The first cyclist death in New York City of 2020 occurred on Thursday in East Williamsburg the day after a “Green Wave” push by the city to add 10 miles of protected bike lanes to Brooklyn streets was announced.
41-year-old Bushwick resident Pedro Lopez who was pedaling south on Vandervoort Avenue near Rewe Street at around 2:30 p.m. was run over by a flatbed truck turning left across three lanes of traffic.
Lopez was rushed to Woodhull Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
European Iron Works on McGuinness Blvd. in Greenpoint is the owner of the truck and the 54-year-old driver remained on scene, according to the NY Daily News.
In 2019, there were 29 cyclist fatalities in NYC, up from 10 deaths in 2018. Statistics show that the majority of cyclist deaths occur on trucking routes in Brooklyn.
“A truck driver made an illegal u-turn, slamming into the cyclist as well as hitting a parked car,” Senator Julia Salazar wrote on Twitter.
It’s devastating but unsurprising that the first NYC cyclist death of 2020 was in Williamsburg today.
A truck driver made an illegal u-turn, slamming into the cyclist as well as hitting a parked car.
Driving is a privilege, not a right. Nobody should be driving this recklessly.
— Julia Salazar (@JuliaCarmel__) January 31, 2020
In a video obtained by StreetsBlog, Thursdays’ accident appears does indeed to have been caused by the drivers’ “illegal U-turn,” but “no criminality was suspected,” according to an NYPD spokesman.