Wednesday, April 5, 2017

[Updating] Reader report: Bike-truck collision on 1st Avenue at 9th Street


[Reader-submitted photo]

Several readers passed along reports of a collision between the truck in the above photo and a cyclist at the west side of First Avenue at Ninth Street earlier this morning.

In an email sent at 7:50 a.m., a reader said: "I was told rider was under truck .. and taken to hospital."

There isn't any other information available at the moment about the condition of the cyclist and who may have been at fault in the collision.

As of 8:30., the intersection remained taped off while investigators were on their way to the scene, according to witnesses.


[Photo via OlympiasEpiriot]

We'll update if/when more information becomes available.

Updated 11:30 a.m.

According to DNAinfo, the cyclist, whose name has not been released, is a 31-year-old woman. She was riding in the northbound bike lane when the truck reportedly struck her.

She suffered severe head trauma and was treated at Bellevue Hospital, where she was listed in critical condition, police said.

The truck driver remained at the scene and wasn't immediately arrested, police said.

Updated noon:

Per Streetsblog, "the available information suggests the truck driver failed to yield to the cyclist."

First Avenue has a parking-protected bike lane, but at most intersections, cyclists and turning motorists proceed during the same signal phase through “mixing zones.”

Turning drivers are supposed to yield to cyclists at the mixing zone, but the treatment is not as safe as intersections where cyclists and turning drivers have separate signal phases. These “split-phase” signals have a demonstrably better safety record than mixing zones.


Updated 4/12

A friend of the victim told us on Sunday that doctors were optimistic about her chances for recovery.

Unfortunately, there were complications. DNAinfo now reports that Kelly Hurley was taken off life support yesterday.

Per DNAinfo: "Investigators were still reviewing video, the spokesman added, and the driver could still be charged."

Last evening around 6, a group of 12-15 cyclists left flowers at the scene of the collision.


[Photo by Lola Sáenz]

I reached out to a family member... and will update when more information is available.

44 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was just waking up and heard the sirens... They were crazy loud and I was worried. Hope the bicyclist is okay.

Anonymous said...

Based on where the truck is stopped one of the two probably ran a red. Very sad, hope the biker can fully recover.

For biker and pedestrian sake, the city needs red light cameras at as many intersections as possible. Its disgusting how many cars scoot through a red or brazenly accelerate through. For the other side of the coin bikers must stop at red lights before the cross walk, give way to pedestrians with the light, then Idaho stop. We'll never get bikers to not cheat the light so this is the best to ask for.

Anonymous said...

Still taped off at 10:15am.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:37am - the truck driver may well have been turning left, in which case both would have had a green light, with the cyclist having the right of way (same way pedestrians usually have a green light & a right of way when a driver turns on a green light). This is why these "mixing zones" where drivers turn across bike lanes are dangerous. I hope the victim recovers; those injuries sound awful.

Anonymous said...

9:37AM - Well said, because no one cheats the Ferryman.

Anonymous said...

Not speculating on what happened. But looking at the photo I am reminded of how dangerous it is in those crossings where the protected bike lanes and left-turning vehicles meet.

The majority of cyclists in our city try to race in and cut in front of the left-turning vehicle by passing on its left side, rather than filing in behind it and waiting their proper turn.

By doing that, cyclists position themselves in a very bad blind spot for the driver. If there is room, they may go around the vehicle's RIGHT-hand side and safely pass it. But those cyclists who try and sneak in through that LEFT side blind spot, are putting their lives completely at the mercy of the driver's awareness. Once a vehicle has started making its left turn, there's a good chance they are about to step on the gas.

Anonymous said...

Very sad and a reminder to always be alert when crossing a street or intersection, you can never be 100% certain if you have seen seen by the other person

L Fitzgerald said...

I walked out to take my daughter to school at 7:20 and it had just happened, only an FDNY van and squad car on scene. No fire trucks or ambulances yet. The bike rider was under the white box truck near the back driver-side wheel set with the bike just behind. It did not look good. When I returned an hour later, a cop told me the rider was a woman; taken to Bellevue; "too soon to say" if she'd be alright. The cops cordoned off the area around the truck for a few hours... there were at least 20 cops there, guessing they were treating it like a potential crime scene.

I hope she's okay. Every day I see drivers treat bicyclists like just so much road kill. Penalties for speeding and not yielding that result in death or injury much be made REAL. This may have been a genuine accident but danger drivers put bicyclists and pedestrians in everyday — with impunity — is sickening.

Anonymous said...

separate set of lights for bikes and for cars, like at some intersections with protected bike lanes. why not all?

Anonymous said...

I hope she is okay. I cross the street there all the time, and it is dicey even as a pedestrian because there are cars and bikes turning there.

BIG BROTHER said...

@9:37 YASSSSSSSS POLICE STATE BABY!! BIG BROTHER WILL PROTECT YOU.

To the cyclist, I hope she recovers and is alright.

Gojira said...

It's no secret that I am not a fan of bikes in the city, but my prayers are with this woman; I hope she recovers fully and gets to go back to her life as it was before. Such a tragedy.

Anonymous said...

Idaho stop?

'Hope this woman survives!

Anonymous said...

I saw everything right after it happened from my window on 1st Ave. The truck was straight and did not appear to have been turning, so unless he ran a red light (unlikely) the cyclist probably was in the wrong. So sad though. EVERYONE needs to be more careful.

Anonymous said...

I bike on this intersection everyday up along 1st Avenue until Midtown East. I saw the police tape blocking off the area around 9:30 am.

It is such a tragedy this happened. However, I must say I am not surprised. Drivers don't SEE bikers when turning right! This happens to me every time I get on a bike and there is a right turn in front of the bike lane. As a biker you must be cautious and realize that drivers may not always see you.

It is also interesting to note that vehicles speed up once the light turns yellow, even red to get the light without penalties, while bikers receive fines for doing the same. It may be best to have separate bike and vehicle lights and that BOTH parties abide by them. Even though as a biker you may have a red light and there are no cars coming, waiting 15 seconds could save your life.

Anonymous said...

LICENSE THE BICYCLISTS

Anonymous said...

I ride up first ave weekly. I am surprised to find out that bikes have right of way over cars turning left. It does not seem safe. I have always yielded to cars, especially trucks, preferring to go behind them instead. Knowing now that I have right of way, I'm not going to change a damn thing about how I approach those intersections.

Anonymous said...

TO @ 5:36pm: People deferring to cars is a new phenomenon in NYC and those of you who do it are part of the problem. You are incorrectly teaching drivers that THEY go first. You make it more dangerous for other pedestrians and cyclists who then correctly claim their right of way and go first, because now drivers are assuming that cars push through first and pedestrians and cyclists are to look out for them. No. If you have the right of way, TAKE IT. Look at oncoming cars and step out into that street. Don't even rush across - they will wait for YOU. That is the system that has largely worked forever in NYC.

Anonymous said...

To: 4:16 PM The truck was either driving straight across 9th or making a left turn on to 9th. The driver was not turning right.

Russell Day said...

Could be the lighting & grip truck I drove. You have a lot going on and do the best you can when you can't see what tucks in beside you in your mirrors.
My guts would twist in knots from people walking out in front of me from in between cars wearing black at night.
Hard to stop.
There are drivers want to hurt people, but very vary few.
I am so sad for all involved.

Unknown said...

It is a sad thing but being a pedestrian and almost being hit on several occasions by bicycle riders going very fast up first avenue I cannot say that I am surprised. The bicyclists ride silent and fast with no bells and not much concern for red lights, stop signs or intersections. I have seen bicyclists go outside of the bike lanes and into the vehicle traffic lanes as well as up on the sidewalks when it suits them to do so if they think it is a faster way for them to get around. I have often found most cars, vans and truck drivers (except taxi cabs) are usually pretty courteous and will stop at intersections allow pedestrians to cross in front of them. I have not found that to be the case with bicyclists.

Anonymous said...

Bikes have the right of way but that doesn't matter to drivers--they're in a hurry and often don't give a damn.

The city apparently doesn't value the safety of its citizens otherwise it wouldn't arrange these dangerous, indeed deadly, "mixing" situations. What are streetlights for anyway if not to allow those who have the right of way to cross an intersection in safety? Since when is a life less valuable than waiting at a red light?

This town is backwards in its use of streets, in providing a safe environment for its citizens.

Anonymous said...

The truck was not turning. I saw the aftermath. That truck was going straight down 9th street, crossing over 1st ave. I will guarantee you the cyclist was being negligent. It's gut wrenching what happened to her, but my heart breaks for the truck driver too. He had the right of way and probably didn't have time to stop as she flew across the street. Poor guy has to live with what happened because she was most likely riding irresponsibly. So sad for everyone involved.

Glenster said...

I'm no fan of cars in the city.

Anonymous said...

First, and most importantly, my thoughts and prayers go out to the injured cyclist, May she recover fully.

It's hard to see from that picture but the bike looks like a Fixie or single gear freewheel bike, I see a lot of people riding these in the streets and that is generally not a safe bike to ride in traffic, because depending on what speed you are going, you can't switch gears in order to speed up or contol the bike and avoid near collisions. I ride a 27 speed almost every day, and having the choice of gears as well as a sturdy bike makes all the difference on these dangerous streets.

I have also taken to allowing left turning cars to turn and riding behind them and passing on the right because they often don't slow down enough to allow you to pass. And when it comes to moving trucks I don't go near them or try to cut them off because they can't stop, and when they go barreling through intersections to beat the light they are lethal.

That being said, there is no sense in assigning any blame here to anyone, my only point is that the kind of bike you choose to ride in the city is critical. and developing defensive riding skills is an important way to remain safe.

Anonymous said...

4/5/17 9:37am wrote this:

"For the other side of the coin bikers must stop at red lights before the cross walk, give way to pedestrians with the light, then Idaho stop."

Again, what is an "Idaho stop"?

Christopher Pelham said...

My prayers are with the woman as well as the driver. Regardless of who is responsible, no one wanted this to happen and I hope all will recover.

I just wanted to say that while I personally recognize that bikers have the right away when there is a bike lane to the left of a left turn lane, I think that these are still new enough and uncommon enough, especially for drivers visiting from areas that don't have these, that it can be hard to remember every single time, making these dangerous. I personally think the bike lanes should have their own traffic lights and that we should have police on bikes out trying to ticket bicycles who run lights and go the wrong one on one way streets etc. Hopefully, soon we'll have mostly self-driving cars that will detect the proximity of bikes (and pedestrians) better than the human drivers do....

sophocles said...

@10:35. Much of Manhattan is flat. You can get by with 3 gears and a thing called brakes.
If you want to live long, don't ride through intersections with a truck or bus on your right. Let it get ahead of you. What's the big rush?
I have to say that I'm getting more sympathetic with the bike "haters" here. I'm seeing too many dangerous cyclists who write their own rules of the road. It's a shame.

Anonymous said...

The Bicyclists are a menace to the Pedestrians in the city. NY officialdom stop with the BS about managing the Bicyclists and DO SOMETHING ABOUT THEM.

Anonymous said...

The 1st Ave. bike lane should be to the east of the car parking lane, not between the sidewalk and the car parking lane. That would enable car drivers to see bikers more easily. Better still to get rid of bike lanes.
The rules of the road apply to bikers as much as to cars. How often do you see a car run a red light? Rarely. How often do bikers go through red lights? How about 99% of the time.
Tell Crane-iac to shove it.
Get rid of bikes, not cars.

Anonymous said...

Simply put, riding a Fixie or track bike in Manhattan not safe, especially not when you have many safer bike options available. A Fixie has no brakes, and you have to use the pedals to slow down. These bikes were designed for racing on a Velodrome, without cars or trucks, where stopping and turning suddenly is never an issue. Does First Avenuue look like a Velodrome to you?

Most hipsters opt for a freewheel instead, where the pedals are not locked to the rear wheel, with only one gear, one brake on the front wheel, and usually no lights on front or back since that messes up the look they are going for. That is not the safest bike to ride in the city either. These bikes are being used for fashion, not safety. Even an old fashioned 10 speed is safer, with front and rear brakes, and more gears to allow you to speed up and maneuver. A good hybrid or street bike is ideal since you have wider wheels to deal with the potholes and grates, and more gears which you need depending on your speed and road conditions.

I hope this woman recovers soon -- we can honor her and everyone else who has been invloved in a serious cycling accident by finding safer ways to ride in the city.

Anonymous said...

7:06 You are wrong, I believe. Where are you getting your information? A pedestrian in the crosswalk and a cyclist in the bike line are not the same.

http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/downloads/pdf/dot_bikesmart_brochure.pdf

Page 15

"Mixing Zones

Mixing zones are approaches to intersections where cyclists and turning vehicles merge.

DO
Look for turning traffic.
Merge in front of or behind cars.
Take the full lane as necessary.

DON'T
Do not hug the curb.
Do not pass on the left of a turning vehicle.
If vehicles are turning in front of you, move away from the direction of the turn."

Discredit this info if you want. "What does the DOT know about safe riding?" In any case, you seem to think having the legal right of way means the cyclist is obligated to take it. Some of us rather defer to the safest, most pragmatic option available. And right of way doesn't make it acceptable for cyclists to try and cut off left-turning vehicles that are ahead of them. When it comes to traffic and this applies to ALL people involved in traffic, sometimes you simply have to wait your turn. I ride everyday, so I understand how and why cyclists get impatient. But you have to remind yourself, a bike is a not a front of the line pass.

Anonymous said...

Again not speculating on what happened. But I notice in that photo of the bike, that it's only equipped with a single caliper brake. Impossible to tell by looking whether it's a single speed or fixed gear, but majority of these such bikes I see around the city are single speed freewheel. (Riding fixed gear on city streets tends to be hardcore extremist fringe element.)

I'm a bike nerd, I check out everyone's ride. This trend of single speed freewheel bike with single brake makes me nuts on a daily basis. It's pure insanity to ride around with one brake, and even more so to do that because you like the aesthetics!!! A bike brake operates via a thin steel wire, that is prone to wear and tear and eventually, yes, snapping. That's why it's good to have two sets of brakes, and why having a single brake is very bad. (Two brakes also increases your stopping power, which obviously gives you more control during unexpected situations)

Think I'll start saying this stuff to people I see riding around with one brake.

Anonymous said...

How is the biker doing? Is she alive I hope?

Anonymous said...

I am terrified every day by reckless bicyclists ignoring rules of the road and existing bike lanes to speed through red lights, divert on to sidewalks, and ride outside bike lanes with no apparent regard for pedestrians crossing within cross walks on green lights. Feel like I have multiple near misses Every. Single. Day. Have also begun to note bikers staring at phones in hand as they ride. Around here, Broadway, First and Fourth Ave seem to be particular problems and food delivery guys, often on electric bikes, the worst culprits while Citibikers actually the least problematic--easier to see coming. Where bike lanes are separated from sidewalk by parking lanes you often can't even see bikers behind taller vehicles like trucks and SUVs as you're crossing on a green and either have to stop and look or take your chances before crossing the last bit of street across bike lane to reach sidewalk. Who decided these were a good idea? I have jumped out of the way and/or been scared out of my mind more times than I can count by bikes where cars are easily avoidable if you pay even minimal attention. WHEN is city going to crack down on this?

Willow Stelzer said...

It's disappointing to see so many people blaming this cyclist and complaining about cyclists in general. Every group of street user has a segment of people who are not following the rules or are downright jerks. Every group. The biggest difference among them is that vehicles are much more likely to kill or maim if a crash occurs. That's why it's more important for them to follow the rules versus pedestrians (who among us never jaywalks?) and cyclists.

People are not perfect, all of us make mistakes or miscalculations. Our streets should be designed to minimize the affects of the mistakes we are all bound to make at some point in our lives. Enforcement and education are important elements too, but good design is the most inexpensive and effective. Hopefully, the city will reconsider it's current strategy of using "mixing zones" for cyclists and vehicle drivers to ensure steady flow of vehicle traffic and prioritize safety.

Also, to those who say they saw the aftermath and know the driver was going straight because his vehicle was straight should not make such an assumption. He could have stopped in that position after hitting her and dragging her body. Trucks take more time to stop. If you look at where the bike lay, in the crosswalk, that's likely where the impact happened, which would mean he was turning and she was dragged.

Anonymous said...

He wasn't turning. It was truly an accident.

Anonymous said...

It's a shame but cyclists take way too many risks and don't treat drivers with the same courtesy as a truck driver in nyc not only bicyclists and skateboarders take way too many risks that are often deadly.

Anonymous said...

I find single gear fixed or single freewheel bikes (but preferably fixed) much safer in the city becase they are more reliable. As long as you don't put a big gear on the bike acceleration is never a problem and you don't have to worry about your chain falling off or switching gear and it's not like I'm an instant you would be able to change gears anyway and if u did U wouldwould be putting yourself in more danger by increase the chance the chain slips I find stickiness And reliability of tires to be the best way to improve the safety of a bike

Anonymous said...

Most of these bikes are still fixed gear bikes (including this one) your legs can function as the rear break and it's not good for your spokes or wheel true to Apply breaks on multiple parts of the wheel at the same time but yeah single break single speeds are worse then fixed with no breaks becase at least fixed is a lil more reliable

LWester said...

I'm wondering if there is an update on this woman? Do we know now who she is? I walked past there and wondered if she'd died because the light pole near where the accident happened is covered in bouquets of flowers. I hope she's recovering. I've seen nor heard anything since the initial accident.
LWester


Anonymous said...

A group of of about 15 cyclists showed up Tuesday evening to put up the flowers. A nice gesture, but I had to cringe when they approached the intersection from the north, going the wrong way in the bike lane, then proceeding to block the bike lane and crosswalk. Please lead by example.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, DNAinfo is reporting that the cyclist has died. Very tragic.

Anonymous said...

Horribly tragic.

"I quit my sedentary day job and began working in the fitness industry. I ditched my daily subway commute for a shiny red fixie."

http://movemeant.org/blog/2015/2/17/6xf0xg7f67qo7syku451dijf51dr22