Yesterday morning, a bike messenger was killed when he crashed into an open truck door and fell headfirst from his bike. The death, which occured at Eighth Avenue and the west corner 49th Street, apparently was precipitated by the bike messenger trying to "negotiate a narrow space between a double-parked delivery truck and a police prisoner transport van" and when a delivery man opened his door, the bike messenger rode right into it. The police say the delivery truck from Vesuvio Foods is at fault, while the delivery truck's owner says his driver claims the bike messenger was forced by the police van to drive into the truck (an earlier report said that the truck driver claimed the bike messenger drove into the police van, which was found to have no evidence). This is the 14th cyclist to be killed in the city.
Getting "doored" or clipped by trucks and cars is a common occurence for city bikers. Bike messengers are a certainly a different breed of biker, more aggressive, more used to the city streets, more pressured to get something somewhere else on time, but it's still a cautionary tale of taking it easier.