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Cyclist Doored, Then Fatally Struck By Truck Driver In Sunset Park

Dashed Arrow Courtesy of Allen Keith Yee

A cyclist was killed in Sunset Park on Monday morning, police said, after she was hit by a truck driver while attempting to avoid being doored by a parked car.

According to a preliminary investigation, the 30-year-old victim was riding north on Third Avenue at around 9 a.m. when she was struck by the driver of a tractor trailer near 36th Street. Police said that the cyclist was run over "when a car door seemed to have opened and he swerved out of the way into the lane of traffic."

The cyclist, who has not yet been identified, was rushed to Lutheran Hospital, where she was pronounced dead. The driver of the tractor trailer remained on the scene and was not immediately charged.

Asked whether the person who is believed to have opened their door into the cyclist's path had been charged, a police spokesperson responded: "It's not a crime to open your car door." Per section 1214 of the vehicle and traffic law, it's illegal for motorists to illegally open their doors into moving traffic. The spokesperson later clarified they were "joking around."

The death marks the 18th cyclist killed on New York City streets this year—eight more than the total deaths in all of 2018, and the highest year-to-date total since Vision Zero launched five years ago. It's also the third cyclist fatality in the span of a week, after two cyclists were killed by truck drivers within hours last Tuesday.

In response to the string of tragedies, Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled a new plan last week aimed at protecting cyclists. The initiative will accelerate the installation of protected bike lanes and increase enforcement at deadly intersections—particularly those where cyclists are often forced to mix with trucks.

The city has partially blamed the recent spike in deaths on the increase in oversized trucks on city streets. So far, half of this year's deaths have involved truck drivers, and thirteen have been in Brooklyn.

An earlier version of this post misgendered the victim. We regret the error.

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