On Thursday evening (July 8), a 24-year-old bicyclist was killed when the driver of an SUV barreled through a red light on Houston Street, near Attorney Street, and fled from the scene.
Borkot Ullah was found in the street suffering severe trauma, with his e-bike by his side. He was rushed to Bellevue Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Ullah was a delivery worker and an activist with Desis Rising Up and Moving (DRUM), a group that advocates for the rights of undocumented workers.
Ullah came to the U.S. from Bangladesh and was seeking asylum. A GoFundMe campaign organized by DRUM has raised about $13,000:
“We are working with the community to arrange Borkot’s janaza, to have his body sent home to Bangladesh, and to have his body transported to his village. We are working with Borkot’s friends and family to arrange a vigil along with the janaza and will share once it is set. 100% of donations will go directly to supporting Borkots family both here and in Bangladesh whom he supported financially through his food delivery work.”
As Streetsblog reported, the driver of a Subaru Outback SUV was apparently being chased by police:
“A video from the scene showed clearly that the cyclist had the light and that the driver swerved around stopped traffic to run the red light and strike Ullah. After the crash, the driver is seen racing away at a high rate of speed as two cops in an unmarked police car — which was right behind the hit-and-run driver and might have been pursuing the driver before the crash — pulled over to check on the victim. When Streetsblog sought more details about whether the officer was chasing the suspect before the crash, NYPD spokeswoman Det. Sophia Mason said, ‘The circumstances of the pre-collision fact pattern are under full review.'”
The safe streets advocacy organization, Transportation Alternatives, pointed out that there is no protected bike lane on East Houston Street — only a painted line. And City Council member Carlina Rivera, while noting that the city’s Department of Transportation plans to install a protected bike lane this summer, added, “this hit-and-run shows why protective measures are installed too slowly & why dangerous driving laws must be strengthened.”
Cops have not found the driver. Anyone with information can call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477) or submit a tip here.