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Dead cyclist’s family says trucker should be charged - Brooklyn Paper

Dead cyclist’s family says trucker should be charged

Alain and Erika Lefevre (center), parents of cyclist Mathieu Lefevre, who was killed last week in a hit and run, rallied at police headquarters on Wednesday to call for strict enforcement of traffic laws.

The family of a cyclist killed by a truck driver in Williamsburg says newly obtained surveillance videos and police documents prove the man behind the wheel should be held responsible.

Erika Lefevre, whose son Mathieu died when a flatbed truck ran him over on Morgan Avenue last October, says new the information her family received after suing the NYPD for accident records shows the driver likely knew he hit something and the police department botched the investigation by failing to preserve key evidence or take photos at the scene.

“This driver is reckless and dangerous and should be held responsible for the harm he caused,” said Erika Lefevre. “The NYPD should take its responsibility to investigate crashes more seriously.”

The documents and security footage released by police indicate that truck driver Leonardo Degianni failed to signal while making a right turn at Meserole Street, the family alleges. Degianni struck Lefevre with the truck’s cab and ran him over with a front wheel before dragging the cyclist for 40 feet and his bike for 130 feet.

The trucker, who has claimed he didn’t realize he hit anything, left the scene after the collision.

Cops issued two traffic summonses against Degianni for failing to signal and failing to exercise due care, but the Lefevre family is urging Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes to press criminal charges against the trucker for fleeing the scene of an accident or criminal negligence.

“The driver must have known something was wrong,” said the family’s attorney, Steve Vaccaro. “It is difficult for us to believe that the driver of the truck could drag a bicycle and a body so many feet and run over a body with a front driver’s side wheel without knowing it.”

The family of the deceased cyclist — a rising star in the North Brooklyn art scene — blasted the NYPD for not collecting evidence including blood observed on the truck’s bumper. The Lefevres, who live in Canada, also slammed the police force for including no photos from the crash scene in the case file, but including pictures of relatives of the victim who have criticized the NYPD for a perceived lax approach to the investigation.

The newly released documents infuriated cycling advocates.

“The NYPD’s investigation of Mathieu Lefevre’s death shows a disturbing disregard for the loss of life at the hands of dangerous drivers,” said Transportation Alternatives spokesman Mike Murphy. “For all New Yorkers to be safe from the threat of dangerous drivers, we need the NYPD to take traffic safety and enforcing the law seriously.”

Prosecutors will perform an independent review of Lefevre’s death, according to Vaccaro.

A police spokesman declined to comment.

Reach reporter Aaron Short at ashort@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2547.

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