Bicyclist dies after being struck by SUV in Sheepshead Bay

The intersection of Nostrand Avenue and Avenue R in Sheepshead Bay, where the fatal collision occurred on May 26.
The intersection of Nostrand Avenue and Avenue R, where the fatal collision occurred on May 26.
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A cyclist died from his injuries on Tuesday after being hit by the driver of an SUV in Sheepshead Bay last week. 

Authorities named 35-year-old Bay Ridge resident Edgar Torres-Hernandez as the victim, after struggling to identify him while he remained hospitalized in critical condition following the tragic May 26 incident. 

According to the investigation, Torres-Hernandez was cycling along Avenue R just before 9:20 p.m. when he collided with the 50-year-old driver of a 2020 Nissan Pathfinder, who was traveling northbound on Nostrand Avenue. 

Emergency services rushed to the scene, where they found the bruised cyclist on the sidewalk with severe head injuries. EMS took him to NYU Langone Hospital, and initially described his condition as “critical but stable.”

Torres-Hernandez remained at the medical facility for four days, until he died from his injuries on May 30. 

The driver of the SUV remained at the scene following the collision, and was not arrested, according to police, who noted an investigation being conducted by the NYPD’s Collision Investigation Squad remains ongoing.

Southern Brooklyn, including the Sheepshead Bay area where Torres-Hernandez was struck, has a lopsided lack of cycling infrastructure relative to the northern half of the borough. 

Traveling eastbound on Avenue R during the pedal-pushing trip that would ultimately cost Torres-Hernandez his life, the roadway lacked any form of dedicated space for cyclists — and there would not have been an alternative route within a five-block radius that did feature a bike lane. 

Torres-Hernandez was the 14th cyclist to die so far this year on the streets of the Big Apple, according to the data-tracking site Crash Mapper, which has yet to include the recent death of Adam Uster after he was fatally struck by the driver of a flat-bed truck on May 1.

“We are heartbroken and angry to learn that Edgar José Torres-Hernandez has died after being hit by an SUV last week, the 14th bike rider to be killed in 2023,” said Danny Harris, executive director of commuter advocacy group Transportation Alternatives. “This year is, by far, the deadliest year in the Vision Zero-era for bike riders, and it’s only the first day of June.”

In 2022, 17 cyclists were killed on NYC streets, while 4,647 others sustained injuries.

Harris said “immediate action” was needed from the city’s leaders to keep New Yorkers safe on the streets, calling on the Eric Adam’s administration to make good on promises to install at least 50 miles of protected bike lanes by the end of the year – the slow progress of which is being tracked by Transportation Alternatives.

Under a 2019 law, the city has to add 250 miles of protected bike lanes and 150 miles of bus lanes over five years, with at least 30 miles for bikes and 20 miles for buses coming online in the first year.

Harris also urged state Assembly members to take a vote on Sammy’s Law, legislation that would allow the city government to set its own speed limits as low as 20 miles per hour without Albany approval.

Named after 12-year-old Sammy Cohen Eckstein who was killed by a speeding driver in Brooklyn in 2013, Sammy’s Law currently lacks enough support in Albany to be voted on, but advocates are still hopeful it could it pass before the end of the legislative session on June 9. 

“A few miles per hour difference can be a matter of life and death,” Families For Safe Streets tweeted, calling on Carl E. Heastie, speaker of the NY state Assembly to bring the bill to the floor for a vote. 

For more coverage of Sheepshead Bay, head to BrooklynPaper.com.