Cyclists are Getting Hit and No One is Doing Anything About It

On May 28, 2015 a hit and run driver killed a neuroscientist in Manhattan. The “driver” was trying to get away from a traffic stop.

Sergei Musatov was a 42-year-old assistant professor of neuroscience at Weill Cornell Medical Center.

“They say they attempted to stop the vehicle after it dangerously went through a red light. The vehicle fled,’’ David Bookstaver, a spokesman for New York State courts told the NY Post. “The officers say in their statement they did not pursue but came across the vehicle after it was in an accident.”

“Musatov was hit on his pricey Cannondale Quick bike a couple of blocks from the bridge on the Manhattan side,” writes the Post.

A man was killed by criminals who were running away from cops, who cares how much his bike cost? Did the Post comment on how expensive the crooks’ shoes were as they ran away from NYPD?

In July, a 57-year-old man was hit by a driver who then drove away.

“I just heard a crash, bam, bam,” Sam Hassan told WCBS. “The guy, one car hit him, he bounced off another car and then he was just on the floor. He wasn’t moving.”

Investigators said the cyclist’s body hit the windshield, rolled off the hood and then hit the pavement, leaving him with serious injuries.

On Friday September 11, 2015, a 27-year-old woman was killed by a hit and run driver on City Island.

WPIX reports Gabriela Aguilar-Vallinos of Croes Avenue, Bronx. was hit around 11:46 p.m.

Police say they found the 27-year-old victim unconscious and unresponsive with severe head trauma. EMS transported her to Jacobi Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

She was riding over the City Island bridge when she was hit by a white 2015 Hyundai Genesis which took off.

No one’s been arrested and the investigation is still ongoing.

Wednesday, October 14, a semi truck hit and killed a cyclist in Queens.

34-year-old Anna Rodriguez of Ridgewood, Queens, was riding her bike at around 8:45 a.m. in Maspeth when she was hit near the intersection of 56th Road and 48th Street.

She was taken to Elmhurst Hospital where she died.

Dennis Forceri, the driver of the semi, was arrested and charged with vehicular manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, and driving while ability impaired by drugs. Police said, he was also ticketed for not having a license, failing to yield to a bicycle, and failing to exercise due care.

“Being arrested is what he deserves if you’re driving without a license,” a motorist told WCBS. “It’s probably why what happened to this woman happened. He didn’t know how to drive it properly.”

“It’s extremely chaotic here in the morning. Everybody’s speeding through here. You got the trucks that are coming through here,” he said.

And many bicyclists, like Daniel Salvatierra, said they often worry about their own safety.

“The car is not really paying attention to you, making turns when you’re right next to them, pulling into parking spots,” he said. “It’s terrifying. That could have been me. I’m not even wearing my helmet right now.”

Gothamist reports Forceri later tested positive for cocaine.

Streetsblog says he’s now been charged with murder.

This morning Public Advocate Letitia James issued a statement on the most recent series of pedestrian and cyclist deaths at the hands of reckless drivers:

Over the past eleven days, five pedestrians and one cyclist were killed by motor vehicles in New York City. We must continue to work together to achieve Vision Zero, which requires good street design, education, and enforcement. Too many innocent New Yorkers are dying on our City’s streets and sidewalks, and we have a moral and civil responsibility to use every tool in our arsenal to make our City safer.

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown is known for pleading down cases against drivers who kill people, rather than taking them to trial, even when defendants are accused of committing high-level felonies like aggravated vehicular homicide and manslaughter. Streetsblog will follow the case against Forceri as it progresses.


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