The parents of deceased cyclist Matthew Lefevre blasted the NYPD for stonewalling the family about the hit-and-run accident that killed their son in Williamsburg last week.
Lefevre’s father and mother, Alain and Erika, and several family members flew in from Canada to bury their son at Green-Wood Cemetery on Tuesday — then led a rally at police headquarters in Lower Manhattan the next day to vent their frustration.
“We’ve been here for five days and we have had no communication with police,” said Erika Lefevre. “We owe it to our son to find out what actually did happen and why it happened. This case has to be looked at seriously.”
The Canadian-born Bushwick-based artist was riding alongside a flatbed truck on Morgan Avenue last Wednesday when a flatbed truck ran him down.
Police quickly identified the truck, which was parked one block away from the accident, and tracked down the driver, who told cops that he was not aware that he had struck anyone, a police source said.
The driver was not charged after the NYPD’s “investigation” revealed “no criminality,” a police spokesman said.
“Sometimes these things are just accidents, unfortunately,” the spokesman continued.
Cycling advocates blasted that response.
“There is no other crime in the world where the perpetrator can say, ‘I didn’t see him,’ and that’s an excuse,” said Mike Murphy of Transportation Alternatives, which helped organize the rally. “If you didn’t see him, you’re failing to exercise the due care required by law. The guy who was at fault just shrugged and said, ‘Oops,’ and can get off.”
Lefevre’s death is the fourth cycling fatality to occur in Williamsburg in the past three months — nearly all of which have occurred on busy truck routes that do not have painted bike lanes.
This week, Lefevre is being mourned by hundreds of artists in Brooklyn, where he has lived for the past year and a half, and Montreal, where he has shown his paintings and sculptures in galleries for nearly eight years.
Dozens of friends have flown in from the Canadian art capitals of Montreal, Toronto, Edmonton, and Quebec to comfort his family and mourn the loss of the promising artist (to view a slideshow of his recent work, visit BrooklynPaper.com).
Lefevre’s mother is calling on the city will pay greater attention to traffic enforcement.
“These streets should be safe for cyclists as well as pedestrians and drivers,” said Lefevre. “There seems to be a real negligence concerning these traffic accidents and that should not be happening. I find really shocking.”
©2011 Community News Group
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