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NYC’s Citi Bike system sees first fatality

Photo of Harlan Thompson

Dan Hanegby was a 36-year-old investment banker, father, elite tennis player and former staff sergeant in the Israel Defense Forces – until he was killed this week in New York’s first fatal accident involving a Citi Bike,

On Monday morning, Hanegby was riding one of the city’s bike share cycles when he lost control and fell to the ground. Surveillance footage from a nearby business indicated that Hanegby lost his balance while riding near a bus and fell underneath it. 

 

His is the first death involving the city’s bike-share program since it was rolled out in 2013, according to the New York Post. It is only the second deadly bike-share accident in the country since 2010.

Who’s responsible?

With more than 43 milllion Citi Bike rides taken since 2013, it is virtually inevitable that some serious accidents will occur – even if all the cyclists who use it are very careful. Determining fault for fatalities like this one can be a challenge, as there are many potential causes of bicycle accidents:

  • A motorist acts negligently or violates traffic laws
  • A cyclist acts negligently or violates traffic laws
  • Dangerous road conditions, including potholes, inadequate traffic signals or insufficient bike lanes
  • Defective equipment on a bicycle or motor vehicle

The use of Citi Bike could add an additional element to bicycle accident claims. In cases where the bicycle itself caused injury because of a defect of malfunction, could an accident victim pursue compensation from the program’s operator?<

It remains to be seen how legal claims involving Citi Bike will be handled. For now, we extend our deepest sympathies to those feeling the loss of Dan Hanegby and urge all of New York’s cyclists to ride safely.

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