Bicycle-Motor Vehicle Collisions Are On The Rise

PRESS RELEASE: 12/14/12

The rising number of bicyclic riders in New York City has resulted in a concomitant increase in the number of serious injuries and fatalities from bicycle and motor vehicle collisions. This is a problem that has begun to receive a great deal of public attention recently.

As a result of one such tragic collision, suit was filed in the Supreme Court, New York County, for wrongful death and conscious pain and suffering this week in a case involving the death of a 24-year-old woman who was struck by a tractor-trailer while riding her bicycle in Brooklyn, New York.

The deceased, Emma Blumstein, a graduate of Tufts University, was riding her bicycle on June 12, 2012, at approximately 11:30 A.M. on Bedford Avenue at the intersection of Empire Boulevard in Brooklyn, New York. The truck, owned by Dykes Lumber Company, Inc., of Weehawken, New Jersey, and operated by Kenneth Wunsch of Queens, New York, made a left hand turn striking Ms. Blumstein in the intersection. She suffered severe head injuries and was pronounced dead shortly thereafter.

According to the attorney for the estate, D. Carl Lustig III, of the Manhattan law firm of Arye, Lustig & Sassower, P.C., Ms. Blumstein was wearing a helmet and was operating her bicycle within a designated bicycle lane at the time of the accident. Mr. Lustig stated that the report of the New York City Police Department Accident Investigation Squad, which investigates accidents involving fatal injuries, confirmed that Ms. Blumstein had the right of way in the intersection which the driver failed to yield to her. The driver was charged under the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law with both the failure to yield the right of way and the failure to exercise due care. The charges remain pending.

Over 24 bicyclists were killed in New York City in 2011, with hundreds of additional, serious nonfatal injuries. Mr. Lustig added that, "Without a significantly heightened awareness by motor vehicle operators of bicycle riders, and a commensurate respect for their right to use the public roadways, more tragic accidents like that which befell Ms. Blumstein will continue to occur."