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Driver of Pennsylvania Car Riddled With Speeding Tickets Critically Injures Scooter Rider in Tribeca

5:23 PM EDT on August 24, 2022

Police investigate after a driver hit a scooter rider in Downtown Manhattan on Wednesday. Photo: Julianne Cuba

A scooter rider was in critical condition on Wednesday after getting hit in Tribeca by the driver of a car. The vehicle, a black Jetta sedan with Pennsylvania plates, has racked up dozens of traffic violations, including nine school zone speeding tickets since 2019.

The NYPD had limited information on the crash, which occurred around 10:45 a.m., after the driver apparently was making a left turn from Church Street onto Thomas Street, when they hit the 40-year-old scooter rider, who was heading north on Church Street. The driver remained at the scene, and no summonses have been issued. Police could not say who had the right-of-way.

A police investigator at the scene said the city's poor infrastructure was partly to blame for the near-fatal crash, especially Church Street's unprotected bike lane. The officer pointed to an outdoor dining structure about 500 feet down the block that juts out into the dedicated bike path.

“The bike lane is obstructed. The bike lanes are not designed properly,” the cop said, who asked to remain anonymous since they’re not authorized to speak to the press. “As a human being who lives and works in New York City, of course we should have protected bike lanes.”

At the scene, investigators for the NYPD and Department of Transportation canvassed for video and took photos—the contents of the rider’s backpack spilled onto the street with blood pooled around it. Many of the onlookers were delivery cyclists who had also experienced close calls.

“You gotta watch out for the cars. It’s sad,” said Omari Holley, who makes deliveries by electric bike for Uber.

Church Street's unprotected bike lane. Photo: Julianne Cuba
Church Street's unprotected bike lane. The NYPD officers blocking the lane had closed the whole street for their investigation. Photo: Julianne Cuba

But another was hardly phased by the carnage.

Passerby, many of them delivery workers, at the scene of a scooter crash in Tribeca on Wednesday. Photo: Julianne Cuba
Passerby, many of them delivery workers, at the scene of a scooter crash in Tribeca on Wednesday. Photo: Julianne Cuba

“This is the second time I've seen things like this,” said Nicholas Garcia, who also makes deliveries for Uber.

On roughly 1,000 feet of Church Street, between Leonard and Chambers streets, there have been 15 crashes since the start of this year, causing three injuries, including to one pedestrian and one cyclist, according to Crash Mapper. 

And the number of people killed in traffic violence year-to-date now surpasses every year since 2014 — 166 people have been killed so far in 2022, three more than in 2021; 67 pedestrians have been killed, which is eight fewer than last year; and 12 cyclists have died, which is one one more than last year during the same time period, according to statistics from the DOT.

Fatality statistics for 2022. Source: NYC DOT
Fatality statistics for 2022. Source: NYC DOT

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