Pedestrian killed on Sixth Avenue at West 23rd Street

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police reported that 60-year-old Michael Collopy was killed after he was reportedly knocked down by a cyclist in bike lane at the corner of Sixth Avenue and West 23rd Street on Wednesday, July 31 at 11:53 a.m. EMS transported Collopy to Bellevue Hospital and he succumbed to his injuries there on Monday, August 5.

The NYPD initially reported in a notice sent on Wednesday, August 7 that a preliminary investigation conducted by NYPD’s Highway Collision Investigation Squad found that a bicyclist was traveling north on Sixth Avenue in the bike lane when he hit Collopy, who was allegedly standing in the lane. Police said that the bicyclist did not remain on the scene.

The NYPD claimed last Wednesday that the medical examiner determined the cause of death to be the result of a pedestrian being struck by a bicyclist, but multiple news outlets reported that the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner disputed this assessment. The New York Daily News reported that the medical examiner said the “cause and manner of death in this case is pending determination.”

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20 thoughts on “Pedestrian killed on Sixth Avenue at West 23rd Street

  1. It’s now fair game on Pedestrians. When they catch this Bastard for this hit and run assault he will probably be given a Ticket for 30 dollars as has been done in the past. Why don’t Vehicular laws apply to these Psycholists?

    • I agree. But guess what other class hit and run vehicular laws don’t apply to? Truck/car drivers who alway have the ready excuse for hit and runs that they did not “see” the bike rider or the pedestrian.

  2. Do you all see cyclists are evil, they don’t need bike lanes. Bikes are to follow traffic laws, he left the scene of an accident, which is a crime. The cyclist murdered someone and if the is not caught. ALL cyclist must pay.

  3. The ongoing questions are..is the 13th Precinct doing enough to protect us here if not, why not?

    Because its resources are limited, the 13th targets its efforts based on data. The data show that the highest incidents of bike accidents within the 13th occurs on 6th Ave between 14th and 29th.

    So even with increased effort, a fatality occurred within the most targeted area.

    If this can happen in a targeted areas, what can the prevention be like in our area, second highest in bike incidents?

    What’s clear is that reckless bike riding is a problem in nearly all of Manhattan now and the administration is not doing enough to broadcast the problem and dedicate special resources that would be needed to address it.

    • Simple. License and Regulate. No Psycholist will dare run a light and risk KILLING someone if they knew they would be found and prosecuted as a vehicle.

  4. Note: we have very few details of what happened here.

    This news was widely shared with other publications last week, and the consensus response was to share regrets about the loss of life and condemn the alleged cyclist who left the scene. However, no additional verifiable details of the encounter have been posted, including whether or not the cyclist him/herself suffered a collision or fall, or whether or not the victim actually died as a result of the crash. The ME had to correct the NYPD for releasing a false ME determination.

    I think, in principle, the original assessment stands – if you are a cyclist involved in a collision, your duty is to stay on the scene and be involved in the aid of an injured person. But, in addition to this, the NYPD’s utter sloppiness in investigating and communicating crash incidents of all types is a disgrace that leaves families without justice.

    Also, this really has nothing to do with cyclists being a present danger to pedestrians. The intersection in question is not managed at all, and there are often dozens of pedestrians standing in or walking in the bicycle lane – as the victim had been – this puts everybody in danger and is just as much a fatal risk to cyclists as pedestrians, but neither NYPD or DOT appear inclined to do anything about it. For your information, most cyclists that encounter this choose to ride in the roadway, putting themselves in additional danger when jockeying with drivers of big cars who do not yield space & who do dangerous things around bicycles as retribution for slowing them down.

    • agree 100%. This intersection is a disaster. Plenty of cyclists are aggressive, BUT SO ARE PEDESTRIANS, often standing in the street or in the bike lane waiting for the light to change. In NYC, unfortunately, everyone breaks or fudges the laws

    • I’m responding to this one primarily because of the use of the ‘equivalence’ argument that says ‘yes, we do some things wrong but they do things wrong too.’ (An argument we’re seeing a lot these days.)

      I completely agree about people stepping off the curb before the light changes. I think it’s senseless to put yourself at risk for a few meaningless steps. But this doesn’t just occur in bike lanes and in my observation if I compare the number of times I see this occur in bike lanes versus the number of times I see bikers cut lights, there is no equivalence.

      Every day at almost any minute along 1st Ave from 14th to 25th you can see bikers routinely cutting lights. An observable fact. It goes on all day.

      • A lot of cyclists do not treat the red lights on First Ave as red lights – they treat them like yield signs. It’s technically illegal here, but it’s only because there are too many traffic signals applying to both cars and bikes without regard for the differences in how those objects interact with pedestrian crossings. There are very low collision stats with bike/ped along this corridor. If you wanted to protect pedestrians this would be the last place to look.

        This constant complaining about violations in-principle is tiring. I can’t find common ground with complaints unless they involve serious injury problems. Same with cars and pedestrians – I’m not here to discuss street sweeper tickets or jaywalking in spots where car traffic is light. All of these things annoy various people but they’re not putting anyone’s lives on the line. There is no cross-traffic on First Ave & not a whole lot of movement in the crosswalks most of the day – the lights are still timed for 30-55mph traffic. If the hill you want to die on is the insistence that cyclists get a $200 or $1000 repeat violation ticket if they don’t stop every three blocks for an empty intersection, be my guest. It’ll save no one from being crushed to death by a car.

        • I’m responding to this one because it makes no sense. Bikers cutting lights can easily lead to injuries…especially in areas like ours with a large aging population.

          There’s nothing trivial about anyone getting injured by a biker cutting a red light.

        • Barry – one, you don’t have to start every comment with “I’m responding to this one because”

          I didn’t say that cyclists can’t cause collisions by running red lights. I said that cyclists haven’t been causing recorded injuries along First Avenue, despite the prevalence of cyclists using those specific intersections as “yield and proceed”.

          Sure, something COULD happen someday, but right now the police and FDNY are not seeing it. Cyclists are just not getting into collisions there. Pedestrians have not been affected by the bikes. (Cars, meanwhile, have been deadly. But that’s another point altogether)

          I have argued here earlier that the cycletrack probably would work better with different traffic controls on it, and that all the vehicle lane traffic signals timed for 30mph+ traffic outside of Stuy Town is wildly inappropriate for all.

  5. Regardless of actual cause of death the fact remains that bicycle lanes have added another level of danger for NYC pedestrians. It’s become more dangerous for bicyclists too. More cyclist are getting killed by cars than ever before. The hard truth is that bike lanes do not work in most of NYC. NYC is simply too dense. Too much traffic, too many pedestrians. And bicyclists do not obey traffic or bike lane laws. They frequently race through the lanes on bikes without lights or horns and don’t stop for red lights. They ride up down streets and down up streets and in or out of the bike lanes as they please. Some get angry at pedestrians yet the law clearly states that pedestrians ALWAYS have the right of way. It really is a bloody mess. But this mess appears here to stay. Not because it make sense in NYC. But instead for PC reasons that compel politicians to try and drive the square peg of bikes lanes into the round hole of congested NYC streets.

    • Pedestrians don’t actually always have the right-of-way – because they are frequently mowed down by drivers & cops rarely see it fit to issue even a ticket as consequences.

      The law is nuanced and seems to not protect anyone except insurance companies. Most of what we understand about “right of way” applies to insurance assessments and civil liability for crashes.

      Cyclists could be charged for depraved behavior, but if a pedestrian walks swiftly off the curb into an oncoming cyclist in a bike lane, the courts would probably see that as a crash that the cyclist could not avoid. “Just an accident”. It’s different if the pedestrian is standing there for a long time and a cyclist attempts to blow past – that would be clearly reckless to a judge or a jury. Given that no one knows what happened here except the briefest of statements from a sloppy police department, it would be best not to jump to further conclusions about everyone else who uses a bike to get to work or deliver your dinner.

  6. LOL. Brian, you still have not accepted my challenge of sitting at Gracefully along 1st Ave and seeing how many bikes disobey the red light. So, you are probably not sweating this fact because there has been no pedestrian fatality yet on that street. BUT people I know are in fear of crossing the street with the green light for them, because they may be hit by a cyclist. I know a few pedestrians who have been hit. No fatalities, and who are they going to call because the speedy bicycle is long gone and has no license plate? So, yes, pedestrians, particularly the elderly, can be in fear. And, so you know, there is a school near Second Ave where children from Stuy Town head in the morning and leave later in the day. So why don’t you investigate reality instead of looking at “facts.” BTW, pedestrians always have the right of way.

    • You are a creepy stalker who can’t acknowledge the conversation has moved past this point. You have been badgering me to meet you and give you money for months like a deranged person.

      “seeing how many bikes disobey the red light” we have been acknowledging this in the other comments. What is your point? How did you miss where I said above that this very specific idea is “tiring”? What about all the times where I said I think we should change the signals on the avenue so that bicycles can ride at a happy pace & not hit a red light every three blocks because DOT installed a speedway here? Note that I have never said that the solution is to allow bicycles to run red lights. I have repeatedly suggested productive changes to minimize conflicts of that nature.

    • This Brian V appears to be BLIND. On any given minute of any day the Psycholists are flying thru red lights (IN BOTH DIRECTIONS) and many times with NO HANDS on their Bikes. THEY ARE A CLEAR MENACE to the rest of us who JUST WANT TO CROSS THE STREET SAFELY.

  7. Brian should head back to the Tilden Clubhouse, where he can hang out and schmooze with his fellow “progressive” parasites.

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