Pedestrian Killed By Cyclist Who Fled The Scene, A Rare Type Of Accident
Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision Zero initiative had the admirable goal of reducing the number of pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities on New York streets. The initiative included redesigning intersections, giving pedestrians a head start at intersections and stricter enforcement of traffic laws. Despite these initiatives, the number of cyclist deaths looks to be rising in 2019 over the number of 2018 deaths. While cyclists and their advocates are calling for safety reforms, another type of uncommon accident is also garnering the attention of advocates. Pedestrians being hit and killed by bicyclists are a rare occurrence, but as CBS Local New York reports, when they occur, families often ask for better enforcement of bicycle laws.
60-year-old real estate broker Michael Collopy lived by himself in Manhattan. He was described by relatives as a man who doted on his nieces and nephews. He was a Yankees fan who, like many New Yorkers, enjoyed walking everywhere.
At about midday on July 31st, Collopy was at the corner of 23rd Street and Sixth Avenue when he was struck by a cyclist who fled the scene. Collopy’s head struck the pavement, resulting in a traumatic head injury.
Collopy was taken to New York’s Bellevue Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries five days later.
A food vendor, who was a witness to the collision, said that it happened in a crosswalk close to the bike lane. He could not describe the cyclist well but said that the bicycle looked to be a personal bike and not a delivery bike.
Collopy’s family said that the city needs to address the interactions between bicycles, cars, and pedestrians. All three groups often break traffic laws. At the intersection where the accident occurred, cyclists were seen to blow through red lights, make illegal turns, and move in the wrong direction in traffic.
Since 2014, there has been an average of less than one death a year where a cyclist hit a pedestrian. This year, there have been two deaths so far, including Collopy’s.