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
National

Actor Tracy Morgan wasn't wearing seatbelt in June…

By Jonathan Stempel(Reuters) - Actor and comedian Tracy Morgan and others in his limousine were not wearing seat belts when their vehicle was struck by…

National

Connected cars: Is AT&T leaving Verizon in its…

By Marina Lopes and Bernie WoodallWASHINGTON/DETROIT (Reuters) - Verizon Communications, the No.1 U.S. wireless carrier known for its widespread coverage, is falling behind its biggest…

Local

Grand jury begins hearing evidence in Eric Garner…

A grand jury began hearing evidence Monday relating to the death of Eric Garner while in police custody in July. Garner, 43, of Staten Island,…

Local

Mayor announces plan for solar panels at city…

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the planned installation of 24 new solar panels at city schools on Monday morning. The panels, a $28 million investment,…

Going Out

Taste what Lower Manhattan is cooking at today's…

The Lower Manhattan food scene has changed a lot in three years, which you can taste first hand when the neighborhood's food festival returns. On…

Television

Review: 'Selfie' tries to coast on the charm…

"Selfie" offers cute leads and some good jokes, but focuses too much on a vague distaste for social media.

Movies

Review: Jason Reitman's 'Men, Women & Children' is…

Jason Reitman's "Men, Women & Children" takes a hysterical and melodramatic look at disconnection in the digital age, turning strong actors into zombies.

Television

TV watch list, Monday, Sept. 29: 'Castle,' 'Mom'…

Tune in for the season premieres of "Castle," "Mom" and "NCIS: Los Angeles."

NFL

Ryan Quigley making a big impact for Jets…

Ryan Quigley, now in his second year as the Jets punter, had an exceptional afternoon with six punts for an average of 51.7 yards per punt.

NFL

3 positives to take from Jets loss to…

The Jets suffered another loss Sunday — 24-17 to the Lions — but the reason why it hurts so much for Jets fans is that…

MLB

Joe Girardi not confident David Robertson will return…

David Robertson was as seamless as anyone could be replacing Mariano Rivera as he converted 39 saves, with a 3.08 ERA and 96 strikeouts in 64 1/3 innings.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony preaches patience with new coach, offense

While star forward Carmelo Anthony said he’s “enthusiastic” and “optimistic” for the upcoming season, he still wants everyone — from within the locker room and…

Education

How to ace your private school interview

Getting ready for a private school interview can be daunting for many, most of whom might never have been in an interview situation before. We’ve…

Education

5 questions parents should ask while visiting private…

It can be hard to know what to look for when searching for a new school for your child. Parents considering several different schools can…

Education

3 ways to save money on college application…

With the average high school student applying to 5 or 6 schools, hefty application and test score fees can add up quickly. We’ve compiled some…

Education

Nap rooms: The latest college campus trend

College is a time filled with new experiences (and lots of schoolwork), leaving little time for students to get a good night’s rest. University of…