Tuesday, April 18, 2017

[Updated] NYPD offers explanation into Kelly Hurley's death: 'she slipped'

In an interview with Christopher Robbins at The Village Voice yesterday, an NYPD detective provided some updates on Kelly Hurley, the 31-year-old Lower East Side resident who died from her injuries following a collision with a box truck on First Avenue at Ninth Street on April 5.

Among the revelations:

• The NYPD to date has issued a single summons to the driver — for not having a crossover mirror.

• The spokesperson, Detective Ahmed Nasser, said that the truck "made a left turn from the rightmost lane" onto East Ninth Street.

• The detective said that Hurley "slipped off her bike" at the intersection and was struck by the truck.

Robbins asked Nasser if the truck driver, who remained at the scene of the collision, "should have been making sure that he wasn’t turning into a cyclist or a pedestrian in the intersection."

Nasser's response:

“Well, I suppose you can say one or the other, but it seems like he probably didn’t see her, and she was going up north, he was making a left, he’s actually already into the intersection, he was already making the turn. She probably didn’t stop in time, and she slipped and fell under. . . . He’s already in, she tried to stop, she came off the bike, she slipped under the truck."

Streetsblog yesterday said that this was another case of the NYPD blaming the victim.

Hurley is gone. She can’t recount her version of what happened on the morning of April 5, so we’re left with what the police tell us. And as is often the case when a motorist kills a pedestrian or cyclist, the NYPD account is a bizarre mess that exonerates the driver.

Detective Ahmed Nasser told the Voice that the motorist was turning left from the right-most lane, which, if true, is a moving violation. Turning motorists are also required to yield to cyclists at the intersection where Hurley was fatally injured, but Nasser offered up a series of conjectures to reach an exculpatory conclusion.

In an interview with DNAinfo, Nasser confirmed that the truck driver had come to a complete stop on First Avenue before making the abrupt left turn onto Ninth Street across four lanes of traffic.

He also said that the investigation is ongoing "and the truck driver may still be arrested."

Cycling and pedestrian advocates have spoken out against this intersection design. The crash happened in one of the so-called "mixing zones" where drivers are allowed to make careful left turns from First Avenue as cyclists are going straight through intersections with the green light.




[Photo from last Thursday]

Updated 10 p.m.

Patch attended tonight's Community Council Meeting at the 9th Precinct, where Lt. Brian Reynolds, commanding officer of the NYPD's collision investigation squad, addressed the collision.

"My own opinion is, I'm going to be recommending the driver be held accountable. I can't explain to you exactly what it's going to be right now, but after what I've seen, he's going to be held accountable, at least on my end, from my office."

And...

Reynolds declined to specify what exact recommendations he would make to the Manhattan district attorney's office, and did not confirm that the driver would necessarily be charged. Any criminal charges filed will ultimately be determined by prosecutors.

44 comments:

JQ LLC said...

I said this a few days ago on the April 14th post (No 32)

http://evgrieve.com/2017/04/reactions-to-kelly-hurleys-death.html

It's too bad there wasn't footage of this tragedy, because I wonder what lane that truck was in and how fast it was going before it headed into the merging lane making the turn.


The truck driver cut across the right most lane to make the turn, that's about 3 lanes. This is criminal negligence and should be involuntary and vehicular manslaughter instead of a moving violation. This isn't like she fell on the tracks when the train was coming. This killer would have mauled a pedestrian if he or she was crossing the street at the time, which I am sure has as happened before in the last 5 months.

The partitioning of the bikes from vehicular traffic is clearly a visual obstruction and is not safe. And there should obviously be more strenuous enforcement and punitive charges for supposedly marginal offenses like lacking a proper mirror and seemingly innocent sharp turns.

But keep ticketing leisure and responsible pro bikers for lame ass reasons. Meanwhile, app delivery bikers, especially the motor ones, are still riding recklessly without a care.

Giovanni said...

This is a completely different story than everyone thought. If the truck made a left turn from the east side of First Avenue, this accident has nothing to do with the mixing lane for regular left hand turns. This truck driver never gave her a chance. If he came at her from that unusual angle she probably never saw him until it was too late. Of course she slipped, because she had a truck coming at her from an angle behind her to her right, not from the turning lane beside her which is where she would have looked for any traffic. The truck would then basically have to to cut her off to make the light as they both entered the intersection. The truck also would be traveling much faster than a truck that had to make a 90 degree turn to the left. This is typical reckless overnight/early morning delivery truck behavior, cutting across 4 lanes to make a quick turn. Garbage trucks do this all the time to speed up their routes. They assume they have the road to themselves and drive like maniacs. The poor woman never had a chance.

Anonymous said...

I would love to hear City Council member Rosie Mendez opinion or better: a word from the half a dozen candidates who wish to have our vote. The NYPD is not only allowing the killing of people who ride bicycles, the same victim blaming was applied to infants, children or seniors who were killed by drivers. Turning from the Far East lane is the same action as driving through the intersection on 9th street. The traffic rules mean nothing if they are not applied to the drivers by the police department

Anonymous said...

What a nightmare. There's a meeting of the community council at the 9th pct at 7pm tonight, open to the public, and I'll try to make it; sure hope someone asks about this case. The detective's statements sure sound as if they're intended to deflect attention from the awfully negligent actions of the driver, trivializing the dangerous, apparently illegal turn, and failure to yield.

Such rapid movements across multiple lanes of traffic are not uncommon - taxi drivers who spot a potential fare, or garbage truck drivers as someone mentioned above (cannot wait for the city's reform to the commercial garbage hauling system; watching those trucks and how they're driven makes one's blood boil).

I'm feeling so discouraged right now. My life (on foot 90% of time, on bike about 10%) does not matter to NYPD. Given the windshield perspective of much of NYPD, I really wish they had cops walking the beat or biking more. It's ridiculous to see them drive in circles & sit in their cars / vans in Tompkins Sq Park, for example. So many missed opportunities to engage with the community and understand what it's like to walk or bike around this unforgiving city. Many of our cops don't even live in NYC, drive in from Nassau, and apparently care little about people not in cars.

Anonymous said...

The 9th Precinct Community Council meeting is tonight (18th) at 7 pm at the precinct, 321 East 5th Street. I've been a couple times and there is an opportunity for the public to ask questions of the commanding officer.

Anonymous said...

Bicyclists and the Streets of New York City don't mix. Have them LICENSED as are the vehicles and then MAYBE the Pedestrians will stand a chance here.

L Fitzgerald said...

The time of day this vehicular manslaughter happened is important: just before morning rush.

After years of never leaving my apartment before 830am — on the block where Kelly Hurley died — I have a middle school kid who has to get to school early. From September to March, we'd walk along First Avenue from 9th to Houston to catch a school bus at 6:45am.

The number of red light runs at this hour is spectacular. I honestly can't believe it. There's a motorcyclist that speeds west from Avenue A on 3rd Street who literally blasts through the intersection — easily doing 45mph — without stopping. Through a red. I saw this same douche bag do this at least 10 times over 6 months. And EVERY SINGLE MORNING, I'd see drivers routinely run red lights along First Avenue. Walk on the street with a child and you'll have a new appreciation for the fucking wild west that drivers enjoy in the early morning.

Sadly, we saw Kelly Hurley under that truck on the way to school that morning. Even at 7:15am — about the time she was hit — the traffic is much lighter than it is even a half hour later. And drivers make reckless, lawless moves constantly. If the truck driver who killed Kelly Hurley turned into 9th from the far right lane on First (truck was parallel to curb on 9th, not at turning lane angle), this is vehicular manslaughter . It's not an "accident" if you kill someone making illegal moves while driving. It's disgusting that the detectives are giving this guy a pass.

Anonymous said...

Irresponsible driver and maybe bad urban planning / design? If the lane path was constructed on the right side northbound 1st Avenue this tragedy might have been prevented? Example: When we drive a car on the highway faster vehicles tend to be and stay in the left lane, the "fast lane" while slower drivers yield in the right lanes. Tragic every angle. I blame the driver for taking a hard left & not yielding.

Anonymous said...

As someone mentioned above me, cops drive around themselves are seldom seen on foot and don't see the EV as a pedestrian or a cyclist's point of view. I will add that how many patrol officers live in a neighborhood in Manhattan which is highly congested with various modes of transport. I may be wrong but I assume most officers live in the outer boroughs where few people are ever on the streets other than main shopping avenues, and a lot less every get on a bike.

We may never know for sure the exact moment to moment events of that terrible day but it does not mean we should blame the victim and approve of reckless driving.

Anonymous said...

She slipped? Really? Did you ask the driver? Yeah, he said, I did not yield, but she slipped. There you go. That's it.

How did your rear wheel happen to be in her right of way?

Anonymous said...

An irresponsible driver and bad urban planning/design are culprits, but so too is the fact that policing is a government monopoly a k a crookopoly. Privatize the streets and the cops and watch bad actions such as vehicular manslaughter drop like clockwork. Privately-operated streets would be safer streets than government-operated streets. There was a time when cops walked the beat, but the union representing the cops put an end to that, as it involved actual work for pay, not hanging out in the station.
As for the so-called "wild west", do a search for "the not so wild, wild west" and you will find some literature refuting the myth that the 19th century U.S. West was a lawless, crime-ridden territory.

I agree that drivers make bad, lawless moves early in the morning there. Why there are no video surveillance cameras I have no clue. Privatizing (i.e., anarchizing) the infrastructure would solve this. Private streets would be better than government streets, just as private, anarchistic food stores are better than the government-run stores in the Soviet Union, Cuba, North Korea, etc.

And check out this:

http://www.npr.org/2015/01/08/375914022/when-morale-dips-some-cops-walk-the-beat-but-do-the-minimum

Bill for anarchy, better infrastructure and safety

Anonymous said...

If I had hit and killed a pedestrian while on my bike I am fairly sure that I would be charged with a crime, no matter whom was at fault. It does seem like there are different rules for drivers, and anyone who walks or bikes is fair game.

Anonymous said...

58% of NYPD cops don't live in NYC. While we often hear the argument that they just can't afford NYC on their salaries, that's obviously not true. 77% of black NYPD officers and 76% of Hispanic officers live in NYC. Only 45% of white officers do, even though their black & Hispanic counterparts somehow manage to survive here. They just want to live in the suburbs.

http://www.villagevoice.com/news/interactive-map-shows-where-nypd-officers-live-9249670

Anonymous said...

I wonder why the name of the driver was always left out of news articles.

Anonymous said...

A few things always baffle me about these stories. First, for the most part, the voting majority of NYC residence do not own cars. Typically, the rules and policies of a city tend to be based around the needs of its constituency. This is not the case when it comes to the amount of land and favorability dedicated to drivers. According to this 2012 post https://www.nycedc.com/blog-entry/new-yorkers-and-cars, only 23% of Manhattan residents own a car. It’s possible that it’s even lower in the EV, given our neighborhood’s residential density.

Second, I’m surprised by the lack of respect the NYPD, particularly the 9th precinct, has for residents in this neighborhood. It seems to have gotten much worse over the past 2-3 years.

Among other things, I’ve seen them turn lights on just to go through red lights (especially as they get closer to their station house, around 4th and 5th street), go the wrong way down avenues (saw this one 2 nights ago – went the wrong way 1st between 4th and Houston), and the unnecessary use of their loudspeaker to yell at other drivers (gives the neighborhood a lovely apocalyptic vibe), and actions such as ticketing otherwise law-abiding cyclists after a tragedy which obviously was not the cyclists own fault. Maybe they were on the way to something serious, but there didn’t seem to be anything in the news the next day. Is it worth putting neighborhood residents at risk for petty crimes or to get to your station 60 seconds sooner?

Anonymous said...

Whether the driver was at fault or not should of course be determined, but it's sort of beside the point. The city is never going to legislate away bad driving by motorists. It's impossible.

Cyclists should be subject to licensing requirements and be required to do the equivalent of a defensive driving course in order to be allowed to ride outside of parks or outer boroughs. Even though there are a lot of cyclists that just do whatever they want without regard to the rules, it's not about that. It's about trying to be safe even when the other people on the road aren't. Or, you can bicker about whose at fault while more Kelly Hurleys are killed. I don't know the statistics, but I'd be shocked if cycling in manhattan were any safer than motorcycling elsewhere. The fact that kids are allowed to ride bikes on the street is just insane to me and is proof positive that there is an incredible level of denial about the degree of risk involved.

As for people calling for Rosie Mendez to say something, what's the point? Unless you think she can raise Kelly Hurley like Jon Snow, the best she can do is impotent grandstanding. Better we are spared that.

Anonymous said...

To Bill at 9:53 -- there are no red light cameras (or precious few) because its up to the STATE LEGISLATURE (that's right, folks in Albany not NYC) as to how many we can have.
So in addition to going to the 9th Precinct Community Council tonight, folks should come to the Community Board 3 meeting next Tuesday and speak in public session to demand red light cameras (and speeding cameras). Representatives of "our" elected state senators and assembly members are there. The public session starts at 6:30 and you need to sign up to speak when you arrive. Meeting is at PS 20, 166 Essex Street (just below Houston).

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm Anon from 10:13 AM. I made a typo: 58% of NYPD cops *DO* live in NYC. 42% do not. My point about their overall lack of concern for NYC pedestrians and cyclists stands, but I wanted to correct my incorrect statement.

I'm sad that 9th pct apparently feels the way to reach Vision Zero goals eliminating cyclist deaths is simply to discourage cycling, through this kind of language & odd enforcement priorities. But they'll never get us to stop walking, so how will we go to 0 pedestrian deaths?

Cosmo said...

Wow, this is even worse than originally reported. So the driver cut across three lanes of traffic and the bike lane. It doesn't even matter whether this is a new style bike lane or not, the driver endangered everyone to the left of him. I find it hard to believe she merely "slipped". What a horrible, preventable tragedy. Condolences to Hurley's friends and family.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone witness the accident? I don't understand how she was hit. Did the front of the truck hit her or, or did she skid to try to avoid him and slip underneath the middle of the truck?

Giovanni said...

Question: if the police knew that this accident was due to a truck cutting across four lanes of traffic to make an illegal left hand turn, why did they start ticketing cyclists instead of going after reckless truck drivers? All week people have been assuming this was an accident that happened under normal traffic conditions, but the police must have known from their own report that this truck hit the cyclist head on, not while trying to turn. Therefore, there was no blind spot for the truck driver or aggressive cyclist beating the light that caused the accident, it was more likely caused by a truck rushing to get across First Avenue before the northbound traffic came his way.

Anonymous said...

I just read the story on DNA Info. So the truck driver was in the far right lane, totally on the east side of First Avenue and then turned toward the west, cutting across all four lanes of First Avenue. No wonder the cyclist didn't see him coming. When I thought he had turned from the lane closest to the bike lane, I thought maybe she played a role in this. But it wasn't her fault. She was clearly riding along when all of a sudden this truck, which would even have been in her peripheral vision, came barreling across all those lanes. Now, I see why the truck was positioned straight when it was stopped and not at an angle. And he didn't get arrested? I am incensed. She didn't have a chance. Maybe we should all meet on the corner of 9th Street and First Avenue en masse and make it known to the city that we want the driver arrested. This has nothing to do with the bike lanes as someone above pointed out, and everything to do with a guy who figured he didn't have to follow the rules of the road because it was early in the morning.

Anonymous said...

Assuming it's accurate both that the truck turned left from the far right lane and that the cyclist slipped, what is not reported thus far:

1. Did the truck make the left turn (from the far right lane) on a green light or red light?

2. Did the cyclist have a green light as she approached the intersection?

3. Did the cyclist just accidentally slip or did she slip trying to avoid the oncoming truck (who obviously didn't see her)?

The lack of clarity (witnesses or video) is unfortunate.

sophocles said...

Though 10:21 thinks its "sort of beside the point" whose at fault, I think people should be blamed and shamed if their negligence leads to someone's death. How is crossing three lanes of traffic any more legal or acceptable than running a stop sign and causing an accident? Where did this "slipping" story originate? With the driver? Experienced cyclists don't slip unless the road is slippery, they have contact with some person or thing, or they have to brake or turn to avoid a crash. The same is true of most inexperienced riders. I doubt her single brake had anything to do with the accident.
Today I saw a guy on the same corner. He was blissfully riding the wrong way. THAT should be ticketed.

Anonymous said...

Cars and trucks bring the city a shit load of money, cyclist don't. Think of the money bridges and tunnels bring, parking tickets and other violations is easy money. Why would the city make any changes to stop this influx of cash. They will always favor motor vehicles over pedestrians with exceptions of "privatized" public spaces like the NEW Astor place, Times Square and those Bloomberg cafe tables floating on various parts of Broadway where the city rents out some of that space to vendors. With the population boom of this past decade showing no signs of slowing, more pedestrians, bicycle lanes, car and truck traffic tragic deaths like this one will sadly increase while the city goes about business as usual.

cmarrtyy said...

The common thread on this blog is to blame somebody, driver or victim. That's the way we live today in the new millennium. Trump won because of Russian hacking. He won because we elected him. Today as a society we don't want to take the responsibility for our own lives. We want to shift responsibility to the law/politicians/what the hell,climate change. Kelly Hurley died because more than likely she and the truck driver share the blame. That's what the detective is trying to say. Sad but true. And it will happen over and over again until we realize that there are consequences for our actions.

Anonymous said...

Sophicles, fine have it your way. Nothing is more important than figuring out who to point the finger at. Certainly not figuring out a system for helping people be less likely to get mashed while cycling. It would interfere with naming and shaming those at fault. After all, once it's established that a driver is at fault, the cyclist gets resurrected, so all good.

Anonymous said...

5:53: It is important to find out what caused this accident to prevent future ones. If it is true that the driver illegally crossed three lanes to make the left turn, he should have been arrested. He killed that woman and shouldn't get away with it.

Anonymous said...

@cmarrty "Kelly Hurley died because more than likely she and the truck driver share the blame."

Thanks, I needed a good laugh. When a car mows you down in the crosswalk, we'll all make sure you share the blame.

Anonymous said...

@3:20 don't you think that sounds like a really farfetched conspiracy? The beat cops are nickel and diming cyclists in order to appease motorists so that they will be pleased and spend more money on tolls and on meters? Do you think there is a cabal of motorists out there that is going to drive back and forth over the GWB and pay more tolls in order to register their approval at cyclists being given minor tickets? Or perhaps they get ticketed more because, as most people will very easily observe, they don't give a shit about the rules of the road and just ride wherever they want? Nahh, couldn't be that. It's got to be a conspiracy. Ooo! Trump must be behind it!

Anonymous said...

@6:19, you think arresting the driver is actually going to make a dent in whether people go out and make boneheaded moves on the road tomorrow? It's not as if the police don't already investigate, so what you're saying is keep the same system. You're going to keep ending up with dead cyclists.

Anonymous said...

Just came back from the Community Council of the 9th Precinct, and all your suspicions about police -- particularly the commanding officer -- not caring is quite true. The CO admitted to setting up stings for bicyclists, but none for motorists, of educating bicyclists, but not drivers, and of giving seniors LEDs for their safety rather than focusing on ticketing motorists who do not yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk. His logic is that once you step in the street you are on your own.

The Community Board meeting, next Tuesday, may be more sympathetic.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to all who attended the 9th Precinct meeting ("dozens" according to Patch). The next one is May 16th and we need to go again to keep pushing on this.

Giovanni said...

Everyone keeps asking why the police target and punish cyclists but not reckless drivers after every bad accident. The answer is simple: most cops are drivers, not cyclists, and they rarely walk unless they have to. Most cops live on Long Island, Westchester or New Jersey and they drive into the city every day. They get out of one car and into another, and this is where they spend the majority of their time. Maybe if they were on bicycle patrol they would see what road conditions are like out here and how bad many auto drivers really are. Sitting behind a windshield all day cuts them off from experiencing the real world, and it makes them favor cars over all other means of transportation.

Anonymous said...

@ 6:42
"The beat cops are nickel and diming cyclists in order to appease motorists so that they will be pleased and spend more money on tolls and on meters? Do you think there is a cabal of motorists out there that is going to drive back and forth over the GWB and pay more tolls in order to register their approval at cyclists being given minor tickets?"

I guess you have never heard of quotas within the police and sanitation department to write tickets. The city does not require registration or a license to ride a bicycle so there is no income skim from that form of transportation. If you have ever spoken to a taxi driver about tickets you would realize how many traps the city has set for them. For example the new red bus lanes on 23rd street have reduced car traffic to one lane going each way. Any car or taxi driving or entering for a short time will get a ticket. There are countless cameras set up in midtown and nearby us on Houston. Yes traffic is a bumper crop for the city, bike riders not so much. We live in a society run by profits there is little incentive to change policy unless it brings in more profits.

cmarrtyy said...

6:32

You make my point.

Cosmo said...

Sounds like NYPD is considering charging the driver:

https://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20170419/east-village/nypd-plans-recommend-charges-for-truck-driver-fatal-bike-collision

They have apparently reviewed video footage of the accident.

Anonymous said...

I was at the meeting and I am not a fan of motorists or cyclists who don't pay attention to the rules of the road.

Everyone needs to be educated and the laws need to be enforced for everyone.

I wish everyone would stop picking sides. There is no side. There are too many motorists and cyclists not following the rules, and they are putting us all in danger.

I will give the cyclists this: The cops should have been out in force on First Avenue in the days after the accident stopping, ticketing and educating motorists. To focus only on cyclists doesn't make sense. Yes, cyclists need to be brought under control, but so do motorists.

Anonymous said...

@8:25am: Yes, traffic is a bumper crop for the city financially - which is why NYC keeps making driving more and more difficult. It's not about saving the planet, it's about engineering the traffic so that, as you point out, 23rd St. crosstown has ONE lane for actual traffic. That is insane no matter how you look at it.

So thanks, Bloomberg & DeBlasio, for creating worse traffic congestion than NYC ever had before, and for working hard to make it impossible to get around. It's like no one in charge has ever ridden a bus (much less WAITED for a bus), needed to have a taxi drop them off in front of their building when they were on crutches, or considered that every business in NYC needs to have its merchandise delivered by truck. It is wholesale insistence on some fictitious NYC, as opposed to the real one we are all living in & dealing with.

Anonymous said...

@10:21am on April 18th: "there is an incredible level of denial about the degree of risk involved."

EXACTLY!

JQ LLC said...

I read that DNA link, it sounds like the NYPD is getting a lot of negative feedback for coddling the killer/box truck driver and they are still covering their asses and inexplicably protecting the driver.

Although the clarification is pathetic and lame, she was placing the bike on the ground as the truck sped over from across the street? That was her first instinct when 2 tons of steel came toward her, to put her bike down?

If they are looking at footage, I like to say to the investigators, You're Welcome.


Anonymous said...

I was at the meeting, and the cop leading the investigation sounded serious about building a case against the box truck driver. Another one of the lead cops over there is an avid cyclist. Keep in mind the cops have to build the case, and that takes time, but they aren't the ones who decide if charges will be pressed. The DA's office does that, so we need to put pressure on the DA's office. I remember the cops built a great case against a drug dealer in my building with the help of us neighbors, and we were all disappointed when it was for nothing because the DA's office didn't want to proceed with the case.

Anonymous said...

After 35 plus years of biking in Manhattan I have built an observational self-defense system for negotiating traffic. Usually I can sense that a car is going to turn without the driver looking for bikes, car doors are going to open into my path and pedestrians are going to walk into the street without looking. It usually works, but not always and I have had some collisions with cars, fortunately with little major damage to myself. No collisions with pedestrians ever. The left turn lanes on 1st Ave are not always safe and frequently I will opt to go around the left lane cars.

I did once get caught in the 5th Street turn by a limo and I can tell you it was all I could do to not fall down while the limo forced me over. The driver jumped out and threatened me since I had touched his car. I said, great let's fight in front of the precinct down the block. He jumped in to the car and drove away fast. I was wondering how Kelly Hurley ended up under the truck if it wasn't a large truck but the revelation that the driver came zooming over from across the avenue tells me that she had little hope of seeing or reacting to the threat. She could have easily been a pedestrian.

MJ said...

Where can I find details about how to attend? I missed this story until now but would like to help