unfortunately seeing a lot of collisions with cyclists and trucks,” Trottenberg said during a DOT hearing last October.
There are no arrests and the investigation is ongoing, police said.
Road fatalities are up this year, compared to last year, which itself was a bloody year for New York City pedestrians and cyclists. Through Nov. 8, there have been 204 deaths on New York City roads, up from 185 over the same period last year.
Pedestrian and cyclist deaths are down — from 96 last year to 81 this year for walkers and 26 last year to 21 this year for cyclists — but deaths of motorcyclists and car drivers are way up, mostly due to recklessness and speeding during the period when very few cars were on the road.
So far this year, 43 motorcyclists have been killed, up from 25 last year, and 59 drivers and car occupants have been killed, up from 38 last year.
Bushwick Avenue is a very dangerous area for all road users. Since January, 2019, there have been 177 crashes, injuring 12 cyclists, 13 pedestrians and 44 motorists in just the eight-block stretch of Bushwick between Flushing and Myrtle avenues. That’s roughly eight crashes every month on just a short stretch of roadway.
For perspective on how deadly our roadways are, in the small community board comprising Bushwick, over the same 22-month period, there were 4,177 total crashes, injuring 242 cyclists (killing one), 252 pedestrians and 847 motorists.
That adds up to more than six crashes per day on average (see map above).
This is a developing story. Please check back.