More sacrifices for the American way of life. From Newsday, June 27:

Brooklyn bike rider killed on Houston Street

For the third time in 13 months, a bike rider was killed yesterday on Houston Street, leading one advocate to label it Manhattan’s “boulevard of death.”

Derek Lake, 23, a filmmaker who had recently bought the bike, was turning onto Houston from LaGuardia Place at 9:20 a.m. yesterday when he lost control in a construction area and was hit by a passing truck.

Houston is undergoing a multiyear, $30 million reconstruction project, which advocates blamed for Lake’s death.

“It’s likely that a metal plate on the street caused him to lose control,” said Noah Budnick of Transportation Alternatives, a bicyclist advocacy group. “The plate was in violation of the city’s highway rules and the rain made it even more dangerous. The cyclist can only do so much, and in this case the street conditions were the likely contributing factor in the crash.”

The driver of the truck that hit Lake was cited for six equipment violations. The city agency overseeing construction along Houston said its records show that the metal plate at that intersection had been removed. A check of the intersection last night showed seven mismatched plates on the opposite side of the intersection from where Lake went down.

Times Up!, a bike advocacy group, issued a warning for all city cyclists to avoid riding on Houston for the duration of the construction.

Lake was a recent graduate of the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan, and recently had begun showing a film he wrote and directed in film festivals.

“He knew being in the film business was a hard thing to do, but he didn’t let anyone discourage him,” Lake’s younger sister Alexis said yesterday. “He was going to make it big.”

Alexis, 22, said her brother had just purchased the bike a few weeks ago to ease his commute from Brooklyn and to improve his physical fitness.

“He was the scrawniest kid in the whole world, but joked around about getting pudgy and told me he was getting a bike.” she recalled.

In May last year, Brandie Bailey, 21, was killed while riding a bike on Houston Street when she was struck by a garbage truck.

One month later, Andrew Morgan, 25, was killed on his bike when a truck made an illegal turn on Houston.

From the New York Post, June 27:

Biking Doc Hit by NYPD Truck Dies

A Manhattan physician struck by an NYPD tow truck while bicycling near the West Side Highway last week has died from his injuries, officials at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital said yesterday.

Dr. Carl Nacht, 56, was surrounded by loved ones as he succumbed to head trauma Sunday evening. He had been transferred at his family’s request from St. Vincent’s in Greenwich Village to St. Luke’s, the West Side hospital where he did his residency.

His co-workers recalled an inspirational and beloved colleague.

“There is just a deep sense of sadness. Carl touched all kinds of lives,” said Dr. Richard Daines, St. Luke’s president.

“He was really a role model for many young physicians in how to balance professionalism and family.”

Nacht was riding inside a bike path with his wife Thursday night when he was hit by the tow truck as it turned to enter an impound yard.

A memorial service is planned for this afternoon at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.

From Newsday, June 26:

Driver injures pedestrians on midtown sidewalk

A midtown driver suffered an apparent seizure while driving Sunday, barreling up a busy sidewalk at high speed, injuring two pedestrians and a passenger, police and witnesses said.

The unidentified driver was going north on Eighth Avenue at 46th street in a black Volkswagen Jetta when he crashed into a phone booth at the southeast corner at 2:30 p.m., police said.

“He was flying,” said Juan Cruz, 35, of midtown, who was walking home and saw the crash, which left the phone booth a tangle of metal and shattered glass.

The pedestrians, a man and a woman, and the driver of the Volkswagen and his passenger, were all taken to area hospitals with minor injuries, police said.

Two police officers standing across the street rushed to the scene, witnesses said. Police said it appeared that the driver suffered a seizure. He was not issued a summons, officials said.

After that crash, a motorcyclist carrying a passenger crashed into a parked truck a block south on 47th Street and Eighth Avenue, police and witnesses said.

The 2005 BMW bike was headed east on 47th Street when it slammed into the parked truck at about 3 p.m., police and witnesses said.

“It just lost control,” said Katie Hafford, 17, of Long Island, who was in town for a show with her family.

The driver and passenger, who were wearing full safety gear, including helmets, were taken to an area hospital, police said. Their injuries were unclear.

It was not clear what caused the accident. One witness, however, said another vehicle pushed the motorcycle into the lane and “it had nowhere to go.”

File these last two under “Instant Karma.” From Newsday, June 26:

Man ejected from SUV

A New Jersey man was in critical condition yesterday after he was ejected from a car and run over by another vehicle on an exit ramp of the Henry Hudson Parkway, police said.

The 26-year-old from Hackensack, N.J., whom police would not identify, was in the front passenger seat of a southbound 2002 Mitsubishi sport utility vehicle that flipped after it hit a concrete barrier on an exit ramp near Dykman Street at 7:30 a.m., police said.

He was immediately run over by a 2001 BMW driven by an unidentified 22-year-old woman, police said. The victim was taken to Harlem Hospital Center, where he was in critical condition, police said. His injuries were not immediately disclosed.

Investigators said the SUV was going too fast on the road, which was slick from the rain. No charges were filed against the driver of the BMW.

Police said the victim’s 31-year-old wife was driving the SUV. She was treated for minor injuries at Harlem Hospital Center, police said.

From the Atlanta Journal Constitution, June 26:

Man ejected from SUV, killed

A 27-year-old man was killed early Sunday after he was ejected from a sports utility vehicle.

Tomas Salvidar, 27, of Atlanta struck a taxicab at Roswell and Land o’ Lakes roads in Atlanta about 3 a.m. He died at the scene, an Atlanta police spokesman said.

The cab driver was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital after complaining of injury, but was not seriously injured, police said.

The cause of the accident remains under investigation.

See more reasons WHY WE FIGHT

  1. Not just Houston, but all roads
    Wherever there are cars and especially SUVs you’ve a potential “boulevard of death”. Even the cheapest, smallest car has an engine more powerful, a suspension more nimble, than anything that was around 15 years ago. Cars are routinely zipping around at high speeds on local streets.

    As for the SUVs they are a pox upon us, vehicles of death (literally). For all the crowing about the poor gas mileage of SUVs there seems to be less mention of the accident statistics that have confirmed the danger these monsters pose to occupants of passenger cars that they collide with, to say nothing of cyclists and pedestrians.

    Finally anyone who’s out in NYC late at night knows that private carting trucks and delivery trucks (especially newspaper and bread delivery vehicles) often speed, drive recklessly and cruise through red lights.