NYC: outrage over automotive terror —at last

Hundreds of bicyclists staged a "die-in" in New York's Washington Square Park July 9, expressing outrage over the spate of killings of cyclists on the city's streets. Three deaths came in a one-week period, finally prompting demands for public action: Robyn Hightman, a 20-year-old bicycle messenger and track racer, was killed by a truck driver in Manhattan. Ernest Askew, 57, riding an e-bike in Brooklyn, was hit and killed by a teen driver. And Devra Freelander, 28, an artist, was killed by a cement truck driver, also in Brooklyn.  (Bicycling, July 10) Hundreds of people gathered at 6th Avenue and West 23rd Street after the slaying of Hightman there on June 24. Hightman was the 12th cyclist killed on New York City streets in 2019; 10 were killed in all of 2018. (Gothamist, June 25) 

Hightman was found by police laying on the street, unconscious and unresponsive, with head trauma. The driver initially fled, but later returned to the scene. Media reports did not indicate that he was arrested. As The Villager reports, Hightman had been an advocate for bicylists, who had recently posted on social media:

As a homeless youth deeply entrenched in the trappings of poverty and parental abuse and neglect, my first bicycle offered a way to seek respite from the horrors of my surroundings and human experience, if only for a few glorious minutes. My bicycle established a sense of independence, strengthened my ability to be self sufficient, and provided me with the confidence necessary to advocate for myself, my rights, and my needs in public space... Eventually, my bicycle allowed me to provide for myself when I began working a full time job at the age of fourteen. My bicycle provided me with the socioeconomic mobility necessary to escape. My bicycle saved my life.

City Council member Brad Lander has introduced a bill to impound vehicles that rack up five or more moving violations in any 12-month period. (Streetsblog, July 10) But Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has made traffic safety a supposed priority with his Vision Zero campaign, sparked further outrage just a few days later by  defending a police officer who "forcefully stopped" a cyclist in the East Village—running over his CitiBike in the process.

The incident took place on Ave. A near Tompkins Square Park July 5—just three days after the mayor announced a new campaign to protect cyclists in response to the recent killings. A widely-shared video of the confrontation shows an unidentified officer—his SUV jack-knifed across the bike lane, the mangled CitiBike stuck under its wheels—accusing the cyclist of riding recklessly. "I'm going to use whatever means necessary to stop you, and that's for your safety," the officer tells him, drawing gasps and guffaws from the gathered crowd. (Gothamist, July 8)

The headline announcing the new safety campaign in the Daily News July 2 was all too telling: "NYPD announces plan to temporarily improve bike safety after slew of cyclist deaths." Temporarily. Right, let's wait for the news cycle to move on, then we can go back to killing bicyclists like normal.

Indeed, the NYPD has been escalating harassment of bicyclists of late. As Gothamist reported April 22:

For six years, bike messenger Shardy Nieves, 38, has organized the 4/20 Race and Bake relay bike race without any major issues with the NYPD. "At the finish line we have cookies, pizza, cupcakes, local bakeries sometimes sponsor it, it's just a way to bring the community together," Nieves told Gothamist.

But on Saturday afternoon, when Nieves arrived at the starting point for this year's race, Tompkins Square Park, he said he was greeted by name by an NYPD Lieutenant. "The officer had a manila envelope, and inside that envelope was screenshots of my social media and screenshots of the event," Nieves says. A few minutes later, Nieves was in handcuffs.

Nieves was told he was being arrested for an outstanding warrant stemming from an open container ticket he got in 2015.

And the automotive carnage that we have been documenting for years likewise escalates...

James Buzzell,  76, was fatally struck by a box truck backing into a parking spot near Union Square in May.  (Daily News, May 21) Earlier that month, police charged the driver of a Smart car who plowed into two people in Battery Park City, severing one victims' foot. (Daily News, May 11) Also that month, a car rammed into a man crossing Northern Blvd., critically injuring him. The city is supposedly planning a makeover of the Queens thoroughfare because of an alarming uptick in pedestrian fatalities there. (Daily News May 11)

Arlene Kalfus, 81, was struck and killed by a shuttle bus near Battery Park in April. No arrest was reported at the time. (The Villager, April 11)

Another metro area bicycling advocate, David Schlichting, 66, of Great Neck, who helped found the Five Boro Bike Tour more than four decades ago, was killed in March when he was struck by a minivan while riding his bike in Lake Success, Long Island. (Newsday, March 19)

Similar news is reported from across the country. In Washington DC, bicyclist and safe-streets advocate Dave Salovesh, 54, was killed by a speeding driver on Florida Ave. NE—another thoroughfare with a notoriously deadly reputation. Just days after Salovesh's death in April, Bronx resident Abdul Seck, 31, was fatally struck by a vehicle while visiting DC's Anacostia neighborhood. (SmartCities, April 30)

In June, an off-duty police officer lost control of his vehicle while allegedly driving drunk and plowed into a restaurant in Chicago's South Side, killing a woman who was dining inside. (ABC News, June 12)

In Los Angeles, where 21 bicyclists were killed last year, city officials aim to raise awareness of the issue by placing signs memorializing bike riders "who died in crashes."  (LA Curbed, April 8) Note that we take issue with this terminology.

In a truly perverse case, a trap set along a Colorado Springs bike trail severely injured a 69-year-old rider in March. Nard Claar suffered a broken right clavicle, three broken ribs, a concussion, and "road rash" when his bike got caught in a parachute cord intentionally strung across the trail. (Bicycling, April 17)

And in Guatemala back in March, more than 30 people were killed when a truck plowed into a crowd gathered at the site of a road collision that had left one dead. There was no report of an arrest. The "accident" (sic) took place in the municipality of Nahula, Sololá department. (Sky News, March 28)

But while this is of course a global pathology, the escalating road carnage in the United States is clearly linked to the current fascistic zeitgeist in the country.

As Vice reported April 24:

Researchers have now found an explanation for why many drivers act out toward cyclists: They are actually dehumanizing people who ride bikes, according to an April study by Australian researchers in the journal Transportation Research. And this dehumanization—the belief that a group of people are less than human—correlates to drivers' self-reported aggressive behavior.

Since 2010, cyclist fatalities have increased by 25 percent in the US. A total of 777 bicyclists were killed in crashes with drivers in 2017, and 45,000 were injured from crashes in 2015. Data compiled by the League of American Bicyclists also suggests that, in some states, bicyclists are overrepresented in the number of traffic fatalities.  

Added the municipal affairs website Strong Towns:

If anything else—a disease, terrorists, gun-wielding crazies—killed as many Americans as cars do, we'd regard it as a national emergency. Especially if the death rate had grown by 50 percent in less than a decade. But as new data from the Governor's Highway Safety Association (via Streetsblog) show, that's exactly what's happened with the pedestrian death toll in the U.S. In the nine years from 2009 to 2018, pedestrian deaths increased 51 percent from 4,109 to 6,227.

We have pointed out before that by any objective standard, cars are worse than terrorism. The escalating carnage may also be linked to the current depressed oil prices—reversing the downward trend in road fatalities during the oil shock a decade ago. But this issue brings together concerns of foreign wars for control of oil, the domestic police state, global climate destabilization, and the particular manifestation of Ugly Americanism evidenced under Donald Trump. It is long, long past due that we start viewing trafic "accidents" (sic) as a political issue, and a form of systemic oppression of those who (whether consciously or not) dissent from the hegemonic and ecocidal car culture.

Context on anti-bicycle backlash

So far this year, 81 New Yorkers have been killed in traffic "accidents." Exactly one of those deaths was caused by a bicyclist—and it was the first since 2017. (Vision Zero, Gothamist) Yet double-standard anger directed at bicyclists on supposed "safety" grounds continued to be manifested in the comments section of The Villager.

Motorist kills art teacher in Brooklyn

An art instructor and avid yoga teacher who rode her bike everywhere became the city's 18th cyclist fatality when she swerved into the path of a vehicle while trying to avoid an opening car door. M. Samolewicz, 30, was traveling on Third Ave. in Sunset Park when she was hit by the 10-wheeler semi. (Daily News)

...while NY Post fears 'bike supremacy'

A New York Post editorial against Mayor de Blasio's "Green Wave Bicycle Plan" is entitled "'Bike supremacy' is ruining the city." Bike supremacy? Is that like "special rights" or "reverse racism"?

Traffic 'state of emergency' for San Francisco?

San Francisco's deadly year for pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists has street-safety advocates clamoring for city leaders to formally declare a "state of emergency."

The call comes in the aftermath of two pedestrian deaths in just four days. Benjamin Dean was struck and killed by the driver of Tesla who ran a red light at Taylor and O'Farrell streets on July 21. The 39-year-old was visiting from Clovis to celebrate a wedding anniversary, with his wife, Kelly Dean, who was seriously injured. Three days earlier, the driver of a big rig fatally struck 54-year-old Michael Evans, dragging him two blocks to Fifth and Market streets before fleeing the scene.

On July 23, outside City Hall—where the Deans were married—street-safety advocates and San Francisco representatives called on Mayor London Breed to formally proclaim a citywide emergency. Doing so could unlock funds needed to speed up street-safety projects, advocates urged. (SF Weekly)

Propaganda wars in NYC car-nage

Michael Collopy, 60, died of his injuries after being struck by a bicyclist at 23rd St and 8th Ave, The Villager reports. This is terrible (of course), although we note, first, that the medical examiner is disputing the police account that he died as a result of being struck. And, secondly, that he was standing in the bike lane.

But we can already hear the hypocritical anti-bicycle reaction. He is the third pedestrian killed by a cyclist in NYC in as many years. There have already been 88 New Yorkers (including 18 bicyclists) killed by motorists so far this year. The most recent cyclist to die was Em Samolewicz, 30, an art teacher, struck by a truck in Sunset Park July 29. (Daily News) No arrests were reported in either case.

I called out the double standard in a letter to The Villager last week, in response to the unseemly anti-bicycle pile-on in their comments section.

Iris Crespo: Say her name.

An elderly woman walking in Chelsea was killed on Aug. 8, after being hit by a taxi around 1 p.m., according to police. The 77-year-old victim was identified as Iris Crespo, of 60 Amsterdam Ave. She was trying to cross W. 22nd St. at Eighth Ave., and was within the marked crosswalk, when she was struck by the taxi heading uptown on Eighth Ave. The force of the collision caused Crespo to land underneath a parked car, officials said.

After hitting Crespo, the hack, Daniel Fusaro, 82, a Queens resident, continued driving north before ramming into a parked vehicle, police said.

When officers arrived at the scene, they found Crespo unconscious and unresponsive on the street, with trauma to her head and body. EMS took her to Bellevue Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

The cabbie was taken into custody and charged with leaving the scene of an accident, failure to yield to a pedestrian, failure to obey a traffic signal and failure to exercise due care. An investigation into the incident is ongoing by the Police Department’s Collision Investigation Squad. (The Villager)

Jose Alzorriz: say his name

From the Daily News, Aug. 11:

A teen driver who blew through a red light in Brooklyn caused a chain-reaction car crash Sunday that took the life of a bicyclist — the 19th killed on city streets this year.

A silver Dodge Charger zooming down Coney Island Ave. in Midwood barreled through the light and smacked into a Honda Pilot heading east on Avenue L at about 12:30 p.m.

The impact pushed the Honda into the cyclist, 52-year-old Jose Alzorriz of Park Slope, and sprayed debris onto a pedestrian, said police. The Honda careened onto the sidewalk, and pinned Alzorriz against a building.

The suspect was released without charges.

Melissa McClure: say her name.

A Chelsea woman died of her injuries Aug. 13 after being hit by a turning pick-up truck three days earlier. Police said Melissa McClure, 67, and another woman, age 59, were crossing W. 15th St. at Sixth Ave. when they were hit by the front of the vehicle, knocking them down. The pickup truck’s driver remained at the scene and was not injured. There were no arrests and the investigation remains ongoing. (The Villager)

This was not a 'crash'

From the Daily News, Sept. 2:

A bicycle-riding burglary suspect was killed Monday as revenge by one of his victims — an incensed SUV driver who mowed him down in a crazed caught-on-camera crash in Brooklyn, police sources said.

Once again, "crash" as a euphemism for homicide.

More anti-bicycle propaganda from NY Post

More blame-the-victim propaganda from the evil NY Post. Amid a wave of motorist slayings of bicyclists this, is what they choose to run—an editorial entitled "NYC bicyclists are killing pedestrians and the city won't stop it." Complete with emotionally manipulative image of a wounded child—who, contrary to the implication of the headline, was not killed, and suffered to critical injuries. Three people have been killed by bicyclists in NYC in the past three years. So far this year, 121 have been killed by motorists. The figure for 2018 was an even 200. The figure for 2017 was 221. DO NOT EAT THIS VOMIT.

Enzo Farachio: say his name

An out-of-control driver mounted the sidewalk and ran over 10-year-old Enzo Farachio, who was waiting at a bus stop in Midwood, killing him. (Streetsblog, Sept. 10)

Police are also investigating an incident in Bushwick in which an SUV driver apparently chased down and intentionally killed a man on a bicycle, who had tried to break into his car. He was the 21st bicyclists killed in the city this year. (Streetsblog, Sept. 2)

De Blasio mulls licenses for bicyclists

During a press conference last week, Mayor Bill de Blasio said that he was considering making CitiBike riders wear helmets and require all cyclists to get licenses. (The Villager)

This licenses-for-bicyclists jive is victim-blaming bollocks of the lowest order. It is disincentivizing the solution to the plague of traffic fatalities—or a big part of it. Instead of burdening bicyclists with bureaucracy there should be a vigorous crackdown on lawless motorists. As of today, there have been 123 traffic fatalities in New York City this year. Two of those were due to bicyclists. The rest due to motorists. This focus on bicyclists as the problem is out of wack in the extreme.

SUV kills tot in Bronx

A 1-year-old child has died after a vehicle involved in a two-car crash jumped a curb and struck a stroller in the Bronx. The driver has since been taken into custody. (WABC)

Mario Valenzuela: say his name

From ABC7-NY:

A teenager riding his bike was killed when he was run over by a dump truck in Queens.

The truck driver and the bicyclist were traveling east on Borden Avenue in Long Island City on Saturday afternoon.

When the driver made a right turn on 11th Street, he struck the bicyclist with his back wheels. Officials say the wheels of the truck then ran over the cyclist.

Mario Valenzuela died at the scene.

A witness says the truck driver was devastated. He stayed on the scene.

"He said he was coming in and he didn't even notice that the cyclist just went into the back tire of the truck," said Victor Fernandez. "He was crying, I felt bad for the guy."

Police have made no arrests.

City records show Valenzuela is the 22nd bicyclist to die in a crash this year.

Relevant lines: "crash" and "no arrests."

Elou Rakhminov: say his name

From the NY Daily News

A tight-knit Queens family was reeling Sunday after the death of a retired watch repairman who was mowed down on a busy Kew Gardens Hills roadway — exactly seven months after his wife was struck and injured on the same street, blocks away.

Elou Rakhminov, 75, was killed Saturday night crossing Jewel Ave. near 140th St. The 30-year-old driver remained at the scene, and no charges were immediately filed.

Incredibly, his wife, Tamara Rakhminova, was struck at 147th St. on Feb. 21, the couple's devastated daughter, Basanda Rakhminova, told the Daily News.

Anne McLaughlin: say her name.

From the Tampa Bay Times, Sept. 28:

ST. PETERSBURG — Bicyclists dying on local streets is an all too common tragedy, but the recent death of Anne McLaughlin was all the more painful because she was struck and killed along a stretch of roadway that had been reworked for safer pedaling.

On Saturday morning, St. Pete Bike Co-op organized a memorial ride for the 25-year-old McLaughlin past the 2800 block of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. N, where she was killed Sept. 19 while crossing at a flashing beacon.

The ride also memorialized all cyclists and pedestrians who have become casualties of the street.

Dalerjon Shahobiddinov: say his name

From the NY Post:

A 10-year-old boy riding a bicycle was struck and killed by an unlicensed driver Saturday — just steps away from his Brooklyn home, police said.

Dalerjon Shahobiddinov was riding his orange bicycle in the crosswalk near Seton Place and Foster Avenue in Kensington at about 10:30 a.m. when he was mowed down by a man in a 2002 Ford Explorer who was making a left turn, police said.

He was just around the corner from his family's home when he was struck, police said.

Shahobiddinov was rushed to Maimonides Hospital in critical condition with severe body trauma, but could not be saved, officials said.

The 29-year-old driver, identified by police as Victor Majia, remained on the scene and was arrested shortly after the accident, according to officials.

He was charged with motor vehicle failure to yield to a bicyclist, motor vehicle license violation, and failure to exercise due care.

The boy's death is the 23rd accidental bike fatality this year — more than double last year’s numbers.

Motoring notes from all over

From Raw Story, Sept. 19:

A Wisconsin police officer will not face charges after he chased and killed a black man who did not have a bicycle light.

According to WITI, Police Sgt. Eric Giese of Mount Pleasant will not be charged in the killing of 18-year-old Ty’Rese West.

Racine County District Attorney Patricia Hanson said that she determined that Giese actions "fall under the privilege of self-defense."

From Berkeleyside, Oct. 2:

Michael Diehl, whose work with the homeless and poor on Berkeley's streets earned him the nickname "the Mayor of Berkeley streets," was killed Sunday when a driver struck him around 8:30 p.m. in Newark, according to authorities.

Diehl was not in a crosswalk when he traversed busy Newark Boulevard just north of Cedar Boulevard, according to Newark Police Capt. Jonathan Arguello. The 36-year-old Pinole driver who struck Diehl is cooperating in the investigation.

"There's no indication of any wrongdoing," said Arguello.

Diehl, 64, was one of Berkeley's most visible activists, having worked on a range of issues the last 40 years including keeping the punk rock club 924 Gilman Street Project open, protesting the placement of volleyball courts and housing in People's Park, and advocating for better treatment of the poor, the homeless and those with mental illnesses.

From The Telegraph, Oct. 2:

An Australian teenager has been charged over the deaths of 20 kangaroos, which he allegedly mowed down with his truck in a killing spree that lasted an hour.

The dead kangaroos, including two joeys, were found littered over roads in Tura Beach, 280 miles south of Sydney, on Sunday morning.

At least three other joeys were orphaned as a result of the disturbing attack, according to wildlife rescue group WIRES.

Police said on Wednesday the man, 19, had been arrested and charged with animal cruelty offences on Tuesday.

The man allegedly hit and killed the marsupials with his utility vehicle late on Saturday night.

Portland activist killed by SUV

From Portland Mercury, Oct. 12:

Early Saturday morning, Sean D. Kealiher, a 23-year-old Portland activist, was killed after being struck by an SUV near the Cider Riot taphouse in Northeast Portland. Kealiher's death is being investigated as a homicide.

Trump defends automotive terror

From The Independent, Oct. 10:

Donald Trump has defended the wife of a US diplomat accused of killing a British teenager in a road accident, suggesting it is difficult to drive on the other side of the road and that "it happens".

Speaking at the White House after a conversation with prime minister Boris Johnson, during which he apparently rejected a request to consider waiving the woman's diplomatic immunity and her returning to Britain to face the police, the president said he wanted to try and bring about "healing".

Mr Trump said the US would shortly be speaking to the woman, and that there were many Americans who sympathised with the plight of teenager's parents, who he said was killed in a "terrible accident".

Yet he also appeared to back the diplomat's wife, Anne Sacoolas, saying that it could be difficult "driving on the opposite side of the road".

"The woman was driving on the wrong side of the road. That can happen," he said. "Those are the opposite side of the road. I won’t say it ever happened to me, but it but it did."

'Fleetwide' hack attack feared

From the LA Daily News, July 31:

Advanced technologies have greatly improved the functionality of cars, but Internet connections to critical safety systems in the top 2020 vehicles leave them vulnerable to fleetwide hacks, according to a new report.

The study, "Kill Switch: Why Connected Cars Can Be Killing Machines And How To Turn Them Off," was compiled over a period of five months by Los Angeles-based Consumer Watchdog with the help of car industry technologists. Unveiled at a press conference Wednesday, the report warns that a fleetwide attack at rush hour could disable the brakes, steering or airbags on vehicles, resulting in a 9-11 scale catastrophe with as many as 3,000 deaths.

Automakers have acknowledged that cyberattacks pose a threat as Internet connectivity plays an increasingly bigger role in the operation of vehicles.

Air quality drops under Trump

From The Independent, Oct. 25:

A new study shows that air quality in the United States suffered between 2016 and 2018, after seven straight years of improvement starting during the first years of Barack Obama's administration.

The rise in pollution— which data shows started in 2016, just before Donald Trump took office and after years of economic recovery in the United States — has led to thousands of premature deaths across the country, according to the economists from Carnegie Mellon University who studied Environmental Protection Agency data from those time periods.

The causes of the rise in particulate matter comes from a variety of sources, the researchers said, including a strong US economy, the burning of wildfires in parched areas of the country, and the destruction of American environmental protection rules, which Donald Trump's administration has pursued vigorously.

Yes, he has.

Eduardo Calleabril: say his name

From WPIX, Oct. 22:

An employee for the Department of Transportation was killed when he was accidentally struck and run over by a colleague driving a truck near Gracie Mansion in Upper Manhattan early Tuesday, police said.

According to the FDNY, a call came in just after 1 a.m. for a person struck on East 88th Street, between York and East End avenues, less than a block from Gracie Mansion.

When police arrived, they found 44-year-old Eduardo Calleabril, of Queens, lying in the road, unconscious and unresponsive, with injuries to his body, the NYPD said.

Victim-blaming in Lindenhurst

From Newsday, Oct. 20:

Lindenhurst Village became the latest municipality to crack down on reckless bicyclists after trustees voted to confiscate bikes from dangerous riders.

The village board held a public hearing before voting to follow neighboring Babylon Village in prosecuting those who purposely block traffic, drive toward oncoming vehicles, make unsafe maneuvers and antagonize drivers...

Under the law, either Suffolk County Police or a village public safety officer could seize the bike, and if the rider is a minor, call the parents and later release the bike.

Those of legal age found to have violated traffic law could be subject to a fine up to $250.

Plan to 'revolutionize' NYC streets?

From Gothamist, Oct. 30:

The City Council approved a plan...aimed at "revolutionizing" the way pedestrians, cyclists, and bus riders move through the five boroughs.

Spearheaded by Council Speaker Corey Johnson, the so-called "streets master plan" passed the council by a vote of 37 to 9, with two abstentions. The legislation requires the city to to build 250 miles of protected bike lanes and 150 miles of dedicated bus lanes over a five-year period. It also mandates construction of one million square feet of pedestrian space in the first two years, as well new accessibility upgrades...

But don't expect drivers to relinquish their grip on city streets immediately. In order to secure Mayor Bill de Blasio's support, it was announced this week that the first of two master plans won't be due until December 2021—one month before the current mayor leaves office. Prior to that compromise, the ambitious benchmarks would've been outlined in the coming weeks, and put into place starting next year...

While the mayor had repeatedly expressed reservations about the bill's targets, a City Hall spokesperson told Gothamist this week that he'd "always supported the goals behind the Master Plan building on our Vision Zero agenda."

The spokesperson also noted that engineers will start planning for the comprehensive street redesigns immediately, citing Johnson's calls for a "total reshaping" of the Department of Transportation. It's unclear why, six years after that start of Vision Zero, the transportation agency does not currently have the resources in place to begin work on a master streets plan.

De Blasio's signature transportation initiative has faced a barrage of criticism in recent months, as the number of cyclists killed this year has spiked to 26, the highest total in two decades. Until the new plan takes effect in 2022, the city will continue with its current commitment to building 30 miles of protected bike lanes annually.

Outrage over bust of Oregon cyclist

From Oregon Live, Oct. 24:

Oregon State Police this week publicly released the body camera footage of the controversial arrest of a 21-year-old Oregon State University student who was stopped by a trooper last week for allegedly riding her bicycle on the wrong side of a Corvallis street.

At a news conference Tuesday, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People expressed concerns over “implicit bias” and “systemic racism” after the Oct. 13 arrest of Genesis Hansen, who describes herself in the body cam video as "an African American mixed woman."

No charges for car terrorist

From JTA, Oct. 24:

A grand jury declined to indict a former US Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer who drove his truck into a row of Jewish protesters at an ICE detention center.

Capt. Thomas Woodworth resigned his position days after the August incident at the Donald W. Wyatt Detention Facility in Central Falls [RI], where protesters were blocking an entrance. The demonstrators were part of Never Again Action, a new Jewish group protesting ICE and US immigration policy by getting arrested at ICE detention facilities.

Norman Hood Jr: say his name

From KCRA, Sacramento, Nov. 7:

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — Michigan State Police have released dashboard camera footage from the night an 11-year-old boy was hit and killed by a deputy's cruiser.

The deputy was responding to a burglary call when he struck and killed Norman Hood Jr. May 28 crash in Battle Creek. He hadn’t activated his vehicle’s overhead lights and siren.

Fox 17 reports police say the deputy was going 66 mph in a 30 mph zone.

The sheriff’s office believes the boy turned his minibike into the path of the patrol car.

The prosecutor declined to press charges but Hood’s family has filed a lawsuit seeking $25 million. It lists the county and unnamed deputy as defendants.

27th bicyclist of 2017 killed in NYC —in hit-and-run

From ABC 7:

EAST HARLEM, Manhattan (WABC) — Police are searching for the driver who fatally struck a bicyclist in East Harlem early Saturday.

The incident happened at about 3 a.m. at East 125th Street and First Avenue.

The 25-year-old bicyclist was found in the middle of an intersection and rushed to Harlem Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Investigators determined a Kenworth dump truck traveling southbound on First Avenue made an illegal left turn onto East 125th Street attempting to enter the Willis Avenue Bridge and struck the bicyclist traveling southbound on a bike path coming off the bridge.

The truck kept on going and was last seen heading north on the Willis Avenue Bridge. It is not yet clear whether the driver realized that someone had been hit.

Police are reviewing video of the crash. So far there have been no arrests.

The victim's identity has not yet been released.

Amish family hospitalized after truck strikes buggy

From The Detroit News, Aug. 26:

Camden Township, Mich. — An Amish family of four was airlifted to a hospital after their buggy was struck by a truck Saturday, according to published reports.

Witnesses told the Hillsdale Daily News that a silver pickup truck struck the horse-drawn buggy carrying an adult male, his wife, a small child and an infant at about 11 a.m. Saturday. WILX.com said the crash happened on Dimmers Road just east of South Edon Road.

Four helicopters arrived to airlift the family to hospitals in neighboring counties, WLNS.com Lansing reported. The driver of the pickup truck was not injured.

The crash is the latest in a number of buggy-vehicle crashes. In June, three children were killed in California Township in southern Michigan when the Amish buggy they were riding in was struck by a truck.

In July, six children were injured in a crash on the state's west side after a vehicle struck a buggy carrying eight people.

Eight people died in 135 accidents involving the horse-drawn carriages from 2014 to 2019, according to the Michigan State Police. The figure doesn’t include the June accident.

We have also noted such incidents before.

Border Patrol agent gets probation for running over migrant

From Phoenix New Times, Nov. 20:

Matthew Bowen, a Nogales Border Patrol agent accused of intentionally running over a Guatemalan man in 2017 and then lying about it, was sentenced today to three years of probation and a possible $8,000 in restitution fees...

On December 3, 2017, Bowen hit Antolin Rolando Lopez-Aguilar, a Guatemalan migrant, with his official Border Patrol truck, nearly running him over after Lopez-Aguilar appeared to be trying to cross into the United States illegally, according to court documents.

During the hearing, federal prosecutors said Lopez-Aguilar, who was out of state and had declined to attend, had reported that he thought he was going to die at the time of the attack. Prosecutors also said he has been unable to continue needed physical therapy for injuries to his hands, knees, and back due to lack of money, and regularly wakes up due to the terror and the ongoing pain the incident caused.

Bowen, who's 39, admits he intentionally struck Lopez-Aguilar.

Good news, bad news on NYC road carnage

Timothy Cardinal Dolan joins with other faith leaders from New York to issue a statement entitled "We can no longer accept traffic deaths," online at the Brooklyn Eagle.

Meanwhile, from the Daily News, Nov. 16:

It took only seconds for an off-duty cop’s early morning FDR Drive joyride to veer into tragedy.

A three-year veteran NYPD cop racing his speeding Lexus against another car along the East Side highway was killed early Saturday after plowing his vehicle into a concrete median, catapulting a female passenger and her rookie FDNY boyfriend into oncoming traffic, police said.

The woman’s right foot was severed, while the firefighter was fighting for his life with massive injuries following the horrifying one-car wreck.

Officer Garman Chen, 25, was driving at a high rate of speed just north of the E. 23rd St. exit when he lost control of the black luxury car at 2:38 a.m. and slammed into the barrier as the one-car wreck sent a shower of gigantic orange sparks into the night sky before grinding to a halt atop the median, police said.

A high-ranking police source said it appeared Chen, who was pinned inside the twisted remains of his car, was racing against another vehicle when the fatal crash occurred.

Shortly after first responders finally cut the unconscious cop out of the crumpled vehicle, the young officer was declared dead at Bellevue Hospital.

Off-duty rookie firefighter Kenneth Larkin of Ladder Co. 10 was listed in extremely critical condition after he landed on the southbound side of the FDR, where he somehow avoided getting run down by another car, cops said. His girlfriend Amanda Remy, 25, was also sent sailing from the speeding Lexus and taken with him to Bellevue Hospital, police said.

Demand justice for Martina Standley

From the Chicago Sun-Times, Nov. 19:

A Chicago police officer recklessly turned his police car into a weapon in the South Shore neighborhood when the officer ran over an unarmed woman, causing her to suffer a traumatic brain injury, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday.

Martina Standley, 32, had "attempted to communicate" with officers inside a police SUV when the officer behind the wheel accelerated from a parked position and turned into her, causing Standley's head to strike the ground, the lawsuit stated.

NY cops persecute victims

Gothamist runs a maddening story (with gut-wrenching video) of a delivery cyclist who was sent flying and injured after getting "doored" by a car he had to swerve around because it was in the bike lane—and then the cop who showed up while he was still unresponsive on the ground threatened to give him a summons for riding outside of the bike lane! This outches on the legal ambiguity of whether cyclists are required to be in the bike lanes. Gothamist says they are, which we protest as tyranny—and raises the question of what rights cyclists have on streets where there are no bike lanes. It is not clear the cyclist was in fact given a summons—or if the motorist was penalized or even reprimanded.

Unlicensed motorist kills Harlem tot

From Streetsblog, Dec. 9:

An unlicensed pickup truck driver ran over and killed a little boy, and injured his mother, as she pushed the tot in a stroller on a Harlem street on Monday morning, cops said — the third 3-year-old child and the sixth under the age of 11 who have been fatally struck by drivers so far this year.

According to the NYPD, 59-year-old Jaime Sabogal was collared shortly after the crash and charged with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, plus failure to yield and failure to exercise due care