ONE DEAD, 2 HURT IN BIKE HIT-RUNS
Police are investigating the death of one man and severe injuries to two teenagers in two separate hit-run crashes here within five days. In both cases, the suspected drivers are still at large and local detectives and the NYPD's Accident Investigation Squad are keeping the cases open, while asking for the cooperation and help of witnesses.
Detective Kevin Czartoryski, a police spokesman, said Keith Powell, 34, of East 93rd Street was riding his red mountain bike on Avenue L shortly before 5 p.m. Sunday and was struck and killed by a man driving a stolen late-model blue Ford Probe that witnesses said was drag racing with a red Acura.
"The victim was riding west on the north side of Avenue L between East 92nd and East 93rd streets when the Probe, also going west, hit him from behind," said the detective.
Witnesses told the Canarsie Courier that the car was "sort of on the right side of the road" and the force of the collision threw the victim's body about 12 feet into the air. It came crashing down across the street, hit a parked car and fell to the ground, partly under it, they said.
One witness, who asked that her name be withheld, said the bike on which Powell was riding "crushed the front of the car and the windshield" but the Probe continued west and, the witness said, it appeared the driver started talking on a cell phone at that time.
"When he crossed Remsen Avenue, one person was crossing the street and it just missed him," the witness said. "And it's lucky there weren't any cars coming along Remsen, because he went through the red light."
Detective Czartoryski said when the car got to Avenue L between Remsen Avenue and East 89th Street, the driver stopped, got out of his car and got into the Acura that he'd been drag racing with, which sped away in an unknown direction.
One witness who said he lives within a few houses of where the accident occurred said, "I heard the crash and then I heard the man's head hit the parked car or the ground. Either way, I'll never forget the sound it made."
Another Hit-Run Sends
Two Bikers To Hospital
Just a few days previous to the fatal hit-run, two teenagers who were riding on a single bicycle on Wednesday, August 16, were critically injured in another hit-run accident on Flatlands Avenue. Both youths, one 18 years old and the other 15, were taken to Brookdale Hospital by Emergency Medical Service ambulance.
Police said witnesses told them one of the youngsters was pedaling the bike and the other was riding on the handlebars. They were headed east on Flatlands at about 11:20 p.m. and, as they passed East 84th Street, a late-model, black Ford Windstar, also heading east, sideswiped a van parked on Flatlands near the corner and veered to the left, hitting the bicycle and throwing the youths to the ground. The Windstar then continued to head east and disappeared, although one witness said he thought he saw the car stop for a moment before continuing on.
Detective Sean O'Rourke of the 69th Precinct Detective Squad did not release the names of the victims but noted they are both Canarsiens and that one lives on East 92nd Street and the other on East 82nd Street.
The hit-run crash is reminiscent of a similar incident that occurred on February 20, when two teens, one 14 and the other 15, were riding a bicycle on Avenue N near East 92nd Street and were struck from behind, also by a hit-run driver. Both boys were also critically injured at the time. One has completely recuperated and the other, who suffered from head trauma, is still recuperating through an intense program of physical therapy.
In another recent accident, a 10-year-old boy was fatally hit by a car on Linden Boulevard near Rockaway Parkway while riding home from a Little League baseball game.
The driver in that case stayed at the scene until police arrived.
Anyone who might have seen either of the hit-run crashes is asked to call the 69th Precinct Detective Squad at (718) 257-6215, Detective O'Rourke at (718) 257-6224, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.
All calls will be kept strictly confidential.