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

Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels Kansas concert, condition unknown,…

Singer Miley Cyrus was hospitalized on Tuesday night after suffering what is believed to be 'a severe allergic reaction' to antibiotics medication. The 21-year-old Bangerz…

News

Explosions in new Boston Marathon bomb panic, 'twisted'…

A fresh Boston Marathon terror alert, which caused Bomb Squad officers to order an evacuation while two controlled explosions were carried out, was today being…

Local

D.A. Williams opens new unit to focus exclusively…

D.A. Seth Williams announced Tuesday that he has opened a new unit focused entirely on investigating wrongful conviction claims.

Local

BSL, El to run all night on summer…

Officials announced this week that it would institute a pilot program this summer that would keep the El operational from 5 a.m. Friday morning until midnight Monday morning starting in…

Entertainment

Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels Kansas concert, condition unknown,…

Singer Miley Cyrus was hospitalized on Tuesday night after suffering what is believed to be 'a severe allergic reaction' to antibiotics medication. The 21-year-old Bangerz…

Television

'Orphan Black's' Jordan Gavaris talks Felix's Season 2…

Jordan Gavaris plays heroically helpful foster sibling Felix to main clone Sarah on "Orphan Black." We talked to him about what’s ahead for him in…

Going Out

Here's what to do in Philly this weekend

FILM 'Through a Lens Darkly'  Thursday, April 17, 6 p.m. Philadelphia Photo Arts Center 1400 N. American St. Free, RSVP required, 215-232-5678 www.philaphotoarts.org Join Philadelphia…

Arts

Peek behind the scenes at the Academy of…

Generations of visitors have marveled at the dioramas in the Academy of Natural Sciences, watching apprehensively at the puma perpetually poised to attack the unsuspecting…

U.S. Soccer

Andrew Wenger has big shoes to fill on…

Lancaster County native Andrew Wenger will feel pressure to fill the shoes of departer forward Jack McInerney.

NBA

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could…

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could the Mavericks surprise?

NBA

Sixers, Michael Carter-Williams give fans a happy ending…

The 2013-14 season for the 76ers has nearly come to a close.

NHL

Flyers must make Rangers feel their presence

Perhaps it’s the proximity of the two biggest cities in the East, because whenever these two square off the intensity seems to rise.

Home

Steal home decorating tips from Nattystyle blogger Natalie…

Despite the towering ceilings and enviable exposed brick, it’s easy to see how Natalie Decleve’s apartment could be considered a challenge. Perched above the streets…

Home

How to plant a garden in the city

Small on space but big on gardening? You can still have that welcoming oasis of fresh air with an urban garden. Peter Smith, owner of…

Style

Victoria's Secret Fashion Show moving to England

It will still broadcast on CBS this fall.

Tech

Google Glass finally goes on sale for regular…

The Google Glass finally went on sale for regular people. It only costs $1,500.