The NYPD is searching for the driver of a Mercedes Benz who allegedly struck and killed a cyclist late Friday evening near the Bronx River Parkway. The incident comes as the number of traffic-related deaths has increased across the city.
Police say the incident happened roughly around 11:22 p.m. in the area of the Bronx River Parkway underpass and Southern Boulevard, where there are no dedicated bike lanes on the roadway connecting the neighborhoods of Allerton and Bedford Park. Police say the driver of the 2019 Mercedes Benz sedan, who was only identified as a man, was speeding east on Southern Boulevard near the Bronx River Parkway attempting to pass the bicyclist, who was also heading east. After he didn’t have space to pass the cyclist, police say the driver struck the cyclist’s back wheel, propelling the victim forward. The cyclist then collided with the driver’s windshield.
The driver then ditched his vehicle, taking off on foot in unknown parts. The NYPD’s Highway District’s Collision Investigation Squad said Saturday they have yet to make any arrests in connection with the incident.
The cyclist, who has not been identified by police, suffered severe trauma to his head and body and was pronounced dead by paramedics who responded to the hit-and-run incident.
Statistics provided by the NYPD show there have been 110 people who’ve died from traffic-related incidents in 2021 compared to 77 the same time a year before, an increase of 43%. The data does not break down how many of those killed were cyclists, though Streetsblog reports there have been five cyclists who’ve died in the city so far this year. Among those was a cyclist killed on June 15th in a solo crash in Van Cortlandt Park, which is also in the Bronx.
While the Bronx has seen a 13% uptick in traffic-related fatalities, it’s largely due to the increase of fatalities within the 45th Precinct. The rest of the Bronx has seen a drop in fatalities or the same number of incidents when compared to the same time last year.