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Cyclist Killed by Box Truck Fell Off Her Bike Before Being Struck: NYPD

By Allegra Hobbs | April 17, 2017 4:14pm
 Kelly Hurley, 31, of the Lower East Side was critically injured when struck by a box truck driver as she traveled up First Avenue. She died about a week after the crash.
Kelly Hurley, 31, of the Lower East Side was critically injured when struck by a box truck driver as she traveled up First Avenue. She died about a week after the crash.
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Facebook/Kelly Hurley

UPDATE: The commanding officer of the NYPD's Collision Investigation Squad said at an April 18 meeting that the department is recommending charges against the truck driver. He added that the bike rider did not slip off her bike before the crash, as was initially described by police, but dismounted intentionally in an effort to avoid the truck.

EAST VILLAGE — The 31-year-old cyclist who last week died of her injuries after being struck by a box truck on First Avenue had slipped and fallen off her bike before the fatal collision, according to an NYPD spokesman.

The truck driver made the left turn from the rightmost lane and did not have the crossover mirror required by city law for large trucks with front blind spots, the spokesman said. 

Kelly Hurley, a studio manager for the SoulCycle on West 27th Street, was approaching East Ninth Street as she traveled up the First Avenue bike lane when she fell off her bike, according to NYPD spokesman Detective Ahmed Nasser.

"She fell off the bike then slid under the truck," Nasser told DNAinfo New York.

The news was first reported by the Village Voice.

The box truck was making a left turn onto Ninth Street from the rightmost lane, cutting across four lanes of traffic before hitting Hurley, according to both Nasser and the Department of Transportation.

The truck driver had come to a complete stop before making the abrupt left turn, said Nasser.

The driver received a summons for not having a crossover mirror, which is required on large trucks so that the drivers can see pedestrians directly in front of them that may otherwise fall in the driver's blind spot, according to the Department of Transportation.

The investigation is ongoing and the truck driver may still be arrested, said Nasser.

Cycling and pedestrian advocates have criticized the intersection design following Hurley's death — the collision occurred in a "mixing zone," in which drivers are permitted to make left turns while yielding to cyclists traveling through the intersection at a green light. That design only works if the drivers are carefully yielding to bike lane traffic, said the executive director of Transportation Alternatives.

"Time and again, New York City motorists have proven incapable of exercising basic care, with deadly results. As with pedestrian crossing phases that similarly rely on the hope of motorist compliance, this deadly traffic signal design flaw must be corrected so that there is a clear unambiguous right-of-way signal phasing for bicyclists, pedestrians and motorists alike," said Executive Director Paul Steely White in a press release.

White also criticized police response immediately following Hurley's death, as officers were seen ticketing cyclists near the site of the crash.

A Department of Transportation spokeswoman disputed the claim that the mixing zone design played a role in the crash, noting the truck driver had been turning from the right most lane, but said the department would look into bicycle intersection upgrades as part of the city's Vision Zero initiative to reduce pedestrian deaths.