Skateboarder Struck by Sedan Saturday Morning

Crash scene at 83rd and West End Avenue. Photo by Joy Bergmann.

By Joy Bergmann

A man riding an electric skateboard was struck by a sedan in the intersection of West 83rd Street and West End Avenue around 7:30 a.m. Saturday morning.

When WSR happened upon the scene, the man — who appeared to be about 30 — was lying on his back, conscious and moaning, his left leg bleeding. Passersby and the male driver of the four-door sedan protected him from traffic as they awaited EMS, FDNY and NYPD.

A witness who lives at 490 West End Avenue described what he says happened:

“The guy on the electric skateboard was cruising down the middle of West End, northbound. He [the sedan driver] had the light coming down [83rd], going a normal-ish speed, but wasn’t able to stop in time,” the man said. “It was a direct impact on his legs.”

WSR overheard the driver giving a similar account to police officers.

An NYPD spokesperson did not have any further details on the crash.

NEWS | 56 comments | permalink
    1. Kay Pena says:

      As a pedestrian, I see this situation every day, several times a day.

      The skateboarders, and blade riders, and bicycles, and electric bicycles, and electric scooters are absolutely heedless of others. An entire feral, anti-social generation has been unleashed.

      I have no sympathy.

      • Dave J says:

        Wow blame the victim! Drivers must yield to anything that doesn’t have a metal cage around it! What’s wrong with people?

        • Zahrah says:

          Nonsense. Cyclists, scooters, etc. should follow the rules of the road and all of this should have been/should be legislated.

        • EdNY says:

          Apparently the driver was driving properly and had the light. Anyone (pedestrian, bicyclist, skateboarder, driver) who ignores a light does so at his own peril.

          • Brian B says:

            I also have no sympathy. The traffic lights are not a suggestion. I especially love it when cyclists ignore the lights when I cross Riverside Drive with my kid. Had too many close calls.

        • Paul says:

          If you choose to call someone a “victim,” when they do something reckless — fall off a cliff, drown while swimming after drinking, or run a light and get hit by a properly driven car, that’s your choice.

          But don’t expect the rest of us to go along.

      • Bob says:

        That last line concerns me, because while I agree that electric skateboarders should at minimum make sure that intersections are clear before running the light (and better yet not run it at all), how can you not have sympathy for a fellow human being? Did his choice of a mode of transportation cause him to lose all humanity for you? Because while you’re going on about a “feral, anti-social generation,” I can think of virtually nothing more feral, more anti-social, than deciding that you don’t care if someone lives or dies based on some arbitrary distinction like what means of transportation they use.

        • Go Cars! says:

          With all the uncertainty in the world today, it’s good to know that the (Baghdad) Bobs of the world will always be with us to self-righteously spew their pants-down value-signaling with patently absurd red herrings.

          The human beings whom I care about are the pedestrians who are daily endangered, threatened, and terrorized by irresponsible, self-absorbed, reckless numb-skulls who flaut the most basic precepts of public safety.

          Obviously these wheeled terrorists are too stupid to care for others if they are willing to endanger themselves.

          The enemy of my oppressor is my friend.

          • JL says:

            Facts matter in the real world, even if you ignore them.
            https://gothamist.com/news/nycs-streets-got-deadlier-in-2020

            Children are killed by drivers at crosswalks/sidewalks in NYC with little consequence if they have the “green”, yes even in the UWS and Park Slope. It amazes me when people don’t know who the real oppressors are by sheer dominance in terms of size, carbon footprint, and the carnage in human toll. The numbers are 200+ fatalities annually vs. <5 for everything else. For all the bike haters – <1/yr.

            Stop ordering food delivery for the lunch you're too lazy to prepare and your "oppressors" will decrease in numbers. Ignorance is bliss Go Cars!

          • Bob says:

            Are we still doing the t-shirts? Because your attempt at satire surely deserves one — though I do think it was just a bit over the top. “Terrorists?” “Oppressors?” Anyone who really believed that sort of silliness would spend their days under their covers muttering to themselves. But thankfully while the UWS does have some people who think like that — any sizable population will have some who have struggles — most of us are normal. But good satire!

        • Elliot J. Stamler says:

          It is people like you with misbegotten attitudes like yours that is causing the degeneration of society. Nobody has written they are happy this miscreant idiot skateboarder was hurt; what they’re writing is that it was HIS OWN FAULT and he must take the full blame. YOU are a perfect example of excusing blame that is rampant amongst people on the left who can’t and won’t accept reality.

          • JL says:

            I was not a witness to the accident. Like the ongoing pandemic, how did this turn political again?

    2. John says:

      Surprised it does not happen more. All these motorized devises and their riders do not stop for lights or pedestrians.

      • GG says:

        Not only do they (sometimes) not stop for lights or pedestrians but…

        1) they travel at higher speeds
        2) they rarely wear helmets
        3) they often go against the flow of traffic
        4) they ride on the street, the sidewalks and the bike lanes

        I see this recklessness on an almost daily basis as a daily runner in the park and an average NYC pedestrian on the UWS. Although the riders are clearly more vulnerable than a car or truck it does create a potential danger for people on foot.

        Can we all just be a little more careful (and respectful) out there?

    3. Paul on W 67 says:

      I don’t drive and am way too old to be on a skateboard but I walk a lot and have noticed that, while cars generally obey traffic lights, cyclists and skateboarders (and my fellow pedestrians) frequently do not. If the reports are correct, it sounds like the driver of the car had the right of way and the skateboarder did not.

      If my memory is correct, I learned while serving on a jury a million years ago that, if you are obeying the traffic laws vis a vis speed, right-of-way, etc., you have the right to the presumption that other vehicles will be doing the same. In other words, the driver of the sedan was under no obligation to approach an intersection where he had the green light and think ‘Hmmm, maybe I should slow down to 5 mph and proceed at a snail’s pace just in case somebody might run the light.’

      I hope the skateboarder wasn’t injured too badly and that he will remember this the next time he decides to zip up the avenue against the light, and that the guy driving the car isn’t too badly traumatized by the events which, it would seem, were not his fault.

    4. Bernie says:

      Electric skateboards and throttle controlled e-bikes going 25+ mph wherever they please are turning out to be a very big problem.

      • Leslie says:

        The drivers of all electronic vehicles should be required to have licenses. Their vehicles should have tags. It’s crazy that all these machines and drivers are speeding around without registration of any kind.

        • prioritze says:

          We should prioritize. How about applying this to gun owners first. Guns kill and injure hundreds of people each day.

          • Denton Taylor says:

            Um, you don’t seem to be aware of how difficult if not impossible it is to get a gun permit in New York.

          • SadforUWS says:

            The overwhelming majority of “gun violence” in this country is committed by illegal gun owners. In New York City, 99.9% of all the shootings and murders are by people who own a gun illegally. NYC and Chicago have the toughest gun laws on the books (it’s basically impossible to legally own a gun, you have to go through so many hoops and provide valid reasons why you should be issued a license), and we know that shootings are going up weekly. You’re spouting a tired “talking point” that has zero to do with reality.

          • Zahrah says:

            Absolutely . I agree, but that must happen on a federal level since individual states have different laws regarding registration. Ordinances can happen on a local level regarding cyclists, skate boarders, etc.

    5. Sid says:

      Saying a driver was going a “normal-ish” speed and unable to stop certainly sounds like they were above the speed limit.

      • Paul says:

        The ability to stop is based on reaction time + stopping time.
        At 25 MPH that’s at least 75 feet, which is why you’re wrong.

        • JL says:

          reaction time + stopping time => some measurement of time.

          I don’t know how you get 75 feet from that? I’ve no idea what happened here not having any video and not knowing either party. The streets are fairly empty @7:30AM on the weekends. The stopping distance is a function of the power of the stopping force (if brakes are applied) and the contact of the car tires(4) on the road surface. 75 feet seems arbitrarily long for a sedan on dry pavement @<25mph (remember speed limit?).

          If a driver hits a stopped bus, a telephone pole, or a building, the stopping distance for that driver is zero feet.

          • Paul says:

            I used 75 feet after looking it up, and it was a conservative figure.
            At 25 MPH a vehicle is going 36.67 feet per second. If it takes a second and a half to react and apply the breaks that’s 55 feet.
            Breaking distance for an average car at 25 MPH is 32 feet.
            You could have looked it up yourself and saved yourself time.

            Oh, and most importanly, the Avenue is 60 feet wide and since the rider was northbound, while the vehicle was traveling west, the scooter was in the lane nearest the oncomong car. The driver would have had to stop within 30 feet to avoid collision.

            • JL says:

              Actually I didn’t have to look it up because I learned how to drive a stick shift with a real clutch in NYC. Reaction time differs and situational awareness is subjective for everyone. Two important variables for both parties we know nothing about.

              30 feet @25 mph does sound more accurate. 30ft is 40% of 75ft of your initial claim. I’m guessing modern “Brakes” applied at maximum force, the distance is even shorter. We have no idea if either party touched the brakes or even saw each other. Them’s are the “Breaks”.

              I have no idea how anyone on those eboards or mono-wheels do a hard stop in traffic. The injured person looks like a sizable man and the force needed to stop a board is easy but the human body (not attached) would go flying? Operator experience/ skill/ consideration are also unknowns.

            • Paul says:

              Wow, JL! I’m impressed! You drove a stick shift without synchromesh so you don’t have to look at data and research on stopping distance!
              And you conclude that reaction time can be zero so no distance is traveled between sighting a person running a light and actual breaking!

              Awesome!

            • JL says:

              Thank you Paul, I AM awesome !

              To claim there is some measurable standard reaction time for “drivers” in the region is absurd. It makes your correction statement…
              >>”At 25 MPH that’s at least 75 feet, which is why you’re wrong.” is WRONG !

              Cars are getting smarter. Drivers, not so much…
              https://mobile.twitter.com/SWPD_PIO/status/1412907577428660224

              Accidents happen because of unforeseen (at least 1 if not both) events. I’m guessing the injured person didn’t use a skateboard looking for an assisted suicide.

              Modern automatic transmissions are so smooth that many drivers are not aware they are driving above 25 mph (speeding). “Normal’ish” means 25+ and 55+ on the highways.

              Here is more useful info on Breaking (not the dance)
              https://www.sarahtownsendeditorial.co.uk/2018/08/brake-vs-break-spelling-tips/#:~:text=BREAK%20is%20a%20verb%20that,a%20noun%20and%20a%20verb.

              Oh check it, I can use sarcasm on the internet also.

    6. Jack Tripper says:

      I hope the skateboarder makes a quick recovery.

      The electric bike/skateboard/blade situation is insane. The speed some of these people come down the block makes me fearful and concerned. They do not give thought to the random driver who isn’t paying attention making a turn against the light.

      Again, thoughts with the poor kid.

      • Jay says:

        Jack T:

        Except according to this reporting, which may not be complete, the driver of the sedan had a green light on 83rd. And there is no indication that the car’s driver was distracted by say illegally websurfing/texting. BUT there is a strong indication that the driver of the e-skate board ran the red on West End Ave.

      • Jo Baldwin says:

        Poor kid? It was reported he looked about30. Old enough to have common sense.

    7. Chris says:

      Golly! I hope the 30yo youngster will be ok.

      • Maryjane says:

        Agree. He is just a child, has whole life ahead of him, hope it doesnt scar him for life.

    8. Jay says:

      Electric skate boards: another term for e-scooters.

      If the summary of the crash is accurate here, then the driver of the e-scooter subtype was running a red light on West End Avenue.

    9. Whycats says:

      This is happening more and more and more. Hand wringing, meetings, letters to the editor, community board presentations. “Europe does it better.” “Everyone in Amsterdam rides a bike.” It’s all very simple. JUST FOLLOW DRIVING RULES. PERIOD. IF YOU’RE ON THE ROAD, WITH CARS, ON ANYTHING OTHER THAN YOUR FEET, FOLLOW DRIVING RULES. We all know them; we took drivers ed. in school or a course to get a license. Go with traffic, stop for lights and signs, yield to pedestrians, yellow is caution, etc. Right??

      • Chris says:

        This includes pedestrians as well. Many, and I suspect most, bike accidents are caused by pedestrians stepping into bike lanes. Bike lanes are roads and should be respected as such by pedestrians.

    10. Nevets K says:

      We can thank “Transportation Alternatives,” other anti-community groups, Community Board 7, the City Council, and the Mayor for the chaos wrought by two-wheeled vehicles. The mindless construction of protected electric bike lanes encouraged the takeover of our streets, sidewalks and parks by these two-wheeled vehicles in their multiplicity of forms. Quite predictably, these unlicensed vehicles are often ridden by people who operate at Kohlberg’s lowest level of morality: “I behave, because if I don’t, I will be punished.” As we witness multiple times a day, for these particular riders (the majority?), once the threat of punishment is removed – the police doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING – these riders will do whatever the hell they want.

      • Chris says:

        There are no protected electric bike lanes in the city. There are protected bike lanes. Electric throttle bikes should be banned from them. They are motorcycles and should be in the street.

        • Nevets K says:

          I must differ.
          There ARE protected electric bike lines in the city. In fact, ALL of them are.
          To call them by the the city government given name of “protected bike lanes” is to mislead the reader and to be blind to reality.

    11. Carlos says:

      Based on the description in this article, the rider is fully at fault. I hope he recovers but I also think that he should be held liable for any damage to the car (probably minimal) or driver.

      Bikers, skateboarders, etc. need to learn the Idaho Stop where you slow down approaching an intersection so that you can stop if necessary, but can cruise through the intersection if clear. Many delivery riders do this. Going full steam ahead through a red light is unacceptable.

    12. Jim Cash says:

      And you can bet that 30 year old skater will be interviewing attorneys to get him what he is owed from this totally unforeseeable event. And how mutated is your thinking if you connect skateboarding stupidity with gun control? For the love of humanity get a grip.

    13. duke says:

      skate borders and bike riders (both electric and manual) are a menace to drivers. the city must do a better job of policing them

      • UWSider says:

        Duke: I would bet that there are far more accidents caused by cars in this city on a daily basis. But those little skateboards and bikes might really cause damage to a big gaz-guzzling vehicle. I take it you are not a fan of clean air and exercise…

        • Paul says:

          I totally agree that it’s absurd to claim that the scooters, ebikes, etc are a menace to cars.

          If improperly operated they are primarily menaces to themselves.

          And that’s all the incentive a reasonable person needs to operate their vehicle properly.

    14. Ann E. Oakley says:

      Today: Entering the park at W90th. Wait for light to change for pedestrian right of way. Police car approaches crosswalk and stops. Pedestrian crossing light turns green. Pedestrian proceeds through crosswalk. E-bike runs red light going ~25mph, zooming past stopped police car, almost striking a man walking his leashed dog. Police car does not react. Nothing. Repeat: An electric bike driving at an unsafe speed, comes past a stopped police car, goes through a red light, and almost strikes a pedestrian in a crosswalk.

      NYPD must prioritize enforcement of traffic laws, and cite violators who engaged in reckless behavior. NYPD cannot be allowed to sit on its…hands….with respect to this issue.

      • Jim Cash says:

        630 pm 77th and Columbus and the parade of road warriors down Columbus…must have been 75 dirt bikes, scooters,
        atvs ..4 wheelers, no helmets, obscenely loud exhaust pipes, right through red lights, forcing cars to the side if those cars in any way interrupted their complete control of the avenue. no apparent concern about being apprehend by the police. Just out of curiosity when do we say enough?

    15. J says:

      It’s time to ban pollution-spewing cars that make our streets unsafe for humans

      • Paul says:

        Everything is unsafe for humans who disregard the basic rules of conduct.
        Oh, and if you ban cars, the trucks, buses and cabs that do most of the damage around here will just get to go faster.

      • mike says:

        What about the elderly, families with children, the sick? Not everyone can walk 10 miles a day like I do, or bike 40 miles a day like my neighbor.

    16. NH says:

      I wonder why police make 0 effort to enforce these laws? Ebikes are essentially light motorcycles and they are allowed in bike lanes, in central park, travelling wrong way in traffic? I am not a fan of the nanny state but this seems really stupid.

    17. alex says:

      No sympathy! I am a driver and do respect all the rules of the road, I do pay attention to all pedestrians, bicycles, scooters and other riders. And every single day I see these guys putting themselves in danger by not respecting one single rule. So I say “too bad” each time this happens.

      • JL says:

        Please drive under 25mph in NYC. Seeing that you obey all rules of the road.

        I understand it’s not easy, riding the brakes and not going above second gear.

      • Bob says:

        And that says more about you than about them.

    18. UWS-Rat says:

      I have a great deal of empathy for the man that was hit. From the description of his injuries he is facing a long and difficult recovery. That empathy does not preclude drawing the conclusion that he may not have used the best judgement, or maintained the appropriate level of situational awareness. Of course if the driver could have stopped he should have. We haven’t quite reached the level of Death Race 2000 but we are inching our way closer.

      Until everybody follows the rules of the road tragedies like this are inevitable.

      The goal is not to be right the goal is to get everyone home safely.

    19. Cathy D B says:

      Maybe ‘the guy on the electric skateboard’ had never learnt to drive, so doesn’t know the ‘rules of the road’. Maybe everybody who uses the road needs to pass the ‘rules of the road’ test.