According to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report, pedestrian and bicyclist deaths rose in 2018. Overall traffic deaths fell 1% amid this increase. Numbers from 2017 show that pedestrian deaths accounted for 16% of all U.S. traffic deaths in 2017, up from 12% in 2009. That year, there were 599 pedestrian, bicyclist, and others outside vehicles killed in distraction-affected crashes. Focusing on New York, 46% of the city’s 207 traffic deaths in 2017 were pedestrians or bicyclists. New York has seen a rise in bicyclist deaths this year as well, with 10 deaths already in 2019, compared to 7 for all of 2018.
CBS Local New York reports that a cyclist was struck and killed by a vehicle in Chelsea. The accident occurred at around 9:25 a.m. near West 23rd Street and Sixth Avenue on Monday morning.
A tractor-trailer struck the 20-year-old cyclist and kept going, according to police. Witness Jermaine Torres said that the cyclist was wearing a helmet, but that did not save her. He described her flying two or three feet in the air and then crashing down hard.
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Another witness stopped the driver of the tractor-trailer, Antonio Garcia, several blocks up the road and convinced him to turn around. By the time he arrived back at the scene, police were already there. The victim, whose name was not released, was rushed to Bellevue Hospital with severe head trauma. She was pronounced dead on arrival.
Garcia was taken in for questioning by the police. He claimed that he did not see the cyclist and that he thought she must have hit the back of his truck. Garcia claimed that he was only diving 15-20 m.p.h., but Torres said that the truck was speeding.
Garcia was not arrested but was cited for several equipment violations for minor issues with his truck.
Friends of the victim say that she was an experienced cyclist working as a delivery driver on her way uptown when she was hit.