July 2, 2019 By Laura Hanrahan
A 28-year-old woman was struck and killed yesterday by a cement truck while riding her bike in East Williamsburg, marking the 15th cycling death in the city this year alone—a significant increase from the total 10 fatalities in all of 2018.
The woman, later identified as Bushwick resident Devra Freelander, had been riding her bike northbound on Bushwick Avenue just after 12 p.m. when she was fatally hit by a 2017 Mack cement truck that was heading east on Boerum Street.
The deadly collision happened just six blocks north of Freelander’s Garden Street apartment.
The driver of the truck, a 70-year-old man, remained on the scene while EMS arrived. Responders found Freelander with severe trauma to her head and body. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
No arrests have been made and an investigation is ongoing by the NYPD Collision Investigation Squad, according to police.
Freelander’s death marks the second cyclist killed in Brooklyn since Thursday when Ernest Askew, 54, was killed by a teenage driver while riding his bike near Sutter Avenue at Chester Street in Brownsville.
Mayor Bill de Blasio declared the high number of cyclist deaths an “emergency” while speaking on NY1’s “Inside City Hall” and has directed the Department of Transportation to develop a new “cyclist safety plan.”
“We absolutely have an emergency on our hands,” de Blasio said. “We’ve been using the Vision Zero strategy now for over five years, it’s been working consistently, but what we’ve seen these last weeks and months is not acceptable. We’re going to do a full court press to stop it.”