Bicyclist Hit By A Truck Near 72nd Street Dies of His Injuries


The approximate location of the crash. Image via Google Streetview.

A 24-year-old bicyclist who was hit by a truck on the night of October 10 near the intersection of Amsterdam Avenue and 72nd Street died of his injuries on Wednesday, according to a release from the NYPD. Abu Sufian Molliek Rifat, who was from Queens, was riding North on Amsterdam when he “struck the side of the [Northbound] tractor trailer and fell to the ground,” according to an NYPD release.

A witness told us at the time that Rifat “was pinned under the rear wheels” and “in pretty bad shape” once the ambulance arrived.

The driver stayed on the scene and was not charged.

We updated the post to use the exact language from the NYPD release.

NEWS | 46 comments | permalink
    1. Cyrus says:

      So sad. Rest In Peace, young man.

    2. Uwser says:

      Guys: A bicyclist doesn’t “hit the side of a truck.” The truck ran over the cyclist. Stop victim-blaming. Stop being a stenographer for NYPD’s nonsensical pronouncements on these cases. The cyclist was the object here, not the subject. He was run over by a reckless or irresponsible driver, not vice versa. Try to give a crap, guys. Come on.

      • Carlos says:

        I hate to blame the deceased but how do we know that he was riding carefully and not in a lane designated for car traffic? As others have noted, this is a really bad intersection and caution is required by all parties. Personally, you could not pay me enough to ride a bike through that intersection. Unless you know information not provided here, it is currently impossible to blame either the bus or bike driver. My condolences to the family of the bike rider.

        • Josh says:

          Cyclists are allowed, and are in fact required, to ride in lanes designated for motor vehicles. Unless the street has a bike lane, which that section of Amsterdam/Broadway does not.

          • Zulu says:

            For the record and as per NYC DOT, even if there is a bike lane it is not illegal to ride a bike on the other non bike lanes.

      • Mark says:

        You saw it happen?

      • robert says:

        Actually in this case he DID hit the side of the truck. He then fell off his bike.

      • lynn says:

        Are you serious? Of course a bike can hit the side of a truck, as well as a car or a person or a number of other things, and for any number of reasons. My condolences to this young man’s family. The streets need to be made safer for everyone.

      • Frank says:

        Have you made a formal statement to NYPD concerning your apparent eyewitness account of the incident?

    3. Margaret says:

      What an unimaginable tragedy for yet another family, to suddenly grieve a 24-year-old. It would be good to hear the mayor and Gale Brewer speak up with their sympathy, their recognition for another cyclist dying under the wheels of a truck, and their intentions to make our streets safe for cycling. They’ve been pretty silent this year while cyclist deaths have quadrupled in Manhattan. Perhaps they see it as not worth their time and attention, but that’s a shame. I expected better leadership. It’s not hard, you just have to give a rats ass.

      Also, is the investigation ongoing or it’s been closed? The driver, whose identity NYPD is shielding, had responsibilities beyond staying on the scene, specifically, exercise due care and don’t run over people with your massive vehicle.

      Without attention from city electeds, this will not get better. More families will have to bear the most crushing losses.

    4. Robert Green says:

      He “hit the side of a tractor-trailer”? That is simply absurd, the usual lie that the NYPD will propagate in order to shift blame onto a vulnerable victim and away from the person driving a 8000 lb vehicle.

      disgusting.

      • robert says:

        This biker actually ran into the side of the truck, not the other way around. He then lost control of the bike and fell under the rear wheels of the truck. The question is why did he hit the truck, what happened before it.

        • Martin says:

          Why are you so sure the NYPD’s version of events is anywhere near accurate? They have distorted facts and lied through their teeth before in cases of cyclists being killed by motorists. Far more likely is that the truck passed him too close and side swiped him. Of course a fully functioning police department would leave no stone unturned in determining what happened – unfortunately the NYPD is interested in one thing only, ending their investigation with the minimum of fuss, and they will take the word of a killer drier as gospel to this end.

          • Ted says:

            I am just curious what motive the NYPD would have for shifting blame to the cyclist. It’s not like it was an NYPD truck or other city vehicle. It has always been my observation that the NYPD is far more likely to ticket TLC and commercial vehicles. I think the commenters who say none of us were eye witnesses have a fair point. Unless their is some reason to believe that the NYPD would conspire to shift blame it doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense.

    5. Craig says:

      Are semis legally allowed on 72nd?
      When will BdB have a presser calling for confiscation of these illegal vehicles?

      • robert says:

        Yes they are RQUIRED to be on B’way, Columbus AND Amsterdam. Col & Amsterdam are part of the nationwide truck route system that allow trucks to move N/S in Manhattan. B’wat BY LAW is used for trucks making deliveries in NYC.
        The traffic regs on the UWS on trucks, and cars for that matter, need to have much more thought not just a knee jerk reaction to an incident. For example intersection at 96 & B’way. If you are driving south on B’way and want to turn left (going east) you nee to make a right off B’way onto 97th street onto WEA. At WEA make a left and go one block, then make another left at 96 to go east. The reverse is true from those going North on B’way and 95the street. These regs were put in place a few years ago when two people were killed in one night. One was the drivers fault the other was caused by a ped JWalking diagonally across the ENTIRE B’way 96 intersection. While they have cut the number of accidents and near miss at 96 and B’way. They have just moved the problem to 96 and WEA/Amsterdam & 97/95. It has also caused accidents all the way up WEA, not mention increased truck traffic on WEA from 110 to 96st street. Drives chose WEA due to the neck down at 102 to 94 as well. The precinct does a enforcement on WEA but they just don’t have the manpower to do it all the time.

    6. ST says:

      New York is not made for bicycling. Sadly, more to follow.

      • Zulu says:

        It must not be made for pedestrians either because far more of them are killed on NYC streets than any other user.

    7. Stephen says:

      Which is it?
      First sentence from reporter “was hit by a truck”
      Second sentence from NYPD “when he hit the truck”
      More bicyclist victim blaming by the NYPD

    8. James says:

      Does anybody have any more information about what exactly happened here? I ride my bike through this intersection frequently so this article has sent chills through my spine. Would like to understand if the driver was turning and what the cyclist was doing.

      The linked article does not contain any details.

      • Paul G says:

        i agree, I also ride there many days of the week. I stay to the left, as cars and trucks can’t turn left at 72, but just before you get to 72, as you negotiate past the broadway intersection, there is a major pinch point that always makes me nervous. i breathe a sigh of relief as I pass 72 and the Amsterdam bike lane begins.

        would love to know how the rider lost control.

    9. Sid says:

      This is confusing. Did the cyclist hit the truck, or did the truck hit the cyclist? The article insinuates both.

    10. James says:

      Cyclists: Please remember to “Ride Big” – When there are no bike-lanes, or wherever the bike-lane is blocked or unsafe, take an ENTIRE LANE OF TRAFFIC and ride in the CENTER of it. Do not try to skirt by cars using the right shoulder. Do not try and ride in-between multiple lanes of traffic. Assume you are a piece of vehicular traffic and ride in-line with the cars. The safest place you can be is directly in the middle of the lane and, at night, with proper reflectors and blinking lights.

      By riding in the most visible location (center of the lane) you make it very difficult for drivers not to see you and make it prohibitively difficult for drivers to cut you off, or otherwise push you to the side or off the road.

      • MJ says:

        To add to James’ point, Cyclists: please please please stop at red lights! If you are to be treated as a vehicle, you must obey vehicle traffic laws. For ALL OF OUR SAFETY.

        So sad for this young man.

        • djx says:

          “To add to James’ point, Cyclists: please please please stop at red lights! ”

          This is unrelated to Jim’s point or the incident where this person was killed. In fact, among recent deaths in NYC by driver, at least once was a cyclists stopped at a light being run over for a driver (hit in September, died two weeks ago).

          Running lights is rarely the cause of cyclist deaths in NYC. T

          • Eric says:

            Perhaps. But a cyclist running a red light did send my wife to the hospital so please observe the rules of the road, and obey the traffic laws which require you to stop at the red and to wait until you have a green light to proceed.

          • Ena says:

            I was hit by a bike running a red might while I was pregnant crossing during the walk sign in a crosswalk. Thankfully she was going slowly but she barely said sorry before leaving the scene.

          • MJ says:

            I said for all our safety. Cyclists running lights affect pedestrians – families, pets, everyone who isn’t on a bike. I’ve seen A LOT of close calls with stollers. It’s not fair to people who have the light and are just trying to cross. I’ve seen cyclists yell at pedestrians to “move it”.

    11. Julie says:

      A cyclist driving into a truck, yeah right. The streets need to be made safer for everyone. An average of about 140-150 pedestrians and 15-20 cyclists die on the streets of NYC every year due to motor vehicles. Lowering the speed limit and imposing a 5 mph speed limit for turning cars would help.

      • Mark says:

        As someone said earlier – you really need to submit your eyewitness account to the police.

        • Zulu says:

          Mark,

          Julie, did not at any point claim to be an eye witness. She’s only expressing her skepticism on the NYPD’s analysis of the collision. Skepticism which is shared by many here given their past performance.

    12. MTS says:

      To take the discussion away from this particular sad event: Are there or are there not rules and regulations for bicyclists in this city? I believe there are and I also believe that the number of infractions on the part of bicyclists is constant and scary. today for example, I had three close encounters with bicyclists: one on Riverside Drive at the crosswalk when I had the right of way, 2 riders cruised through the red traffic light at high speed barely missing me as I walked across with my dog. Then once in RS park, a rider coming from my rear full speed who with no warning, ie. bell or call out, sped by me a few inches from my body. I did have an exchange with him about the lack of warning which I clearly stated that he needed to consider that I do not have eyes behind my head and that fact that he had no bell was against the law (he also was not wearing a helmet for his own good). And then the third time, again about 30 minutes later, in the park again, a woman with no bell, a fully loaded bike basket, huge headphones on her head, a spandex gym gear outfit, sped by me, churning her pedals as fast as possible in order to take the hill at 116th street. I cannot begin to tell how many times this happens. I watch bikers speed through red lights with no warning to pedestrians or cars: full disclosure: I am a pedestrian and a city driver. I am scared to death of the bikers who with impunity break all the vehicular laws with an entitlement that bears witness to the danger they pose for themselves and others. Everyone feels for the bikers. How about the driver who has hit and possibly killed another human? Killing a pigeon on the road is bad enough. Just elevate it to a human now. The authorities who have made all sorts of restrictions on drivers and impose fines and penalties for bad, reckless and illegal driving need to start to do the same for bicyclists. a shared roadway is precisely that: shared. But both must be accountable.

      • Zulu says:

        So you want us to feel sorry for the person who kills another human being? Particularly when the “killer” is in a car? FYI, your moral compass might be a little off. I figured you were going to ask who was going to pay for the smudge on the paint job?

    13. Frances says:

      Hey Guys
      When is our City going to realize that bicycles and
      dense City traffic will never work together. It has
      eroded our quality of life This bike program has to
      be discontinued the sooner the better
      It’s a romantic dream. Just because it works in Europe,
      doesn’t mean it will work in NYC
      I mean,, fire and ambulance cannot even get down Columbus
      Avenue Our City needs to admit defeat accept that it is NOT a feasible idea and restore our streets and traffic flow.

      • Zulu says:

        Sorry to point at the fatal flaw in your thinking, but the bike lanes on Amsterdam and Columbus are in fact wide enough for emergency vehicles to travel on. When there is gridlock (which is mostly caused by double parked vehicles on travel lanes) an ambulance or fire truck can make it to the scene by using the unencumbered bike lane.

    14. Linda says:

      This article sent chills to my bones as well. I cross that intersection frequently and now I’m too scared to do it. This is the 2nd article about a cyclist being hit on that intersection in the last couple of months. Do you guys think a petition would help? Who should I address it too? Our counsel woman? Who in government would be able to do something about this? Something needs to be done. I feel terribly for the victim’s family, 24 is too young, rest in piece Rifat.

    15. OriginalMark says:

      What odd comments from people who say that bikes can’t run into trucks.
      Can someone who is saying that explain why it’s not possible?

      • Zulu says:

        Let me answer that question. It’s not possible because the NYPD didn’t say it was.(warning: heavy use of sarcasm in employ)

    16. Tony says:

      NYPD said the exact same thing about the Investment banker Citibiker who “hit the side of a bus” and was killed a few months ago. Luckily camera footage came out days later showing just the opposite. Let’s be real, cops blame bikes because many of them are hick townies who resent bicyclists. Here are some great example of police keeping us safe:

      http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nypd-detective-charged-drunk-driving-crash-killed-woman-article-1.3103275

      http://www.mynbc5.com/article/report-cyclist-at-fault-for-fatal-crash-involving-allegedly-drunk-driver/3324477

      https://nyc.streetsblog.org/2017/06/15/nypd-no-charges-no-tickets-for-bus-driver-who-killed-dan-hanegby/

      • Mark says:

        Tony – did you see the accident?
        Why is it impossible that the bike ran into the truck?
        I get that some pro-bikers are being urged to post here, but the rules of physics apply even when they don’t meet your bias.

    17. EricaC says:

      I’m so sorry to hear that; we need to find a way to make it possible to bike safely within the city. The long-term health of this city depends on it.

    18. Observeing life says:

      I have no information about this accident, but I walk a lot in NYC and drive sometimes too. I see some careful cyclists, but many more who take risks and are begging for trouble. I see many delivery bikes, probably under pressure to make prompt deliveries, driving dangerously, and fast, and without helmets! Every day!
      When you order from a takeout or fast-food and want quick delivery, you are endangering someone’s life.
      Think about it that way. These are not people who are careless by nature they are desperate to survive financially and so they risk their lives.
      Will Uber eats solve this problem…..

    19. Mal says:

      I drive a car in the streets if Manhattan and I know my ca has a blind spot. Very often I’m surprised when a cyclist passes me because I never saw it in my mirror. I can imagine if I were in a huge truck, my mirrors wouldn’t see a bike. Im not saying I know this happened; but, i can imagine it happening. For that reason, I dont ride a bike on the streets. Cant say I think the park is much safer, so I wouldnt ride in this city.

    20. Jen says:

      It is a tragedy and my heart goes out to the victim’s family.

      It is very disturbing to read comments hair-splitting nonsense instead of feeling for a life gone. Using a tragedy as an excuse for trolling is disgusting.