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Bicyclist's Family Criticizes Police Handling of Fatal Crash

Bicyclist’s Family Criticizes Police Handling of Fatal Crash

Three months and a lawsuit after their son’s death, the parents of Mathieu Lefevre, a Canadian bicyclist struck and killed by a truck in Brooklyn in October, were relieved to finally receive records about the crash from the Police Department.

They were less pleased with the details of the investigation itself.

In a statement on Monday, Mr. Lefevre’s mother, Erika Lefevre, criticized the police for failing to collect or photograph evidence from the crash scene, release information in a timely manner or press serious charges against the truck driver, who an collision report [below] said turned right without signaling as Mr. Lefevre tried to pass on the right, and dragged him and his bicycle a considerable distance.

The 115-page, four-video investigative file was released Friday, three weeks after the Lefevre family filed a lawsuit against the Police Department under the Freedom of Information Act.

According to a police report describing video of the collision, a crane truck driver, Leonardo Degianni, did not signal before making a right turn from Morgan Avenue onto Meserole Street. Mr. Lefevre was struck by the passenger side of the truck.

Mr. Lefevre, 30, died two blocks from Third Ward, the Williamsburg art collective where he did painting and sculpture.

Mr. Degianni was issued two traffic summonses, one for failure to signal and another for failure to exercise due care, according to the police file.

In her statement, Ms. Lefevre said the police should have charged Mr. Degianni with fleeing the scene or with criminal negligence. The files, she wrote, show that her son was dragged 40 feet and left for dead, and that the bike was dragged 130 feet.

“Given the multiple impacts, the lengthy dragging, and the role of the truck’s bumper and wheel immediately below the driver’s seat in dealing the critical blows, the driver’s claim that he was unaware of any collision shows at the very least a reckless disregard of facts that should have been plainly apparent to any driver,” Ms. Lefevre wrote.

An collision Investigation Squad checklist within the police file indicates that the investigator’s camera was broken, accounting for the lack of photo evidence of the crash. The file did contain photos, though, of the Lefevre family and their lawyer.

“Apparently, N.Y.P.D. cares more about investigating out family’s efforts to get information from it than about properly investigating Mathieu’s death,” Ms. Lefevre wrote.

The police did not respond to several requests for comment on the files and on Ms. Lefevre’s statement.

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