Last Friday, bicyclist Lawrence Yoo was hit by a bus at Ninth Avenue and 39th Street and suffered serious injuries. His family was contacted about the incident not by the police but by hospital staff. They also found the police's "incident report" - in Yoo's mangled medical bag.

Yoo's family sent out a press release over the weekend complaining about the lack of police help (once Yoo's breathing tube was removed, he was able to ID the bus, but the police weren't available), which made it onto 1010WINS. The police also told the family that the TIPS hotline couldn't be used "because he only sustained injuries and was not killed." With the media now paying attention, the police have now say that an investigation has been opened.

In this instance, very motivated people were able to demand police attention. The sad thing is that there are so many incidents where police involvement seems to stop short. On September 23, 2005, 14 year old Andre Anderson was riding his bicyle when when driver Jose Vicens tried to pass him. From the Wave:

Vicens tried to pass to the right, but the boy swerved into the right hand lane. Vicens countered to the left -- but not in time. Anderson suffered massive head trauma and bleeding. His small bicycle was crushed . […] Vicens remained at the scene until police arrived. He was not issued any violations and is not charged with any crime in connection with the accident. An official police statement said there was no criminality in this incident and that an investigation is ongoing."

Vicens, who at one point bragged on his MySpace page that his hobby was "sending bikers flying in the air," did admit to speeding. And the police did not administer a Breathalyzer test either.

Andre's mother Audrey Anderson tells us since the police don't seem interested in justice, the families must get involved. A lot of information can be found in the various reports - if you ask for it. She explains what you can get [click "Continue reading" below]:

- The police accident report - from the precinct that governs the area in which the accident occurred (that is the local precinct)

- The AIS – accident investigation squad report – (HIGHWAY PATROL) should include statements of the driver and/or witness, schematic of the accident scene along with the vehicle mechanism report. Highway patrol is called to the scene of an accident when there is a fatality or potential fatality. Ask your local precinct which division of the Highway patrol responded to the scene. This should be a comprehensive report but from what I have seen they don’t care because it is hardly ever requested.

- You are also entitled to a free copy of the autopsy report that is if you have the stomach to read it. (I had no choice because I needed to know exactly what happened to my child.)

The police accident report is a gold mine of information if carefully analyzed. In addition if this is a cyclist accident you need to file form MV 104C in order for the fatality to be listed on the killer's driving record. Do not wait on the NYPD to do this for you. According to DMV if you wait it can take up to 1 year to be reflected on the killer’s driving record. In most cases of fatality the DMV will hold what is called a safety hearing, you may want to call them to find out if one will be held (after you have submitted the form). This might be the only time you will get to meet the killer eye to eye.

She also adds, "It will be a heart wrenching process to analyze those documents but I believe families have no choice if they want to know. Gather all your facts together before approaching anyone as the NYPD and the city agencies will cover up anything you try to expose."

With the city trying to encourage non-vehicle transportation options, you'd think the NYPD would take pedestrian and bicyclist injuries and fatalities more seriously.

More about Andre Anderson's death and the aftermath from Times-Up (which has an extensive list of how police procedure favors drivers), Cars Suck, Sucka Pants, and BikeBlog. And the friends and family have been looking for answers in Josh Crouch's hit-and-run death while crossing the West Side Highway, since the police do not seem engaged.