Less than 48 hours after a cyclist was killed under a truck in East Williamsburg in a horrifying accident, another cyclist was fatally run down near Rockaway Beach. But this time, in an unusual twist, it looks police are trying to hold the driver accountable?
21-year-old driver Jonathan Rincon of Ozone Park has been arrested for driving with a suspended license after running over Andrzei Wiesniuk of Ridgewood, Queens around 9:30 p.m. yesterday, the Daily News reports. Weisniuk was 70 years old. Police sources say Weisniuk was trying to go from the northbound lane to the southbound bicycle lane on Cross Bay Parkway when Rincon hit him with his Acura. Weisniuk was rushed to Peninsula Hospital, where he died.
The accident is the fourth fatal cyclist accident in a month. Besides yesterday’s accident, in which an unidentified cyclist’s skull was crushed, D.B.A. owner Ray Deter died days after getting hit by a pot-possessing Jaguar driver near Canal Street and West Broadway on June 27th. And on July 2nd, Marilyn Dershowitz, the sister-in-law of well-known attorney Alan Dershowitz, was killed by a 7-ton mail truck in Midtown. All of those accidents occurred on streets without bike lanes, and the none of the drivers were charged with any serious violations.
In the wake of this alarming surge in cyclist fatalities, Paul Steely White of Transportation Alternatives issued a statement saying, “These tragic deaths might have been prevented if these streets had safe space for everyone. Streets with bike lanes see 40 percent fewer crashes ending in death or serious injury. These street improvements keep bicyclists, pedestrians and drivers out of each other’s way and out of harm’s way. When you’re piloting a two-ton piece of machinery on public streets, you have a responsibility to use that vehicle safely. For too long, dangerous and lethal drivers have gotten off with minimal or, astonishingly, no charges at all.”