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Motorcyclist is Dead, Killed While Trying to Avoid Driver Making an Illegal U-Turn in Sunnyside

A 31-year-old motorcyclist is dead after hitting a vehicle whose driver was was making an illegal U-Turn on 43rd Street (Photo: 43rd Street at Skillman Avenue GMaps)

Sept. 11, 2021 Staff Report

A 31-year-old motorcyclist is dead after plowing into a car whose driver was making an illegal U-Turn midblock on 43rd Street in Sunnyside Friday night, according to police.

The victim was riding his bike northbound on 43rd Street near Skillman Avenue at around 5:30 p.m. when a 66-year-old man in a 2014 Chevy Cruze made an illegal U-Turn mid-block.

The motorcyclist, riding a 2018 Kawasaki, applied the brakes to avoid hitting the car. However, the victim was thrown off the bike while trying to come to an abrupt stop and hit the vehicle.

EMS responded to the scene and transported the victim to NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst where he was pronounced dead.

The 66-year-old man remained on the scene and an investigation is currently being conducted by the NYPD’s highway patrol collision. There have not been any arrests.

The victim’s name has not yet been released, pending family notification.

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29 Comments

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Chris Robin

having been on the scene would like to add a couple of details not mentioned here. Most importantly motorcycle had not license plate and therefore could not have had insurance and was being operating on the street illegally. Understand that this should not have the penalty of dying but it would also suggest that the driver was unlicensed as well. Again not a reason that he should have died but to point out that had the rider followed the law he would not have been killed because he would not have been riding

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George R.

The NYPD response to this incident was to set up a “motorcycle safety checkpoint” on Skillman the next day. This is where they basically set up a roadblock and stop every motorcycle that passes to do roadside equipment inspections and check documents. Often they result in BS tickets being written…tickets that would not have been written if not for the checkpoint. These are clearly punitive to motorcyclists (who are statistically responsible for far less that 5% of vehicle caused fatalities/victims). The logic here is absurd. Car causes fatal accident, lets go after the bikes!

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“Loco” Motion

Aren’t we as motor vehicle operators required to be in control of our vehicles as the first order of responsibility? Try to remember that the “Right of Way” is only yours to “YIELD”, most Motorcyclists learn this early on, those that don’t won’t survive long on the streets of NYC. Defensive Driving is “KEY” to riding a motorcycle in NYC. It’s sad that this rider didn’t survive his learning curve.

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Jill

Everyone wants food delivered fast and on time or they complain online on reviews and rate places low if they are late. People tend to forget how dangerous it can be for delivery drivers. That is why i always pick food myself when i order out. Hopefully drones will deliver food in the future.

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Ed

Really commendable of you looking out for delivery guys by only doing take out. I’m sure their paycheck thanks you for keeping them safe.

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Dawne

A lot of these food delivery made on bikes and scooters, don’t follow the traffic laws. A lot of these scooters are not registered, insured , have no license plates, nor do the drivers of these scooters have driver licenses.

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George R.

While true, this has absolutely nothing to do with what happened here. A licensed rider was the victim of a car driver that decided that he wanted to save a minute or two by performing an illegal u-turn in the middle of the street. This selfish cager will likely just get a ticket for taking another man’s life.

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Chris Robin

Assuming facts not in evidence. Motorcycle did not have license plate so this would suggest that rider was unlicensed as well. Know this because I was at the scene

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Carl

These guys on these little scooters run amok in the city weaving in and out of traffic, running lights, ride on the sidewalk, go the wrong way against traffic and are generally a public menace. Not saying THIS young man did any of that, just making an observation that these little scooters are dangerous and have really become a problem in NYC.

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Anonymous

not sure how this comment applies to this story but you seem to accept a certain level of road deaths that are the fault of the motorist

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Jean

There is a candlelit memorial across the street. My thoughts and prayers go out to the victim.

Remember, when doing a U-turn, especially an illegal one, remember to check blindspots…

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Speed Kills again

There are conflicting reports on who made the U turn. Also there is a 15MPH speed bump right there, I doubt that was being obeyed.

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There have not been any arrests

Of course the driver didn’t mean to hurt anyone. But…

there needs to be some accountability or people will keep dying because of these reckless behaviors.

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Enforce traffic laws

Amen.

Let’s face it. We give licenses to illegal aliens and wonder why traffic laws are broken with impunity.

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ABoondy

is it really that hard to obey traffic laws for the driver? on another note, the risk is always high with motorcycles in a densely packed city. sorry for the loss of life. the bike must have been speeding to not be able to break in time. there’s a reason the law sets the speed limit to 25mph. bikes have been roaring on the streets speeding!

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Rose Red

I’m angry with the ones who ride up onto the sidewalk and into my apartment buildings interior gardens. At the ones who wend their way through traffic that isn’t moving quickly enough for them, especially when they come up on the driver’s side, it’s a shock. At the ones who run red lights in front of my house. At the ones who cut their own path across streets and sidewalks as if there were no long established rules of movement on either. At the ones who ride in the car lane when there is a bike lane, and again ignore all established patterns of movement to suit themselves. In short at the ones who behave like indulged children instead of responsible adults who know they live in a complex society we all cooperate in to make it safe and beneficial. For each other. Need more?

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Joseph

Why are you not mad at the car driver who saw the double yellow line and decided that it didn’t apply to him? You know, the one who killed a guy. Maybe you’re a shitty driver too.

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PissedNYorker

Welcome to the new norm of selfish motorists who feel they can do what they want with their automobiles regardless of how many signs/lights/lanes are made!

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Inconsistent reporting?

Was the scooter making the U-turn or was it the car? Daily News says it was the scooter. not sure what to believe here. but RIP to the scooter driver, he didn’t deserve this either way.

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Chris Robin

Eye witness I saw at scene suggested the car made the what was a legal K-turn and was hit by motorcycle while standing still waiting fr him to pass

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Tempus fugit

I passed by there this morning and saw a bunch of votive candles and bouquets of flowers and didn’t know what it was for.

Very sad indeed. RIP.

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