"One of the best decisions I had ever made"
- Joseph Lugo
A motorist driving a Ford Excursion in the bike lane on Ninth Avenue knocked a cyclist to the ground with his door last month, then proceeded to scream at him before neatly propping up his bike and driving away, Streetsblog reports.
This instance of road rage, though surely a bit odd, is not all that remarkable for New York auto accident lawyers who see this sort of thing all the time. The fact that charges were filed against both the motorist and the cyclist seems to have given the story some legs.
Ray Bengen, the 63-year-old cyclist, says he encountered the idling Ford Excursion blocking most of the bike path on Ninth Avenue and 20th Street. He claims that while slowly passing it on the left in order to continue to a green light the truck suddenly started making a left turn, almost hitting him. Mr. Bengen says he slapped the side of the truck with an open palm to alert the driver to his presence. The driver responded by “dooring” Mr. Bengen, bruising his leg and knocking him off his bike.
The motorist proceeded to yell at Mr. Bengen for a short time before retrieving Mr. Bengen’s bike, propping it up on its kickstand and driving off.
Several photos of the incident, taken by a witness, are available at the original Streetsblog posting.
Mr. Bengen is being charged with criminal mischief while the driver, whose name is not available, is being charged with assault.
Much like a similar (though much more extreme) incident in Central Park, this is a fine example of the pressing need for a more civil relationship between cyclists and drivers. New York auto accident lawyers, experts on the rules of the road, know cyclists and drivers should be treated as equals with both groups making some concessions to the other. Unfortunately, not everyone on the road sees things that way, so incidents like this keep happening.