A woman who was struck by a cyclist in Midtown last month has died of her injuries.
Donna Sturm was hit by a cyclist in the crosswalk at West 57th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues during her lunch break on April 25th. The cyclist, 40-year-old Damian Deward, allegedly ran a red light when he hit Sturm.
Sturm suffered a fractured skull and fell into a coma; the 67-year-old died over the weekend, according to the Medical Examiner's office.
Deward remained on the scene after hitting Sturm. An NYPD spokesperson said he had been issued a ticket for running a red light, but that no charges have been filed. The spokesperson said the crash is still under investigation.
Sturm's family gave a statement to CBS:
“Donna Sturm was a vibrant, energetic and wonderful woman who died as a result of carelessness and negligence.”
“She died because a bicyclist completely disregarded the law. She was crossing a street, in the crosswalk, with the light in her favor when she was struck. Unfortunately, she suffered horrific head injuries and, although the doctors tried their best over the last week, they were unable to save her life,” the statement continued. “Ted Panken lost his wife and his daughter lost a devoted, loving mother. Donna Strum’s entire family is, simply put, devastated. They will never recover from this loss.”
A message left with Ted Panken has not yet been returned.
“Our hearts go out to Donna Sturm's family. Her senseless death could have been prevented," Marco Conner, interim executive director at Transportation Alternatives, said in a statement. "Just like motorists, cyclists must watch out for pedestrians and obey traffic laws at all times. It's easier to do that when streets are designed to safely accommodate everyone, including standardizing city-wide protected bike lanes, which benefit the safety of not just cyclists but pedestrians, too."
Sturm is the first pedestrian killed by a cyclist in New York City since 2017, when Shun Kwong Leung was struck by a cyclist on Essex Street running a red light. Leung later died of his injuries, and the Manhattan DA declined to prosecute the case.
In August of 2014, a 17-year-old cyclist hit Irving Schachter, 75, as he was jogging in Central Park. The teen was not cited, and Schachter died two days after the collision.
Around a month later, Jill Tarlov was struck by cyclist Jason Marshall in Central Park. Tarlov died of her head injuries several days after the crash. Marshall was not cited or charged, and called Tarlov's death an "unavoidable accident." Marshall was reportedly traveling in the bike lane on West Drive when he left it to avoid hitting another group of pedestrians.
Of the 754 pedestrians killed on city streets in the half decade before Tarlov's death, three pedestrians were killed by cyclists.
According to the NYPD's numbers, traffic deaths are up by 30 percent over the first four months of this year compared to 2018, though the Department of Transportation says the increase is closer to 10 percent due to how the police department keeps its records.
Correction: This post initially stated that Jill Tarlov was the last pedestrian killed by a cyclist in New York City in 2014. In fact Shun Kwong Leung died after he was hit by a cyclist in 2017. There have also been at least three pedestrians killed by cyclists since 2009, not two, as the post originally stated. We regret the errors.