BROOKLYN, N.Y. — An 18-year-old driver faced a judge in criminal court recently to answer to charges that he killed a bicycle rider by starting a chain reaction accident by running a red light. The accident, that another motorist captured on his dashboard video camera, killed a 52-year-old bicycle safety enthusiast from Spain. The bicycle rider was defenseless. Now, the teen’s actions also injured the driver of the vehicle he struck as well as another pedestrian who was pelted by debris from the crash according to the New Canaan Advertiser. The 18-year-old driver pleaded and said he was not guilty in court. The court has not set a date for trial.
The 18-year-old driver faces charges of manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, assault, along with reckless driving. The dashcam video clearly shows the defendant’s Dodge Charger ignore the red light and T-bone a sports utility vehicle lawfully crossing in front of the Charger. The video also shows the doomed cyclist riding along the sidewalk and stopping for the red light. The collision between the two cars happened on the other side of the intersection. Sadly, the force of the crash propelled the SUV into the bike rider. The video shows the man on the bike stick his left leg out reflexively in self-defense to deflect the tumbling SUV away from him. By all accounts, the bike rider died at the scene even though first responders rushed him to a nearby hospital. Police arrested the teenage driver several days after the accident.
According to a feature appearing in the New York Times, 19 bicycle riders have died in accidents throughout New York’s five boroughs in 2019 to this point. By contrast, ten cyclists died in 2018. In response to mounting public pressure to increase protection for bicycle riders, the mayor’s office announced an initiative it dubbed “Green Wave.” The plans for the construction of 30 miles of green bike lanes along with protective barriers are in the planning phases.
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