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Another cyclist killed! Hit by a bus after avoiding driver’s car door

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A 24-year-old motorist from Staten Island was arrested on Sept. 11 after she sparked a chain of events that led to the horrific death of a bicyclist near the corner of Atlantic and Washington avenues, but then refused to admit her role in the tragedy.

Krystal Francis was getting into her Dodge Stratus parked on the east bound side of Atlantic Avenue at 8:38 pm when she opened her car door, clipping 23-year-old Flatbush resident Jasmine Heron as she passed on her bike — knocking the woman into the path of a B45 bus making its turn onto Washington Avenue.

The bus struck Heron, who died at the scene, horrified witnesses said.

Francis attempted to drive away, claiming that she had nothing to do with the accident and was running late to a baby shower, but responding officers dragged her back to the scene. She was later charged with driving on a suspended license, police said.

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Reader Feedback

Or from yellow hook says:
Did the cyclist have a light? It was after sunset. The law says you must have a light after sunset.
Sept. 13, 2010, 8:23 pm
mjb from Bay Ridge says:
Since the driver was getting INTO her car, the cyclist probably caused the accident. The driver was probably standing next to her car which means the cyclist would be hitting her and should stop. If the driver had the door open and was getting in, the door was open before the cyclist would have even been close because it probably would have taken 15 seconds or more. It is a tragedy, and the driver should not be attempting to use a suspended license, but it sounds like the police did not have cause to detain her or ask to see her license. The cyclist probably caused the accident.
Sept. 13, 2010, 9:41 pm
ch from bh says:
you people are freakin' idiots.

an experienced cyclist "caused" the accident? she was doored. it happens every day. drivers don't look when they open doors.

the cyclist's only mistake was riding on Atlantic. It's Brooklyn's official boulevard of death. she should have taken a bike lane street - or ridden on the sidewalk.

until the do-nothing politicians in our borough tame the deadly mess that is atlantic avenue, this senseless death will continue.

and it doesn't that there are stupid people out there who say dumb things like "the cyclist cause the accident."
Sept. 14, 2010, 12:15 am
Bryan from Bay Ridge says:
Seriously. It's the driver's responsibility not to open his car door into oncoming traffic. There's no difference between that and swerving your car into another lane without looking. That she was also driving on a suspended license is clear indication that she's both a scofflaw and a dangerous driver.
Sept. 14, 2010, 1:29 am
common sense from bay ridge says:
If I had to guess, I'd say that the cyclist saw the person by their car door, and thought that they would have the decency to wait until she passed to open the door, or mistakenly thought that the driver saw her coming and would not open the door.

It sounds as if the heartless person that did this would not even have been charged if she stayed at the scene and didn't drive away with a suspended license. Was she charged with anything relating to opening the car door?

Either way, my thoughts and prayers go out to the victim and her family and friends. This story is truly heartbreaking.
Sept. 14, 2010, 3 am
Mike from GP says:
As ch said, this cyclist was doored. Opening a car door on the traffic side of a car is in fact illegal. The fact is that had the driver not had a suspended license, it's likely that the cops wouldn't have charged her with anything, allowed her to get away and would have simply said it was "an accident". It most certainly was not. Though I'm sure the driver did not intend to do what she did, she was reckless and negligent, and is therefore should be punished.

And yes, Atlantic Avenue is what we call a "traffic sewer". Toll the east river bridges and rebuild that mess to function more like a street, not a scar of a highway that ruins Brooklyn.
Sept. 14, 2010, 8:07 am
Ryan Lee from Greenpoint says:
N.Y.•​Veh.•​&•​Traf.•​Law•​§•​1214
Opening and Closing Vehicle Doors

No person shall open the door of a motor vehicle on the side available to moving traffic unless and until it is reasonably safe to do so, and can be done without interfering with the movement of other traffic, nor shall any person leave a door open on the side of a vehicle available to moving traffic for a period of time longer than necessary to load or unload passengers.
Sept. 14, 2010, 1:29 pm
rolandesque from Bath Beach says:
So, the first two "people" who commented on this, believe this woman, driving on a suspended license, fleeing the scene because she's late to a baby shower, after causing SOMEONE'S DEATH, is INNOCENT if the cyclist wasnt wearing a light? Because she was getting INTO the car?
I'm sure if this was your daughter you wouldn't be so ready to forgive this driver, lights or no lights. Did you even think for a NANOSECOND before you answered this? Do you have some sort of anti-cyclist thing, someone on a bike traumatized you or something? This is the sort of insensitivity that gives all new yorkers a bad name. Good work.
Sept. 14, 2010, 6:33 pm
Dane from Slope says:
Commenters one and two: You are pigs.
Sept. 15, 2010, 1:16 am
Or from yellow hook says:
Dane,

A query about details makes me a pig?

You were the one who read into the question.

Accidents are often the culmination of a series of things out of the ordinary; you can shave one rule, but break a series of rules and you pick up the wreckage.

See above.
Sept. 15, 2010, 11:21 am
Sunni from Brooklyn says:
Bikers...need a crash course in the same safety rules as drivers of motor vehicles in the city. The city streets aren't dirt roads in surburbia and can't be navigated a such. There needs to be a requirement to earn certificates of these road rules before they can drive in motor vehicle traffic. They also need to have bikers insurance as they tend to ignore regular traffic rules;
Causing a tragedy like this.
- Swerving (driving unsteadily) in front of or around motor vehicles in traffic that is moving or stopped at a light is dangerous.

Sept. 15, 2010, 12:33 pm
Or from Yellow Hook says:
Note also that the bus is an electric hybrid - was it too quiet for the biker to hear?

No one thing ever causes an accident.
Sept. 17, 2010, 5:46 pm
Jamie from Boston says:
As far as I'm concerned, the woman who opened her car door is ultimately responsible here. She has a responsibility to make sure that opening the door will not interefere with moving traffic, which she obviously didn't do here. Furthermore, trying to drive away and claiming she had nothing to do with what happened makes me hope some good samaritan puts her in a shallow grave sooner rather than later. Where's Dexter when you need him?
Sept. 28, 2010, 12:51 pm
mrmr from manhattan says:
Don't let the comments from Or and mjb get to you. They are scum of the earth and don't deserve recognition. Their mothers didn't love them and we should all fell sorry for them. A tragedy happened here and we should be thinking about how can we make things safer for pedestrians and cyclists, not looking for blame.
Sept. 30, 2010, 1:25 pm

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