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Police deem hit-and-run city garbage driver’s collision with cyclist an ‘accident,’ file no charges

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Authorities on Wednesday said they issued no charges or violations to the Department of Sanitation employee at the wheel of a city garbage truck who slammed into a cyclist in Bushwick on Aug. 1, injuring her and driving off before cops stopped the hit-and-run motorist blocks away with help from a good Samaritan.

Police questioned the motorist and victim and deemed the incident an “accident” after interviewing all parties, a department spokesman said.

“Both the bike rider and driver gave us their statements, there’s nothing else to investigate,” said Sgt. Lee Jones. “We believe he accidentally struck her, or she accidentally went into the vehicle — one of those circumstances occurred and she was injured.”

The worker for New York’s Strongest was driving his big-rig on Evergreen Avenue when he struck the 25-year-old near Menahan Street around 8:30 pm as she was pedaling towards Greene Avenue in a bike lane on the one-way street, according to police, who claimed the driver didn’t immediately stop because neither he nor his colleague knew they hit the victim.

“They were unaware that they struck her,” said Det. Hubert Reyes.

The passerby witnessed the crash and caught up with the garbage truck at the corner of Meserole and Varick streets, and authorities later interviewed both Sanitation Department employees inside the truck at a nearby station house, but Reyes could not say what precinct officers questioned them in.

Meanwhile, paramedics rushed the woman to Brookdale Hospital for treatment to cuts on her left arm and internal injuries, and she arrived in stable condition, according to authorities.

But Sanitation Department brass took both workers off the road pending the agency’s own internal investigation, according to a spokeswoman, who said temporarily pulling the employees from the streets is protocol, and that they could be slapped with further “disciplinary actions” pending the result of the department’s probe.

Neither Police nor Sanitation Department reps responded to questions about whether the truck involved in the collision is still on the road or in police custody.

The Bushwick collision occurred the same day that a Police Department employee died after a wheel on a garbage truck belonging to a New Jersey–based private carting company flew off the vehicle and into the victim’s windshield on the Gowanus Expressway, killing him.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Updated 9:38 am, August 9, 2018: An earlier version of this story has been updated to include new comments from the Police Department about the incident.
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Reasonable discourse

Katherina Hornknee from Bushwick says:
Bullship! He’s lying !!!!
Aug. 7, 7:30 am
Tyler from pps says:
If a driver, especially in a big truck, can be "unaware" that he has struck anything... anything, never mind a human... he shouldn't be driving.
Aug. 7, 8:24 am
Stop the cyclolist stuff from NYC says:
Bikes on city streets are dangerous, plain and simple. Everyone knows it including the cyclists.

Trying to call every motorist the bad guy every time something happens does us no good.

Cyclist need to be more cautious and stop the hollier-than-now arrogance. Just because you have rights, doesn't mean you throw caution to the wind.

On one wants anyone hurt so be careful and stay out of harms way.
Aug. 7, 8:59 am
Billy from Sunset Park says:
Def do not want to blame a victim, but the onus has to be on a cyclist to watch for the garbage truck, or the bus, or anything that is too large to stop short, and has blind spots in their mirrors.

They are just too large to ride or run next to, unless you are closely watching them and are able to move away if necessary. That said, I hope that she recovers soon.
Aug. 7, 9:45 am
Tyler from pps says:
Yes, the onus is definitely on the cyclist to watch *behind* them for large vehicles trying to crush them. Obviously.
Aug. 7, 9:56 am
WIlbure from Woodside says:
Sure hope her bike light wasn't damaged in the crash.
Aug. 7, 12:51 pm
Ken from Greenpoint says:
Tyler from pps says: so please stop driving and get you your self a bike and start obey rules and regulations,
Aug. 7, 3:06 pm
Jim from Brooklyn says:
Tyler from pps says: obviously the cameras are running the biker was passing the red light....
Aug. 7, 3:09 pm
Steve from Clinton Hill says:
WIlbure from Woodside says: that's prove you are still with out a job.
Aug. 7, 3:12 pm
Pina109 from Bay Ridge says:
With more and more cyclists on the road
I feel they need to be educated and even certified
It SIMPLY CANNOT be always the motorists at fault
It’s only because they’re the ones carrying the insurance
Perhaps if cyclists were mandated to be licensed and carry insurance since they’re using the same roads but to their own convience
This and other situations MIGHT have a different outcome!
My thoughts......
Aug. 7, 7:45 pm
√ision Zero from Zero √ision says:
Wrong Pina. Think of it this way, if you are a gun owner, the onus is on YOU to be extra cautious since you are the one carrying the danger. You don't tell everyone to wear bulletproof vests so people can be careless with guns, right? The same logic applies to motor vehicles.
Aug. 7, 8:39 pm
Rufus Leaking from BH says:
False equivalence.
Aug. 7, 8:43 pm
√ision Zero from Zero √ision says:
Rufus made an ignorant and false comment. The law actually states that motorists are to use caution at all times when overtaking a vehicle or yielding to pedestrians or cyclists. Just because you're too fat to ride a bike and are jealous of cyclists, doesn't make you above the law.
Aug. 7, 10:15 pm
Reader from Southern Bklyn says:
There is a major fault in this article, a gaping hole.

There is no mention that the street where the accident happened has a bike lane and that the woman injured was riding in it!

See https://nypost.com/2018/08/02/cyclist-in-critical-condition-after-hit-and-run-by-city-garbage-truck/

and

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nyc-crime/ny-metro-sanitation-truck-20180801-story.html

What value is a bike lane if a truck can invade it wantonly and cause such mayhem? Maybe it is time to stop the unprotected painted bike lanes and convert them all to lanes protected with strong barriers, whether parked cars or something else.
Aug. 7, 10:29 pm
Joe Bloe from Bensonhurst says:
Maybe the sanitation driver and passenger were texting, seems very common these days. what kind of truck driver is unaware of his/her surroundings ? Careless driving charge at a minimum, a reasonable prudent person would or should have seen the bicyclist in the bike lane.
Aug. 8, 9:29 am
Mo from Brooklyn says:
Joe Bloe from Bensonhurst says: Maybe the biker listing music on headphones like many bikers and didn't pay attention to the road.
Aug. 8, 3:22 pm
Kim from BedSty says:
Pina109 from Bay Ridge says: you have a valid point....
Aug. 8, 3:24 pm
Pina109 from Bay Ridge says:
It happened on a very street Menahan Street
Maybe the the Wonderful Mayor should re-think his vision of increasing NYC population by another half million
FOR SAFETY SAKES!
And quality of life
Aug. 8, 8:19 pm
Pina109 from Bay Ridge says:
Typo
Very narrow street Menahan Street
Aug. 8, 8:22 pm
S from Greenpoint says:
“Both the bike rider and driver gave us their statements, there’s nothing else to investigate,” said Sgt. Lee Jones. “We believe he accidentally struck her, or she accidentally went into the vehicle — one of those circumstances occurred and she was injured.”

New York's Finest... sure.
Aug. 9, 9:06 pm
Tyson White says:
So you can run over someone, drive off, and if caught tell the police you didn't see them.
Either you're supposed to see what's in front of you. Or murder is legal if it's a truck.
Aug. 10, 6:28 am
Joe Bloe from Bensonhurst says:
NYPD says: The nerve of those bikers hitting a truck
Aug. 10, 8:56 am

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