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Exclusive: E-biker in deadly Chinatown crash gets ticket for running red light; Murray Hill bike victim still in coma

BY LINCOLN ANDERSON | The electric CitiBike rider who fatally struck Priscilla Loke in Chinatown last month has faced a consequence…

…Police have slapped him with a ticket for running a red light.

Maybe it will be for a couple hundred bucks — a few hundred dollars for a life cut short.

But to family and friends of the beloved 69-year-old preschool teacher — who was looking forward to retiring next year — that the cyclist was ticketed for blowing through the light is invaluable in helping bring a sense of closure.

Elizabeth Ou-Yang, a civil rights attorney and good friend of Loke, gave The Village Sun an update on the ongoing investigation into the deadly Sept. 5 collision at Grand and Chrystie Streets.

According to OuYang, Loke family members and advocates met on Oct. 10 with police from the Fifth Precinct and the Highway Patrol to hear the latest findings.

At their previous meeting, police had not said if the driver or Loke had the light in their favor. But, this time, they said that the cyclist should have stopped at the light — but didn’t.

“The biker has been issued a summons for running the red light,” she said. “We are just waiting now to see if he is going to plead guilty. We are of the understanding that, even if he pleads guilty, he has to appear before a judge because a death has occurred.

“We’re waiting for the date when the appearance will be,” she said. “We want to be there and watch him to see if the person has any remorse — and to make sure that the process is complete.”

Speaking at a press conference after Priscilla Loke’s death, Elizabeth OuYang, above, said the tragic Chinatown incident should be investigated as seriously by police as if had occurred on the Upper East Side. (Photo by The Village Sun)

OuYang said a Public Highway officer called a Loke family member to report that the e-biker now had been given a summons.

It will reportedly be up to the judge to determine the ticket’s cost.

The activist attorney credited The Village Sun’s reporting for helping keep the investigation alive. A Sept. 27 article by the Sun, “Did e-CitiBiker blow red light before fatally hitting Chinatown teacher?”, included an on-the-ground, traffic-light study of the intersection by the newspaper, which determined the cyclist likely ran a red bike-traffic light before slamming into Loke. The study included viewing a security-camera video of the collision posted by ABC News, plus an in-person study of the timing of the intersection’s traffic lights: On the video, north/south car traffic is seen stopped along Chrystie Street — but the cyclist comes rolling through the intersection, striking Loke. However, the bike light and the main traffic lights at the intersection are all synchronized — so the cyclist should have been stopped at the light, too.

“The phone call [from the Highway Police] did come after your second article,” OuYang noted. “There’s just no way they could go around it.”

Initially, police officers at the collision scene spoke to the cyclist — but then let him walk off. It has not been explained why the biker was allowed to leave without police recording his name and contact information. He was subsequently located.

Asked if the family would now try to seek damages, OuYang said, “At this point, the family needs more answers.”

“As Priscilla’s friend and an advocate, I want to make sure the investigation is thorough and we have the truth,” she said. “To be sure Priscilla is resting in peace, we have to have the truth.”

She said the Highway Patrol officer told them that, as its officers were investigating the scene of the fatality, Department of Transportation officials were there simultaneously — a standard procedure — collecting data for a report with safety recommendations that they will subsequently issue.

“We want to see that report,” OuYang said. “And I know the community is very interested in getting their thoughts and working to make the area safer.”

OuYang, Chinatown daycare teachers and local workers have all said the two-way Chrystie Street bike lane makes the spot very dangerous for pedestrians since, unfortunately, some cyclists don’t respect the traffic lights.

On a personal level, OuYang said her friend’s tragic, sudden death has made her hyper-vigilant now when she walks on the street.

“I’m so, so alert now,” she said. “It’s unreal. There are bikers on the sidewalks, bikers going the wrong way. I’m more scared about being hit by a bike than a car, at this point.”

Seventeenth Precinct police have been keeping an eye on cyclists in the heavily used Second Avenue bike lane at E. 38th Street. (Photo by The Village Sun)

In related news, police still have not located the cyclist who hit a 59-year female pedestrian on the morning of Sept. 15 at 38th Street and Second Ave. More than a month later, the victim remains in a coma, police said.

The cyclist was riding an traditional, pedal-powered CitiBike. He was going the wrong way in the Second Avenue bike lane when he hit the victim, according to police.

Following the collision, the 17th Precinct on some nights has been manning a checkpoint at the location. Captain Bob Fisher, the precinct’s executive officer (second in command), supervises the detail.

Police stopped an e-cyclist on the night of Oct. 17 at E. 38th Street and Second Avenue. (Photo by The Village Sun)
Police and the biker himself did not say what he was ticketed for — but it was likely either for going the wrong way on Second Avenue or running a red light. (Photo by The Village Sun)

On Tues., Oct. 17, when The Village Sun happened by, they had just stopped an e-cyclist — either for running a red light or riding the wrong way in the southbound bike lane.

“Just trying to keep everyone safe out here,” Fisher said.

Correction: According to surveillance video, the wrong-way cyclist who struck a female pedestrian in Murray Hill, who was critically injured in the collision, was riding a regular, pedal-powered Citi Bike not an electric, pedal-assist Citi Bike, as stated in the original version of this article.


  1. Adrienne Blumer Adrienne Blumer October 31, 2023

    My thoughts and prayers are with the Murray Hill e-bike victim still in a coma. Accidents like this are a stark reminder of the need for improved safety measures and regulations for e-bike usage in our cities.

  2. Jack Brown Jack Brown October 20, 2023

    I would like to know / see above – DOUG DOUGLAS – who brought the case to NYS Supreme that resulted in the scofflaw cyclist being sentenced to 3 years in prison for fatally striking Lisa Banes.This is a valuable precedent. Should set the table for legislation protecting law abiding pedestrians from rogue riders.

    There is no doubt who is morally responsible for the condition of daily danger on the streets and sidewalks. It is the hubris of the “visionaries” of Transportation Alternatives who advocated a policy of non-enforcement and the craven public officials who are complicit in the public safety crisis.

  3. Jan Jan October 20, 2023

    This problem is not at all one of neighborhood. There is no accountability for anyone who causes a death, permanent brain damage, paralysis, broken bones, etc… as we live now throughout all of NYC, there are zero consequences for a cyclist riding on an e-vehicle killing or seriously injuring someone!!

  4. GG GG October 20, 2023

    You know, if all who are writing in appalled and infuriated at the lack of safety for pedestrians due to the huge increases in bikes, e-bikes, scooters and other continual scofflaws, organized as a group to get enforcement of the traffic laws and get these vehicles licensed, we would have a lobby that could be as strong as the pro-bike lobby. This is just going to go on and on – there is no NYC politician who is taking a stand on these issues. And meanwhile, you take your life in your hands crossing the street, as shown.

  5. Doug Douglass Doug Douglass October 19, 2023

    Last November, a State Supreme Court judge sentenced a scooter driver to three years in prison for fatally hitting actress Lisa Banes on Columbus Avenue near Lincoln Center, after the man tried to avoid blame for the accident, following an earlier admission of guilt.

    • Jack Brown Jack Brown October 20, 2023

      Mr. Douglas Thanks for your information concerning the Lisa Banes case.
      This could serve as a valuable precedent serving as a route to legislation.
      Please contact with that information.
      Coalition Against Rogue Riding-blog

  6. Lia Lia October 19, 2023

    This is so sad.

    Yes, vehicles (car, trucks, etc.) are inherently more dangerous but most drivers follow the law — but most bicyclists (both pedal & e) flout traffic rules.
    Upright scooters also flout traffic rules.

    And Vespa/mopeds are incredibly dangerous and should not be allowed.

    As a pedestrian, I am endangered daily by bicyclists, upright scooters, skateboarders and Vespa/mopeds.
    (The “regular” bicyclists like Citibike users and “Lance Armstrongs” are also the meanest — routinely cursing anyone who objects.)

    Reposting my comment (10/18) on a related VS article:

    The usual….just one corner this morning, basically within 1 minute…..

    2 people took out Citibikes and then bicycled the wrong way and through a red light.
    1 Citibiker bicycled onto the sidewalk to return the bike (station is on the sidewalk) – apparently he could not dismount and walk the bike 15 feet.
    Person with kid on stand-up e-scooter went through a red light.

    Person on Vespa/moped stopped at a red light.

    • Gojira Gojira October 19, 2023

      Wondering why the name of the killer bike rider was not released.

      • Private Private October 20, 2023

        Probably a “VIP”

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