The family of the cyclist killed by a flatbed truck driver in East Williamsburg last week is having a hard time getting an explanation from the NYPD about why the driver isn't being charged, but the media isn't. Although investigators have not told Mathieu Lefevre's parents that the driver won't face charges, the NYPD press office told us on Monday. And speaking to a Metro reporter, an NYPD spokesperson explained, "There’s no criminality. That’s why they call it an accident."
Police sources also told the Wall Street Journal that the driver was employed by Imperium Construction, which is located a block from where the fatal collision took place. This is presumably where the truck was found, parked legally and unattended. Today an employee at Imperium Construction said the driver is still employed by the company, but would not answer any other questions.
Transportation Alternatives is urging anyone concerned about the NYPD's handling of cyclist "accidents" like this one to send a letter to NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly. The group has made it easy for you; the letter has already been written and you can send it via this website. You can personal the letter to your liking, but in its current form it reads, in part:
As long as the default response to a motor vehicle crash is "accidents happen," the behaviors that kill and injure New Yorkers on our streets will continue. There is nothing "accidental" about the majority of crashes; they all have known contributing factors, and 69 percent of fatal crashes with known causes are a result of drivers' dangerous and illegal behavior.
We have experienced a disheartening acceptance of traffic violence among NYPD officers. By failing to enforce the law and conduct thorough investigations, the police are condoning dangerous driving. They are telling drivers that it's ok to drive without regard for the lives of the people around them, leaving families and friends of victims to cope with the tragic consequences.