DA Refuses to Prosecute Cyclist in Fatal Pedestrian Collision on Essex Street
It was an early summer evening when a 63-year-old pedestrian entered the Essex Street crosswalk at Hester Street. Minutes later, he lay bloody and unconscious in the middle of the road as Good Samaritans and paramedics assisted him.
A cyclist heading southbound on Essex had struck the victim, Shun Kwong Leung. He sustained a major head injury after the collision, when his head hit the pavement. The paramedics rushed Leung to the hospital where he died from his injuries just a couple days later.
The unnamed cyclist did remain at the scene until everyone cleared out, but did not appear to stay for any questioning.
Police then arrived and quickly cordoned off the area to investigate the incident. Chin also wrote a letter to NYPD Commissioner James O’neill urging a “full and comprehensive investigation.” Meanwhile, the Leung family simultaneously conducted its own, independent inquiry. Both reportedly turned up the same findings.
Mr. Leung was crossing Essex Street from east to west in a marked crosswalk with the pedestrian signal in his favor when he was struck by the bicyclist. The bicyclist was traveling southbound on Essex Street in the left travel lane and disobeyed a steady red signal at Hester Street where he struck Mr. Leung.
District Attorney Cy Vance elected not to prosecute the cyclist, though. Councilwoman Margaret Chin made her qualms known with the decision, and urged their office to reconsider. Below is her letter from last week.