Actress Struck by Scooter Near Lincoln Center Has Died From Her Injuries; Driver Not Found

Amsterdam and 64th Street.

By Carol Tannenhauser

Actress Lisa Banes, 65, has died, after being hit on Friday, June 4th, by a motor scooter that blew through a red light then fled the scene at Amsterdam Avenue and West 64th Street, police announced on Tuesday morning. She had been hospitalized, in critical condition, for 10 days at Mt. Sinai West.

Banes lived in Los Angeles, and had numerous roles in movies, television and theater, including, perhaps her best-known, “Gone Girl” and “Cocktail.” She was visiting New York, a city she reportedly loved, and was coming from a visit to her alma mater, Juilliard, when she was struck.

According to police, “[Banes] was attempting to cross Amsterdam Avenue, from west to east inside the north crosswalk at West 64 Street, with the pedestrian signal in her favor, when a scooter—traveling north on Amsterdam Avenue—did pass the red traffic signal and strike the pedestrian, knocking her to the roadway. The scooter then fled the location, continuing northbound. There are no arrests and the investigation remains ongoing.”

In addition to her film roles, Banes appeared regularly on and off Broadway following her 1984 breakthrough part in ‘Isn’t It Romantic?’ On television, she had recurring roles on Nashville, Royal Pains, and Six Feet Under, and guest spots on Frasier, Roseanne, and The King of Queens, among many other sitcoms, sci-fi and police shows.

“We are heartsick about Lisa’s tragic and senseless passing,” a representative for Banes told The Guardian. “She was a woman of great spirit, kindness and generosity and dedicated to her work, whether on stage or in front of a camera and even more so to her wife, family and friends… We were blessed to have had her in our lives.”

ART, NEWS | 48 comments | permalink
    1. Truth and Reason says:

      A woman gets killed by a scooter and police are doing nothing to find the identity of her killer. When Rick Moranis got punched on the street, there were pictures of the guy everywhere. Not that NYPD didn’t need to catch him and bring him to justice (that was important too), but why has there been nothing to help find this (wo)man? I’ve looked everywhere — no camera footage or still, not even a description. What color was the scooter that hit her? Was there a brand name down the side? (Rental scooters have those on there REALLY big; there’s no way a witness wouldn’t see it.) Did the driver appear to be male or female? White or black? Were they carrying food delivery packages? Are police even TRYING to find the driver who killed this woman?

      • Josh says:

        Do you know how your post sounds? How dare the police post pictures of the Moranis attacker and not Banes’? Did you step out of line when they were handing out common sense? Why do you think they havent posted video or photos? Did it ever occur to you that they caught the attack on Moranis on video, but they do not have video of Banes getting hit? Yes, why didnt the NYPD miraculously produce video evidence when such evidence doesn’t exist. Or owners of such evidence haven’t turned it over yet.

        • Truth and Reason says:

          Hey, Josh, no reason to insult people on here. If you go back and read my post you’ll see that I actually said catching the guy who hit Mr Moranis was good and important. I’m not quite sure how wanting the person who killed Ms Banes constitutes a lack of common sense. Again, no reason to insult a complete stranger and sorry you’re apparently having a bad day.

          No one is asking police to turn over non-existent evidence. As many cameras as there are in this city, though, it’s a fair assumption that images might be out there. And even if they aren’t, eyewitness testimony is. You don’t need a picture for a witness to tell you if scooter was blue or if it had a gigantic company name down the side. And that is common sense.

          • John says:

            There are cameras on just about every building on that avenue I am sure there is tons of footage.

          • Phoebe says:

            Thank you!

          • DrM says:

            “Truth and Reason” (🙄), sigh. I’m so sorry for the evident lack of anything of value in your life. Why do you believe the NYC police department owes you detailed updates on every investigation in our city of 8 million + people? Do you provide such details to the masses about your job? Do you HAVE a job? You initially proclaim that “there has been nothing [done] to help”, then later ASK,”are the police even trying?”. ‘Truth and reason’ reveals your remarks to be knee-jerk and idiotic.

      • Boris says:

        The articles clearly states that an investigation is ongoing. Try to imagine that in an incident like this, it’s very hard to locate the perpetrator. It’s been only 10 days and This is not the only crime in NY. Now that a death has occurred, the investigation will probably shift to a specialized unit of the Highway Unit that handles such accidents. Your enumerating a zillion questions is not helpful; it just makes you look like you’ve watched too many TV crime shows.

      • EdNY says:

        The police investigation is ongoing. What more does a reasonable person need to know? Don’t you think that if there was video, more information would have been shared with the public? And how do you know whether or not there were any witnesses? As the article said, the police investigation is ongoing.

    2. JaneW says:

      What needs to be done to address this crisis? Cameras? Speed detection? I never would have thought that the UWS would be the scariest place to walk. 😟

      • Upper West Side Cyclist says:

        What would be great would be if the NYPD embraced speed cameras, Albany lifted the limits on cameras, and if NYPD focused their enforcement on truly dangerous behaviors. A pedestrian jaywalking or a cyclist passing through an empty intersection is not worth the NYPDs focus. However, a cyclist going unsafely through a crowded crosswalk is a totally different story and should receive a hefty fine. The problem is they tend to go after low hanging fruit, when that low hanging fruit doesn’t actually do anything g to promote safety, but just pads their numbers. The main things they need to focus on are: 1) failure to yield 2) speeding and 3) distracted driving 4) aggressive and/or careless driving. And this is for all vehicles- bicycles and motor vehicles.

        • JaneW says:

          Are there any community groups that are addressing this crisis in other boroughs? There is not only too much reckless driving that doesn’t get punished but speedy driving. What’s needed? Cameras? Speed detectors?

          • Truth and Reason says:

            I’ve wondered about this myself. Who’s to say a community watch program would not work in New York?

        • Matt H says:

          Makes sense to me.

          It also bears mentioning that these sit-down electric rocket scooters do not count as micromobility devices under recently passed state law. Standup scooters, yes, e-skateboards, yes, e-bikes with actual pedals, yes, but not these.

          Unless they’re actually registered as motorcycles or mopeds (and have license plates) they’re not actually street legal. NYPD or DOT or somebody needs to be a lot more muscular about setting up checkpoints and confiscating them.

          I saw two of them on the drive in Central Park driving wrong way yesterday. For crying out loud.

        • Lisa says:

          The issue with camera enforcement of bike violations is that bikes don’t have licenses. NYC used to require bike licenses, and not that long ago either. Let’s bring it back.

    3. ben says:

      Cameras and, dare I say, facial recognition, and the driver would’ve been tracked down already. People’s false sense of entitlement to their narrow understanding of ‘freedom’ continue to cost lives. COVID deaths are just one example.

    4. This is the second murder-by-scooter, just on Amsterdam Ave., in the last few weeks alone.

      They race silently, like sharks, from every direction, and the city appears powerless (as usual) to do anything to protect pedestrians (as all of us are) from their frightening depredations.

      Every victim is a world entire; families, friends, businesses are wrenched out of their orbits, suddenly thrown into chaos and mourning while the murderer slips silently away, entirely whole.

      • Leon says:

        I agree that this is a huge problem that deserves our attention so that we can exist safely.

        That being said, there is an easy solution that will help. Settle for slower delivery times for your takeout food and/or compensate the delivery riders better. Pay them so they are not in such a rush to maximize their number of deliveries. Put speed and location tracking devices on their bikes. And make the restaurants/delivery companies partially responsible for penalties.

        • Paul says:

          You can’t tell who’s breaking the traffic laws if you can’t id the vehicles.

          A law is needed requiring that all powered vehicles be registered and licensed.

    5. nycityny says:

      The photo above of 64th & Amsterdam is out-of-date. There is now a northbound bicycle lane on the west side of Amsterdam.

      I don’t know how and if this plays into what happened but it is a complicating factor in crossing Amsterdam Ave these days (at least for me). Individuals riding in bike lanes often fail to stop at red lights.

      • EdNY says:

        Good point. I’m a driver, bicyclist and pedestrian. I’ve learned (based on two close calls) to look both ways whenever crossing a bike lane by foot.

    6. Frustrated says:

      I have had a scooter/dirt bike/moped and even a VAN practically run me down 3 times the last several months – AFTER the light was in my favor where they blew past their red. It is because there is no fear of getting caught or arrested. It’s obvious. The laws are blatantly broken because there is hardly any law and order now and police being told to stand down on practically everything. Nothing else has changed except the lack of enforcing the laws. Face it and vote for a safe NYC.

    7. Pedestrian Defense League says:


      The politicians, the police, and the cycling ‘advocates’, all complicit in the slaughter of pedestrians.

      Vote like your lives depend on it. Because they do.

      • Carlos says:

        I completely agree, but perhaps it would be helpful to suggest who people should vote for that might more actively address this very important issue? I have my thoughts but I’m not totally sure and would appreciate suggestions. Thanks.

      • Bob says:

        I don’t know a single cycling advocate who supports motorcycles running red lights, and for that matter there wasn’t a bicycle even remotely involved in this story. But I suppose if they’re your pet enemy, then everything must be their fault.

        • Another Close Call says:

          The problem is all of a piece. The same politicians who foisted bicycles and bike lanes on NYC as a transportation alternative are the same ones promoting e-bikes and electric scooters. Someone is profiting at the expense of on-the-street pedestrian safety.

          And for what it’s worth, I was almost run down (within a foot) from behind last night on a sidewalk along Broadway, by two young teens riding bicycles at unsafe speeds. This occurred in a crowed area in front of a store with produce stands out front, which are currently covered by a sidewalk shed–which is to say that the area was tight, totally unsafe for bikes.

          When will the police begin enforcing basic public safety laws to protect pedestrians? How many pedestrians have to get killed in the street or even on the sidewalk for politicians to stand up and take notice?

          • Paul says:

            Correct. Community Board 7 has debated traffic enforcement regarding bikes and ebikes at least twice in the last couple of years, one on a resolution regarding riders running lights in Central Park and again on a proposed resolution against strict enforcement of the rules for deliverypeople.

            The fact that people on the Board actually debated these means that yes, there are cycling advocates who oppose enforcement.

            • Bob says:

              Respectfully, that’s a mischaracterization based on a false dichotomy. You’re basically taking the view that if someone says that cyclists running red lights should be immediately executed with a bullet to the brain, and cycling advocates respond with “umm, no, how about a ticket,” then they’re against “enforcement.” And, no, they’re not. They’re against punitive and selective over-enforcement designed to attack someone’s pet enemy. They’re against an almost sick obsession illustrated here by the fact that a woman was killed by a motorcycle and you’re talking about… cyclists?

    8. Sue says:

      BTW, Lisa Banes was NOT killed by a scooter. She was killed by a person driving a scooter. Why do these stories always list the inanimate object as the killer?

    9. Brenda says:

      I’m no expert but I’m thinking that traffic light cameras would save more lives & raise more money than the armored vehicles the NYPD purchases with 911 money.

      • JaneW says:

        I’m with you, Brenda! Better to spend less money to scare folks into driving responsibly than waste money on more cops!

    10. ml says:

      So sad – condolences to the family.

      Bicycles, t-scooters and new moped/Revels are out of hand – dangerous to pedestrians and traffic in general.

      Cyclists run red lights, go the wrong way. Initially moped/Revel users seemed to adhere to traffic rules but recently have seen several go through red lights…

      Incredibly, even on two-way avenues, bicyclists are going the wrong way!

    11. Bronx Boy says:

      For those asking what should be done, I suggest police start enforcing the law on cyclists of all sorts, starting with red lights.

      I’m a pedestrian and sometime motorist, and it’s appalling how many if not most cyclists don’t obey the laws. They go too fast, they’re where they aren’t supposed to be (on the sidewalks, going the wrong way on one-way streets and even one-way bike lanes), and they do everything they can to avoid stopping.

      It’s worth some tax dollars to set up a few mobile squads of police to stake out different parts of the city where there are a lot of cyclists and start arresting and ticketing them.

      While they’re add it, they could also start busting the noisy scooter gangs.

      It would take several officers to set up a speed trap because the miscreants are on bikes. So you need one or two to spot the infraction and then others to chase down the speeder.

      New York isn’t really built to accommodate cyclists.

      • Cyn(thia) Icke says:

        Re: “…set up a few mobile squads of police… start arresting and ticketing them.
        While they’re at it,…also start busting the noisy scooter gangs.”
        You’re kidding, right? In today’s hyper-sensitive/anti-police/anti-authority environment, should a police officer DARE to do any such thing s(he)would ignite a firestorm of protestors screaming about ‘racist fascist cops abusing innocent citizens’ etc. etc.
        “O brave new world, That has such people in it”. (The Tempest V:1)

    12. Dan says:

      Isn’t it clear? These new electric vehicles need to be regulated. A guy was tearing through Riverside Park this morning with no regard for the pedestrians walking the path. If I had my dog off leash, I would get a ticket from the park police. But these vehicles driven by unlicensed individuals? No.

    13. Chocolate sugar queen says:

      Too many motorized bikes, scooters and skateboards. In a crowded busy city they all should be eliminated except human powered bikes, scooters and skateboards. Stick with what we had before. HuMan powered, human pedaled, human kicked or pushed. Nothing was electric except for cars and trucks. How many people must die before we stop the madness . Use the bus ,the train , or a cab. Want your food faster on delivery, pay extra for a delivery cab.

    14. Carol says:

      Why do people always blame the cops and the city for accidents – demanding more police and laws…..and then they complain there are too many laws, their rights are being violated?? When will people start to blame other plain, stupid, careless people? What’s happened to common sense? Parents, what are you teaching your kids? Care and concern is “old fashioned.”

    15. UWCider says:

      My condolences to Ms. Bane’s family, It is a very sad death.

      What can be done? Refund the police, elect Curtis Sliwa for mayor, and let’s bring order back to the streets.

    16. Martin E. Gold says:

      When are we going to prohibit or at least control these electric vehicles?
      They are growing rapidly in number and in danger. They go against traffic and through lights and now moving in numbers to our parks.

      • EBarbara Hariton says:

        I am a senior and I am afraid to walk anywhere in the city. I set a path and do not deviate because I know I am being tracked by a bike or scooter. I can’t believe how grossly the politicians cater to every interest group without a thought about how to manage it. Just a few years ago this havoc started with allowing unregulatedsupervised biking and the scooter and electric vehicles are Rosemary’s babies born from the satanic idea.

    17. Jim Cash says:

      Bdb’s. New York, no compliance, no accountability. He even got reelected. The government we deserve.

    18. JS says:

      What a sad story. Good article Carol. We really have to be extremely careful crossing when light is green. Many more cyclists and scooters and they often don’t obey the lights.

    19. William Meister says:

      As a Born in Manhattan kid, who grew up on Amsterdam Ave at 87th St. it is saddening to read about this. I now live in DE but my memories of NYC never fade. I am a Stuyvesant Grad. It seems incredible that there were no Video Cams anywhere near this accident. Pressure should be kept up to find this killer.

    20. pb says:

      With all of the cameras on the UWS, to which I have absolutely no objection because of how useful they can be at times like this, have all the ones that might possibly have captured this hideous crime, now a murder, been checked by the police? It’s important not to wait because footage is erased or recorded over in a matter of days with many of these cameras.

      I hope the murderer is caught and prosecuted to the fullest etent of the law – does anyone know if killing soemone with a scooter even is a crime?

      And how can we possibly protect ourselves from these predators when, as Ms Barnes did, WE obey the law? Even if you look both ways, cross when the light says it’s allowable/safe how could you possibly protect yourself from some lawless miscreant who willfully ignores the light and appears out of nowhere? It’s very frightening.

    21. Renee baruch says:

      It is really time to register these motorized vehicles- because that’s what they are! And also lethal! Motor assisted bicycles and scooters must be registered , insured and TRACEABLE. Otherwise these types of stories will proliferate along with the bikes and scooters.