A bicyclist hit a toddler in Riverside Park on Thursday around 6:45 p.m. on the shared path next to the Hudson River near 73rd Street, according to witness Marianne Hettinger, who sent the description below:
“The father, the pregnant mother and the toddler were sitting at a picnic bench right behind me. Then the mother took the child by the hand and they walked down the embankment to the pedestrian/bike path. I watched them for a moment and then I turned back to the book I was reading.
Seconds later I heard a big thud, the sound of impact by the bike hitting the child- I looked and saw the child entangled between the tires under the bike and the male bike rider on the ground as well. The little girl’s father ran down the embankment screaming “oh my God” over and over. He scooped up the child that had the imprints of tire marks on its arm and face.
The face was already badly bruised and swelling up. Horrific. The child was conscious, crying and rather than wait for the ambulance, which the parks department people said could take a while, the parents ran up the hill to hail a cab and rush their daughter to Children’s Hospital.
The bicyclist stayed at the scene and after the parks department people took his info, he kept going.
It was a horrific crash. I did not witness the moment of impact but the child must of gotten away from the mom just a couple of steps. But I saw her entangled under the tires.
I’m hoping to God she will be OK!”
Hettinger says that path is particularly treacherous.
“Sadly, it was only a matter of time. Bicyclists make this route their personal racing track and I’ve witnessed so many close calls but today was horrific… I sure hope the kid is going to be okay and that someone does something about throttling the pace of those bikers or even better- give them another path since pedestrians and bikes doesn’t mix.”
Updates: Capt. Timothy Malin of the 20th precinct says that someone did call 911 about the crash, but that the cyclist and victim were gone when police arrived. “It’s not a Notable spot for collisions,” he wrote in response to a question about whether the spot is particularly dangerous.
Parks Department spokesperson Anessa Hodgson sent the folowing statement;
“NYC Parks can confirm that at approximately 6: 45 p.m. yesterday, PEP officers were flagged down by the father of a 22 month old girl. The father shared that a bicyclist had struck his daughter near the marina. In response, PEP called for the NYPD and an ambulance, however, the parents of the child opted to seek medical attention on their own. The bicyclist did not sustain any physical injuries. All parties involved dispersed.”
Asked whether anyone was found to be at fault she wrote that “Witnesses on scene shared that the toddler jutted out suddenly. There is no additional information to share.”