A Windsor Terrace actress who was nearly killed in a crash with a bicyclist in Prospect Park is preparing to sue the city for $3 million, claiming speeding two-wheelers put pedestrians in danger on the park’s popular roadway.
Dana Jacks — who starred in an off-Broadway production of “Our Town” and frequently walked her dog, Scout, in the park — was struck by a cyclist on West Lake Drive in June.
According to Jacks’s preliminary court documents, which were first revealed by our sister paper, The New York Post, the charismatic 37-year-old suffered a fractured skull along with face and brain trauma that kept her in the hospital for 25 days.
In her notice of claim, Jacks blames the Parks Department and the NYPD for a “careless and reckless” lack of traffic enforcement on what should be a serene street, where cyclist, pedestrians and drivers have long complained about hazy right of way rules.
“My wife was gravely injured,” her husband Forrest Cicogni told a park task force on Wednesday. “Racing needs to be limited to very specific hours. You don’t allow cars to race in the park; you shouldn’t allow bikes to race.”
Neither he nor Jacks returned calls.
News of the coming lawsuit comes two weeks after beloved park volunteer and avid power walker Linda Cohen was struck by a 61-year-old cyclist on the same street. She suffered a medically induced coma and is now conscious but slowly recovering.
“It happened to her — and she knows the park intimately,” her friend Nancy Moccaldi said between sobs. “Now, her skull is fractured. She is bruised and battered.”
It also comes after at least three cycling-related accidents plagued the park this past summer on the same loop.
Jacks filed a separate notice of claim in Brooklyn Supreme Court against the cyclist with whom she collided. He then counter-sued, claiming it was actually her fault for crossing the street outside the crosswalk.
At a road sharing task force meeting in the park on Wednesday, more than 100 park-goers demanded stepped-up enforcement of roadway speed limits, better signage and more cops on the popular street.
“This is a disgrace,” said Geoffrey Croft of New York City Park Advocates. “Our parks should be safe.”
Reach reporter Natalie O'Neill at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling her at (718) 260-4505.