The 41-year-old man who was hit by a moped last month while crossing the street at West 259th Street and Riverdale Avenue is still recovering, but wants local electeds to take steps in preventing something similar from happening again.
The man, who asked to remain anonymous, says he had just left work on June 7, taking the public transit home. When he stepped off the bus and started crossing the street toward Key Food, everything changed.
He has almost no recollection of what happened next, but the man vaguely recalls seeing a moped coming toward him. But he does not remember getting hit.
Yet, that’s exactly what police said happened just before 7:30 that evening. The moped collided with the man, knocking him to the street. Video taken at the scene showed the man on the ground, surrounded by EMTs, but with no moped present, according to witnesses.
“I got to be honest, I remember zero of it,” the man said of being on the ground. “I only remember being in the hospital vaguely that same day. Most of what I remember is the next day, and the day after.”
The man’s injuries included a cut on his leg, as well as fractures in his head, skull and face. His diagnosis warned he may suffer from severe headaches, vomiting, and loss of consciousness while he recovers.
The fact that he didn’t need any surgery was a miracle, according to his neurosurgeon, his wife said. She explained how a third of the people in his condition die, and another end up dealing with a disability. The third — which her husband falls under — is a full recovery.
The man is now suffering from post concussion syndrome, meaning he can get tired and have lapses in memory. He is not undergoing physical therapy at the moment. Doctors are still determining if his brain is healing, and whether he’ll have to go through any additional therapies.
That has left the lay investigation into what happened with the man’s wife, who hopes to obtain surveillance footage. She’s reached out to police, Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, and businesses on Riverdale Avenue.
She heard from the manager of one nearby restaurant that the owner of a local gym was one of the people to find her husband. The owner allegedly helped the moped driver who was described as a “kid” clean up his cuts with alcohol from Key Food across the street. She tried asking his name, but the driver did not give information and apparently went to urgent care, the wife said.
The restaurant manager tells The Riverdale Press she heard the driver left the moped at a nearby gas station, returning to the scene momentarily before going to urgent care.
The victim’s wife filed a no-fault claim through auto insurance to help offset some of the hospital costs. Both she and her husband criticized mopeds and bikes that have been driving recklessly and ignoring traffic laws.
The man says bikes are going as fast as cars on regular streets, and that they should be required to have a license, insurance and liability.
Dinowitz agreed, saying, “It’s like the wild west out there.”
Since Covid-19, the issue has grown more rampant and out of control, the lawmaker added, with vehicles all over the place ignoring laws. Dinowitz hasn’t noticed any enforcement of the laws — whether it be drivers on the sidewalk, weaving in and out of lanes, or driving through red lights.
In fact, on one recent day, Dinowitz witnessed several cars drive through a red light.
Unless there is a crackdown — including confiscating vehicles — the issue will continue, Dinowitz said. As for what he is doing about it? The Assemblyman himself can’t stop cars or issue summons. He’s repeatedly asked the police to address the issue, but acknowledges they have other important issues to focus on as well.
“We can pass all the laws we want,” Dinowitz said.
“But that’s not what’s going to solve the problem. We need law enforcement. I’m not trying to put the entire burden on police, but I think if more people were stopped in cases where appropriate, confiscate vehicles even … that’s the way to deal with it, I think.”