Details and Questions Emerge in Brooklyn Cyclist Deaths
The deaths of two Brooklyn cyclists just hours apart yesterday have resulted in a homicide charge and an outpouring of grief for a man friends describe as "a truly thoughtful and selfless individual." Friends of one of the victims are also questioning the official account of his death.
City dailies report that Williamsburg resident Alfred Taylor, 41, has been charged with criminally negligent homicide for killing an as-yet-unidentified cyclist on Fulton Street in Bed Stuy around 6 a.m. Thursday. Police say Taylor was driving a speeding van when he struck the 25-year-old cyclist, whose name is being withheld pending notification of relatives.
As Streetsblog readers well know, it is virtually unheard of for a driver to face a charge of any sort after hitting a cyclist or pedestrian, as long as the driver is sober and stays at the scene. We will keep an eye on this case as it progresses.
Meanwhile, no charges were filed in the death of 26-year-old Craig Murphey, who according to police and media reports was hit by a turning gas truck just after 4 a.m. yesterday while riding southbound in the northbound lane of Union Avenue at Ten Eyck Street.
But Elizabeth Weinberg, a friend of Murphey's, tells Streetsblog that doesn't make sense:
We know for a fact that he was coming from Lorimer (at Broadway) at that time (dropping off our friend) and heading to his place on South 3rd in Brooklyn, so he had to have been going NORTH on Union Ave, not south like the police report said. There is no way Craig would be riding against traffic and he had no reason to head back down in the opposite direction from home. He rode to work everyday in Harlem from Brooklyn; he knew what he was doing.
Murphey did social work with the West Harlem Action Network Against Poverty and was reportedly a member of Right Rides, a group that provides late-night rides and walks home to GLBT populations vulnerable to assault. Friends have dedicated a Flickr photo pool to Murphey, and are directing donations made in his name to WHANAP.
Photo of Craig Murphey courtesy Elizabeth Weinberg via Flickr