Mayor de Blasio calls for charges against driver involved in deadly bicycle crash

Tuesday, August 13, 2019
Mayor calls for charges in deadly crash involving bicyclist
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Kemberly Richardson has more on the fatal crash.

MIDWOOD, Brooklyn (WABC) -- Mayor Bill de Blasio is now calling for charges against the driver who ran a red light in Brooklyn, causing a chain reaction crash that led to the death of a bicyclist.

It marks the 19th bicyclist death in the city this year.

The vehicle was being driven by 18-year-old Umar Baig and was traveling on Coney Island Avenue in Midwood. The driver allegedly sped through a red light on Sunday and then was T-boned by a car traveling from Avenue L.

The vehicles both spun out after the crash the other vehicle involved hit 52-year-old bicyclist Jose Alzorriz of Park Slope.

One of the vehicles also then jumped a sidewalk and crashed into a building.

Baig did have a valid license and was not impaired at the time of the crash. He was briefly held but then later released. The NYPD says they are ready to charge Baig, but that they are working with the Brooklyn DA who has not yet commented.

Mayor de Blasio does not believe Baig should simply face misdemeanor traffic violations, but rather much stiffer penalties.

"If you kill someone through your negligence, maybe that's not murder one, I'm not a lawyer but I'd say it should be a serious, serious charge with many years in prison. Because it's negligence. It's not that something unavoidable happened and the driver was put in a horrible situation. He blew through a red light at high speed, and someone is gone now, a family is grieving, there should be a much higher consequence," Mayor de Blasio said.

Meantime later Tuesday, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams will bike from downtown Brooklyn to lower Manhattan with cyclist advocates for street safety. Following the ride, the group will discuss steps they want the city to take to help prevent further tragedy.


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