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Driver Gets Traffic Ticket for Killing Cycling Advocate

The driver who cops say ran over and killed Brooklyn cycling advocate Adam Uster was charged on Tuesday with a mere traffic ticket for the death.

5:12 PM EDT on August 22, 2023

Adam Uster loved photography and cycling. (Inset) The scene of the crash that killed him on May 1, 2023.

The driver who cops say ran over and killed Brooklyn cycling advocate Adam Uster was charged on Tuesday with a mere traffic ticket for the death.

The NYPD said it charged Angel Mejia, 19, of Staten Island with failure to yield — a summons — in the May 1 crash that killed Adam Uster, 39, as he cycled back from a supermarket on his cargo bike.

The Franklin Avenue crash, caught on camera, horrified street safety activists because of the ubiquity of such "right-hook" crashes and how the difference between surviving one and dying in one appears to be a matter of inches.


The charge of "Failure to Yield to Pedestrian/Bicycle" carries with it only a small fine.

But the victim’s mother was more focused on preventing more deaths — there have been 22 cyclists killed on streets this year — than punishment.

“I can only speak as a mother who lost her son in a horrific way on a Brooklyn street,” said Annie Goldner. “The driver’s charge by the police will not bring Adam back to his family. Streets that are designed to prevent these collisions between bikers and trucks will prevent future loss of life.”

Uster was a cycling advocate and member of Transportation Alternatives. He and his wife Frederique were set to participate in the Five Boro Bike Tour the day after the crash.

“It was a passion of Adam’s and of Frederique’s, the whole biking movement and what the organization represented, they were big supporters,” Goldner told Streetsblog after the crash.

The area is a notorious deathtrap, according to cyclists, with no traffic-calming measures save for two turn-calming speed bumps that did nothing to slow down the truck driver who killed Uster. And it's not clear that the driver should have even been on Franklin Avenue as it's not a designated truck route, according to the Department of Transportation.

On the less-than-a-mile stretch of Franklin Avenue between Lafayette Avenue and Fulton Street, there have been 127 reported crashes since 2020, causing one pedestrian fatality and injuries to 17 cyclists, 14 pedestrians and 37 motorists, according to city data.`

After the crash, DOT said it would evaluate Franklin Avenue for safety upgrades. There has been no update since.

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