Cyclist killed by school bus driver in Borough Park; 23rd bicyclist to die in New York City this year

cyclist killed in borough park
A cyclist was hit and killed by a school bus in Borough Park on Thursday afternoon.
Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

A school bus driver struck and killed a bike rider Thursday afternoon in Borough Park.

The 44-year-old victim, Luis Perez-Ramirez, was riding his bike southbound on Fort Hamilton Parkway near the intersection with 41st Street at around 3:10 p.m. on Sep. 21, when the driver of a PB105 school bus fatally struck him, according to authorities.

Cops responded to the scene where they found the New Utrecht resident lying in the roadway. EMS rushed Perez-Ramirez to Maimonides Medical Center, where doctors later pronounced him dead.

An investigation conducted by the NYPD Highway District’s Collision Investigation Squad determined the bus driver was making a right turn from southbound Fort Hamilton Parkway to westbound 41st Street when the accident occurred.

cyclist hit by school bus
Police said the driver was turning right onto 41st Street when he hit the victim. Photo by Lloyd MitchellPhoto by Lloyd Mitchell

The 66-year-old man behind the wheel of the school bus remained on scene but cops did not make any arrests, according to the NYPD who said the incident is still under investigation.

Photos taken at the scene show local school children looking on in horror as police cordoned off the crime scene. At the time of the incident, there were several children aboard the school bus. 

While this is the first fatal incident at that intersection in the past five years, twenty other people — six cyclists, two pedestrians and 12 motorists — have been injured in traffic collisions within a two-block radius since 2018, according to data compiled by NYC Crash Mapper.

Safe streets advocates Transportation Alternatives said it was “heartbroken and angry” to learn of Perez-Ramirez’s death, noting that he is the 23rd cyclist to die on the city’s streets this year.

“We demand more from Mayor Adams and our elected leaders to keep New Yorkers safe on our streets – especially streets and intersections they know are dangerous,” said TA Executive Director Danny Harris. “Whether it’s rolling back the McGuinness Boulevard redesign or canceling long-planned bus improvements on Fordham Road, this administration is not just neglecting safety — it’s enabling future death and injury on the streets of New York City.”

The commuter advocacy group noted that the area where Thursday’s death occurred is one of ten community board districts which was previously classified as high priority due to the comparatively high numbers of cyclists killed or severely injured in those areas. The city’s Department of Transportation pledged to install 75 miles of protected bike lanes in high priority areas by 2022, the organization noted, but missed its goal significantly.

school bus on scene of crash
The city had pledged to install 75 miles of protected bike lanes in “high-priority” areas in 2022, but fell short. Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

“Every life lost on our roads is a tragedy and we will review street design at this location as we do for all traffic fatalities,” a DOT spox told Brooklyn Paper in a statement. 

Transportation Alternatives argue that many of those districts, including the intersection where Perez-Ramirez was killed, currently have zero miles of protected bike lanes which separate cyclists from vehicular traffic with physical barriers, or a row of parked cars.

Calling for immediate action and leadership, Harris added: “As a cyclist, Mayor Adams made a commitment to street safety and understands the challenges of riding in this city. However, we’ve seen time-and-time again his administration slow or stop street safety improvements, including protected bike lanes. New Yorkers need the mayor to prioritize our most vulnerable street users and advance the legal mandates of the Streets Plan without delay or excuse.”

Update 09/22/2023, 6:02 p.m.: This story has been updated with comment from the Department of Transportation.