Fifty-two-year-old Dave Lewis, a New York City coach bus driver, was just charged for his role in the death of a banker who was killed while riding a bike from the city’s Citi Bike share program, reports the New York Post (http://nypost.com/2017/10/31/bus-driver-charged-in-first-citi-bike-fatality/). The bus driver was charged with a misdemeanor and violation in the wake of the June death of Dan Hanegby, an investment banker with Credit Suisse and a former sergeant in the Israeli Army.
Lewis’ attorney issued a statement calling the incident a “tragic accident” and noting his client was still distressed over it. The defense attorney also stressed that this was simply an accident and that his client did not commit any crimes.
Allegedly, the bus driver told a witness he was driving on 26th Street close to Eighth Avenue in the Chelsea neighborhood when he honked the horn of his bus at Hanegby, whom he says was biking in the middle of the road with headphones on.
Once the bus passed Hanegby at around 8:15 in the morning, Lewis reportedly said he felt “something” and heard noise coming from outside the bus. When he looked in the bus’s mirror, he saw Hanegby on the ground.
Law enforcement says that 36-year-old Hanegby, a father of two, was sandwiched between the bus and a parked car, so he lost his balance. He fell off of his bike and ended up under the rear wheels of the commuter bus being driven by Lewis. The banker was rushed to a nearby hospital and pronounced dead a short time later. Lewis remained on the scene of the accident to wait for police.
The Citi Bike ride-share program started back in 2013. According to a program spokesperson, this is the first time a bike rider participating in it has been killed.
Known as a gifted tennis player who was once ranked the top player in Israel at the age of 16, Hanegby was born in Tel Aviv and joined Credit Suisse back in 2014 after a stint at Morgan Stanley.
Lewis is facing a maximum of 30 days in jail if he is convicted of the top charge, which is causing physical injury because of a failure to observe the right of way. He has also been given a violation for not exercising due care in connection with the incident. Since being charged, he was released without bail and has declined to comment on the case.
Any time a vehicle hits a bicyclist, the consequences can be devastating. The sheer difference between the sizes of the vehicles and the lack of protection a bicyclist has often makes these types of accidents very dangerous for the person on the bike. Drivers of larger vehicles, such as a bus, do not always pay enough attention to the road and heed the right of way as they are supposed to.
If you have been injured while on a bike, you have rights. Speak to an experienced lawyer, like a bike or bus accident lawyer Denver CO relies on, about your case as soon as possible.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Richard J. Banta, P.C. for their insight into bus accident cases.