An elderly cyclist was killed by a minivan driver last week while riding through an intersection near his Midwood home, police said on Saturday.
Yevgeny Meskin, 87, was crossing Ocean Parkway at Avenue P on Wednesday morning when he was struck by the 36-year-old driver of a Chrysler Pacifica, according to an NYPD spokesperson. Meskin suffered severe head trauma in the crash, police said. He was pronounced dead at Maimonides Hospital soon after.
The victim's son, Mikhail Meskin, told the Daily News that his father was a great man who “loved biking," despite undergoing a recent heart surgery. He lived alone just steps from the intersection where he was killed.
The unidentified driver has not been arrested. Preliminary details provided by the NYPD indicated that the driver was traveling north on the Ocean Parkway service road "with the traffic signal in [his] favor," when he ran over the cyclist. But witnesses disputed police claims that the cyclist ran the red light.
“Just as I crossed Ocean Parkway this black car came out of nowhere,” a bystander, who declined to provide their name, told the News following the crash. “The next thing I heard was this bang and the car hit him."
Another local resident, Robert Carlos, described the intersection as “very dangerous,” noting that drivers are not accustomed to a new traffic light installed at the service road.
Streetsblog points out that there were a total of 674 crashes on Ocean Parkway south of Church Avenue last year, resulting in injuries to 22 cyclists, 34 pedestrians and 142 motorists. The Avenue P intersection had 39 crashes, injuring 11 people last year.
Meskin is the 27th cyclist killed in New York City this year, representing the highest total in the Vision Zero era. His death came the same day that the City Council passed legislation that will dramatically accelerate the installation of protected bike lanes and other pedestrian safety measures once Mayor Bill de Blasio leaves office.
The area's city council member, Kalman Yeger, was one of nine lawmakers to vote against the measure.