Cyclists create living wills asking NYPD to investigate their deaths

Riders raise their bikes in memorium of Solange Raulston, who passed away in 2009 at Nassau & McGuinness in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.  (Emily Anne Epstein/Metro)
Riders raise their bikes in memorium of Solange Raulston, who passed away in 2009 at Nassau & McGuinness in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. (Emily Anne Epstein/Metro)

Some cyclists are so sure the NYPD would not investigate their deaths in traffic that they are making living wills.

The environmental advocacy group Time’s Up! is collecting the wills on a website, where New Yorkers ask the NYPD to launch a full investigation if they are killed by a car and to make that information public.

About 25 bikers have submitted wills so far, Brooklynite Keegan Stephan said.

“The videos are a little chilling,” Stephan, 29, said.

Stephan created a will, one of many posted on their website.

In Stephan’s video, he says, “I’m making this video to say that if I’m killed by an automobile on the streets of New York City, I would like the NYPD to do a full investigation, and I would like that investigation report to be released to the public.”

He adds, “To me, this is no different than being an organ donor. If something tragic happens to me, I’d at least like it to help save the life of someone else.”

Previously, the NYPD only investigated crashes where the victim died or was likely to die. Many advocates argued that this meant no evidence was collected, even if someone was severely injured or did ultimately die.

Earlier this month, the NYPD announced they would also investigate crashes that involve serious injuries.

Just last week, a cyclist in Astoria was reportedly hit two times by the same van, while he was riding in the bike lane. He escaped with scratches.

Stephan has himself been hit by cars “countless times,” he said.

Recently, he was hospitalized when a car rear-ended him. The police report quoted the driver, who said Stephan turned in front of him, Stephen said, which he said was not true.

“If I didn’t survive, there wouldn’t be anyone around to tell the NYPD or the public that that isn’t what happened,” he said.

He added that making a will had been a “morbid” experience that made him again aware of danger in city streets.

“It’s just a reality check to be biking or even walking in New York City and not realize how dangerous the traffic is,” he said. “You’re kind of taking your life into your own hands.”

Killed by cars

Clara Heyworth, 28, was hit by a car in July 2011 as she stepped across a Fort Greene street to meet her husband, Jacob Stevens. Stevens filed a lawsuit against the NYPD, who he said did not do enough to investigate her case. Heyworth did not die at the scene, but she later died from her injuries. A delay in the investigation meant much evidence was missed, Stevens said, including skid marks, taking photos and finding witnesses. The driver was charged with driving while intoxicated but was not sentenced to jail time.

Mathieu Lefevre, a Brooklyn artist, was killed while on his bike in October 2011 when he was hit by a flatbed truck. His family sued the NYPD to get more information about the investigation into his death. His mother, Erika Lefevre, blasted the NYPD for not giving them any pictures of the crash scene, because the investigator’s camera was broken.

Last year, UPS worker Mike Rogalle died after he was hit by an SUV while walking on Beekman Street. An SUV reportedly lost control and careened into the sidewalk, according to the Daily News.

Follow Alison Bowen on Twitter @reporteralison.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Federal mediator joins Met Opera labor talks as…

Unions representing the orchestra and chorus of the Met Opera agreed to have a federal mediator join labor talks on Thursday as a threatened lockout loomed.

Local

Winning $7 million New York lottery ticket sold…

The only $7 million winning New York Lottery ticket for Monday's Cash4Life drawing was sold at a Queens 7-Eleven, officials said on Tuesday.

Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

Movies

Review: 'Guardians of the Galaxy' is a refreshingly…

Marvel is sitting so high on a cash mountain that it's now thrown $170 million at the relatively obscure and very silly title "Guardians of the Galaxy."

Movies

Review: 'Get on Up' is a war between…

James Brown finally gets his own boring biopic with "Get on Up," but the Godfather of Soul puts up a good fight against the usual cliches.

Movies

Review: 'Child of God' finds director James Franco…

James Franco's 11th directed feature is a noble but sloppy adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's "Child of God," about a feral mountain man (Scott Haze).

Movies

Review: Alex Gibney's Fela Kuti doc 'Finding Fela'…

Prolific documentarian Alex Gibney takes on Afrobeat god Fela Kuti in "Finding Fela," but fails to capture his unique essence.

MLB

Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade…

Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade deadline

College

Playing the Field: Valentine's Day coupling edition

  It’s Valentine’s Day, a day created by Hallmark to make couples spend loads and loads of money on candy, flowers and gourmet dinners. Or…

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

Career

What do you wear to a career fair?…

Getting that gig starts with presenting the most polished and memorable version of yourself, so refer to our expert fashion advice.

Style

Editors pick: Margiela's finger armor ring

These cool rings from Maison Martin Margiela are designed to overlap over the finger, covering each joint like armor.

Style

Givenchy champions diversity

Riccardo Tisci's uses a variety of ethnically diverse ladies for his spring campaign including Erykah Badu.

Wellbeing

Don't settle for the hotel fitness center with…

Travelers who want to skip the hotel fitness center in favor of local gyms that may offer better equipment, classes and amenities can turn to…