A memorial service was held last night for Erica Abbott, the dancer who was killed biking by a stalled construction site in
Bushwick Williamsburg early Tuesday evening. Brynne Billingsley, a Brooklyn-based dancer/choreographer who worked with Abbott in the Murray Spalding Mandalas dance company, tells us Abbot was a Buddhist and devout Yogi. Last night's ceremony was a traditional, "high Buddhist" ceremony held at the Three Jewels Tibetan Buddhist yoga center. Tonight they'll be a memorial yoga class for Pier 5 in Williamsburg led by Michael Hewett from 630 p.m. - 830 p.m. ($5 donation, open to all levels).
Another friend of Abbott describes her as "the nicest person I've ever met," adding that she was "always smiling, open and friendly." Blame for her death is falling partly on the construction company in charge of the site where she died; witnesses say she swerved to avoid a wooden barricade that tipped over during Irene, and then fell into the path of a passing Mercedes sedan.
"She had nowhere to go," her grieving aunt, Patty Affronti, tells the Daily News. "The tire hit her neck and severed her jugular. My niece bled to death in the street. This was totally preventable. She would be here today if that construction site had secured their fencing. It fell over during the hurricane and no one picked it up."
The construction company listed at the site on Bushwick Avenue near Powers Street is YBG Construction. A local resident tells us she hasn't seen any work done at the site for months, and adds, "That stretch of Bushwick has horrible paving and potholes that make it pretty bad to bike over generally, construction nonwithstanding." YBG Construction has not returned repeated calls for comment.