With barely a week before before the start of a new year, Dr. Daniel Cammerman tragically became the 29th cyclist to die while riding on New York City streets in 2019. On Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019, Dr. Cammerman, a 50-year-old pediatrician with the Mount Sinai Health System, had been riding his bike on the 96th street transverse in Central Park. Unexpectedly, his bike slipped on a patch of ice and he fell into the path of an oncoming school bus. He was struck by the front driver side tire and was taken to Mount Sinai for treatment. Unfortunately, their efforts to save him were fruitless.
It is clear from the immediate reaction to his untimely death that Dr. Cammerman was a beloved and well-regarded man. Mount Sinai, his place of work, released a statement following his passing: “We are deeply saddened by the news of the tragic loss of Dr. Daniel J. Cammerman, a beloved physician, teacher, mentor, and role model,” they said. “Our prayers and heartfelt sympathy go out to his family, friends, and students and colleagues at Mount Sinai. This is a great loss for the Mount Sinai community.”
Parents whose children had been patients of Dr. Cammerman were shocked and took to social media to express their grief. One mother, who had been waiting at his office with her 9-month-old for an appointment just that morning, wrote in a Facebook post, “He was truly such a special doctor and a wonderful human being. I’m so sad. He’s irreplaceable.”
How does an innocent morning bike ride turn into a terribly premature death? In this case, Dr. Cammerman was riding along one of the transverses in Central Park, which are the roads that cross the park at major streets. Cars are still allowed on these roads, whereas they are banned in most other areas of the park. There are no protected bike lanes on the transverses, so cyclists are forced to ride extremely close to traffic. One wrong move could lead to injury or death.
Cyclist deaths and injuries are not a new problem. As mentioned above, Dr. Cammerman was the 29th cyclist to die on New York City streets this year, which is almost triple the 10 cyclists who died in 2018. Not only that, but 2019 has been the deadliest year for cycling since 1999, according to Danny Harris, executive director of Transportation Alternatives, a non-profit that advocates for better bicycling, walking, and public transit options for all New Yorkers. New Yorkers should not have to sacrifice a viable-and healthy-public transportation option because of fear of an accident like this happening. Our hearts go out to Dr. Cammerman’s family and loved ones.
To stay safe while cycling, follow these tips from the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT):
- Wear a helmet, no matter your age
- Ride in the direction that traffic is moving
- Obey all traffic signals and look carefully before crossing at an intersection
- Ride in the street, and use bike lanes when they are available (as long as it is safe to do so-use your best judgment)
- Watch out for car doors that could open as you pass
- If you are biking at night, wear reflectors, and equip your bike with a taillight, headlight, and a bell or horn
If you or someone you know has lost a loved one or been injured in a biking accident, the personal injury lawyers at Block O’Toole & Murphy can help. Noteworthy results we have obtained in similar cases include:
- Record-breaking $110,000,000 verdict for a 23-year-old cyclist who was paralyzed from the waist down after being struck by a falling railroad tie
- $2,500,000 settlement for a 32-year-old bike mechanic who sustained various injuries when the driver of an Access-A-Ride van opened his door directly into our client
- $2,500,000 settlement for a wood worker who was biking to work when he was doored by a vehicle in Queens
- $1,300,000 settlement for a cyclist who was hit and knocked to the ground by a right-turning van