Per Usual, Uncertainty Surrounds Latest Manhattan Cyclist Fatality

A cyclist struck and killed in East Harlem Monday night has yet to be identified pending notification of relatives, according to NYPD, while details of the crash remain uncertain and may not be known for months.

Photo: DNAinfo

On Monday evening at approximately 7:50 p.m., a male cyclist was hit by the driver of a yellow cab at E. 108th Street and Park Avenue. Accounts differ as to how the crash unfolded. DNAinfo reported that, according to NYPD, the cyclist “was heading east with traffic on 108th Street,” and the cab driver “was traveling on 108th and had the green light … when the cyclist entered the intersection and was struck by the cab.”

Information provided by NYPD to both Streetsblog and Gothamist, however, indicates that the cyclist was traveling westbound on E. 108th (which is one-way eastbound) when he was hit by the cabbie, who was southbound on Park. The spokesperson we talked to described the crash as a “t-bone situation.” The cyclist’s age was reported by Gothamist and DNAinfo as 19, while NYPD told Streetsblog he was 18.

By all accounts, the victim was alive when transported from the scene. Here is a passage from a DNAinfo report filed about an hour after the crash:

The bicyclist was hurt, but he was still breathing and conscious when an ambulance arrived to take him to Mount Sinai Hospital, the FDNY spokesman said. He was not likely to die, the spokesman said.

Though this information was obtained from FDNY, in NYPD parlance the phrase “not likely to die” translates to no involvement from the Accident Investigation Squad, the only officers on the force qualified to conduct investigations of serious traffic crashes. When Streetsblog called today to get the name of the victim, the department’s public information office did not know the cyclist had died, but a spokesperson said AIS was dispatched to the scene at the time of the crash.

NYPD customarily guards information on traffic crashes as if it were a matter of state security. If past patterns hold it will take a freedom of information request and months of waiting before specifics on the latest Manhattan cyclist fatality can be made public. As of this morning, the official word from NYPD concerning Monday’s crash is “no criminality suspected,” meaning the cab driver was not intoxicated and remained at the scene.