Third Brooklyn biker killed in four days: NYPD

Third Brooklyn biker killed in four days: NYPD
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A 16-year-old bicyclist is dead after a box truck ran him over in Borough Park on Wednesday night, according to authorities.

The teen’s death marks the 10th bicyclist fatality in the city this year, and the eighth in Kings County, according to city data.

The teenager was cycling along 17th Avenue when he swerved to avoid an opening car door, causing him to fall to the ground near the intersection of 53rd Street. The trailing box truck then ran over the teen as he was laying in the street at approximately 5:38 p.m., cops said.

First responders took the victim to Maimonides Hospital, where doctors pronounced him dead.

Another cyclist, pedaling through Crown Heights, was hit by a car and taken to Kings County Hospital on Saturday and pronounced dead on Tuesday, according to police.

Three days before Wednesday’s tragedy, the driver of an SUV fatally struck 29-year-old biker Robert Sommer in Marine Park.

After Sommer’s death on May 14, activists laid blame on city officials for the lack of dedicated bike lanes throughout much of Southern Brooklyn.

“This is a tragedy which Mayor Bill de Blasio could have easily prevented with protected bike lanes installed as part of a complete network of cycling infrastructure,” Thomas DeVito of Transportation Alternatives said at the time.

Borough Park, where the teen was killed on Wednesday, lacks any roadways devoted to cyclists, according to city maps.

The City Council is hoping to improve road safety with their “Vision Zero Streets Design Standard” bill, which would formalize a set of safety measures for the Department of Transportation to consider when renovating City streets. Proponents believe the bill would encourage construction of bike lanes and other traffic calming measures in car-dense neighborhoods.

Council Speaker Corey Johnson recently announced a May 30 deadline to vote on the measure, which is co-sponsored by 14 of the body’s 15 Brooklyn lawmakers. The only Kings County councilmember not sponsoring the bill is Kalman Yeger (D–Borough Park), who represents the location where the teen was killed on Wednesday.

Yeger also represents the area where 26-year-old Pedro Tepozteco was fatally struck last month, while riding on another street without bike lanes, just six blocks from Wednesday’s incident.

Authorities said the driver of the box truck remained on the scene until police arrived. No charges have been filed, and the investigation is ongoing.

Reach reporter Aidan Graham at agraham@schnepsmedia.com or by calling (718) 260–4577. Follow him at twitter.com/aidangraham95.