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Woman is brain-dead after pedestrian accident with cyclist

A new kind of traffic danger faces pedestrians in Central Park in New York and perhaps many other locations. The danger is that of a pedestrian accident involving a collision with a speeding bicyclist. It happened Sept. 18 in Central Park on West Drive near 62nd Street. A cyclist on an expensive sport bike was traveling reportedly at high speed through Central Park when he crashed into a 59-year-old mother who was in town shopping for her daughter's birthday present.

The woman was rushed to New York-Presbyterian Hospital where she was declared brain-dead. Witnesses described the area as dangerous due to fast-riding bicycles and lots of pedestrian traffic.  Police did not immediately arrest the cyclist and declared the incident to be an accident.

The woman, from Fairfield, Connecticut was in a crosswalk when struck, which indicates the probable negligence of the bicyclist. Authorities reported that the 31-year-old cyclist was speeding along West Drive when he yelled for the woman to get out his way. If that fact is substantiated, it may indicate that the cyclist could see the pedestrian from a distance away, thus giving him a duty to slow down and avoid a collision just like any other vehicle on the road.

Witnesses described regular dangers from fast-riding cyclists. one elderly man died after a collision with a cyclist last month in Central Park. Police have been calling for cyclists to slow down but apparently to no avail. One problem with such tragic accidents is that there may be no insurance covering the at-fault cyclist. Generally, bicycle riders do not purchase liability insurance like automobile drivers. In such instances, a consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney is the best way to find out whether other potential sources of compensation exist. 

In New York City, the problems associated with bicycle-pedestrian collisions may require the passage of laws to protect pedestrians and to provide some method of compensation for injured pedestrians. The bicycle in this pedestrian accident was reportedly worth $4,000. That indicates a souped-up, powerful machine, obviously with deadly capabilities against unprotected pedestrians.


Source: New York Post, "Woman brain-dead after getting hit by cyclist in Central Park", Larry Celona, Erin Calabrese, Kirstan Conley and Bruce Golding, Sept. 18, 2014

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