Bike rider, hailed by neighbors, continues fight for life

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Anonymous's picture

For all of you who do not believe in helmets:

Bike rider, hailed by neighbors, continues fight for life
Man badly hurt in collision with SUV is called 'nice' and 'friendly' by residents of his New Springville condo
Thursday, April 28, 2005
A New Springville cycling enthusiast continues to fight for his life after being gravely injured Tuesday night in a collision with a sport-utility vehicle on Hylan Boulevard.

Jerome Allen, 49, an employee of the New York state Banking Department in Manhattan, is in critical condition in the intensive care unit at Staten Island University Hospital, Ocean Breeze.

Allen, who had worked as a bank examiner, suffered severe head injuries when he was thrown from his bike in the collision, near Blue Heron Park in Annadale.

He was taken to Staten Island University Hospital, Prince's Bay, and later transported to the Ocean Breeze facility.

Police said Anthony Tasso, 23, of Tottenville was driving the 2003 Lexus SUV that collided with Allen's bike about 7:30 p.m. The motorist was not cited for any violations.

Tasso was driving in the Verrazano-bound right lane on Hylan Boulevard, approaching Lipsett Avenue, when his vehicle collided with the bike, which was traveling in the same direction, police said. Allen was thrown in the air and landed on his head. He was not wearing a helmet, according to police.

Anonymous's picture
MP (not verified)

Nice tribute to Jerry on RoadBikeReview:

Anonymous's picture
Jersey guy (not verified)
Very disturbing issues raised in that writeup

"Very sobering write-up. I agree with the writer that there are many unanswered questions about the accident. It seems police are too willing to assume that the cyclist is at fault, perhaps because a lot of cyclists they see on the road (the kind that never wear spandex, lights or a helmet) are reckless. Jerry sounds like the kind of guy who would wear a helmet and not suddenly dart in front of a vehicle. Also, the newspaper article says the force of the impact caved in the front of the SUV and sent Jerry flying over the vehicle. How could the bike and SUV have been proceeding ""neck and neck"" and this have happened? The bike couldnt' have been going more than 20 mph and if the SUV were going the same speed, there wouldn't have been a great impact, but the SUV would simply have dragged the bike along. Something doesn't sound right. And what happened to Jerry's helmet? Apparently it wasn't found at the scene and cannot be located at Jerry's house. The writer says that riding on S.I. is too dangerous and some SIBA members are talking about not riding there. I know many of their rides are in NJ already.

I think both cyclists and motorists are at fault here, but of course it's almost always the cyclist that comes out second best in a collision. We as cyclists must ride safely and predictably, but the police should investigate a bike-car accident with the same care they investigate a car-car accident. They seem to accept too quickly the story of the motorist and not believe that the cyclist could have been right. I don't know what really happened here, but the neck and neck story doesn't add up."

Anonymous's picture
Joe Kubera (not verified)
Lots unanswered

I'm a member of SIBA, knew Jerry not well, but enjoyed our conversations always. A nicer guy you could not imagine. I'm very upset about this. I, too, cannot make sense of the driver's story.

I attended the memorial service last night. Very heartening to see how well-loved Jerry was. The reverend who spoke made intriguing references to a continuing search for justice in this case, so I wonder what is going on behind the scenes. Something, I hope.

Anonymous's picture
scooter cop (not verified)
accident investigations

Whenever the is a motor vehicle accident, and one of the parties is seriously injured or killed, the local Highway Accident Investigation Team is sent out. These men and women are Detectives and are very good at what they do. I am sure that these detectives took all of the same care as they would with any investigation.

Rest in Peace, Jerry.

Anonymous's picture
Thomas Paine (not verified)
truth, justice and the american way, honestly

it is not of great assurance when a poster represents to be an offical source and yet can not give us a genuine attribution, i.e. real url. Judges post under their own name on this board. Perhaps someone who implies that they are NYPD should come forth and offer some genuine reassurances and a real address. This is something we could use.

The implications of some of the postings on this and other message boards as well as what I know personally about the individual as well as published sources such as the SI newspaper are disturbing.There are far too many gaps. It is not difficult to see where such terms as false statements, vehicular manslaughter and several far, far worse terms could easily be implied. These concepts are far too disturbing to be dismissed lightly.

While it is often said that the most obvious cause is the most likely cause, that does not make it the only possible cause. Anyone ever see someone change the same tire in two miles?

PS - No need to note that my posting has no attribution. I'm not making claims on behalf of the anyone. I'm just asking questions that others have asked and am pointing out the shortcomings in one particular answer.

Anonymous's picture
Maggie Schwarz (not verified)
Jerry Allen is a NYCC member

I last saw him at our Christmas party.

Anonymous's picture
Jonathan Mailman (not verified)
Injured Cyclist Has Passed Away

Sadly I just read a message on the SIBA message board that Jerome Allen passed away early Saturday morning.

Anonymous's picture
Herb Dershowitz (not verified)

Jerry, rest in peace.

Anonymous's picture
Richard Rosenthal (not verified)
No ticket issued? Did the cyclist hit the car?

NYS Vehicle & Traffic law:

§ 1146
Every driver of a vehicle shall exedrcise due care to avoid colliding with any bicyclist...and shall give warning by sounding the horn when necessary.

§ 1231
Every person riding a bicycle...shall be granted all of the rights...applicable to the driver of a vehicle.

Anonymous's picture
Alfredo Garcia (not verified)
Staten Island Church Services in Memory of Jerry (Jerome)

From the SIBA mailing list:

Tuesday, May 3, at 8:00 PM, at St. Andrew's Church, in Richmond Town, there will be a Memorial Service. It will be held in the church proper.

Wednesday, May 4, at 11:00 am, at the same St. Andrew's Church, there will a Funeral Service. Immediately following, there will be the Burial Service there in St. Andrew's Cemetery.


Anonymous's picture
Alfredo Garcia (not verified)
On the SIBA web

Front page has a portrait of Jerry, with yellow jersey, helmet and road bike. Taken at the start/fini of the Pumpkin Patch bike event in Middlesex County, NJ

Anonymous's picture
Confused (not verified)
I don't get it

According to the article, the driver of the car did not get a summons. Does this mean that if I see cyclist, I can kill them with my car? Obviously, I cannot hit and run. I have to stop and tell the cops that I did not see the cyclist. But is it now legal to hit cyclists with our cars? I think it is still illegal to hit pedestrians, but maybe that is legal now also.

Boy this pisses me off!!

Anonymous's picture
Alfredo Garcia (not verified)
details on 5/22 memorial ride

"Via the Staten Island Bicycling Association (SIBA) mailing

""The most important bicycle ride that SIBA has ever
organized will take place on May 22. I want you - and
everyone on Staten Island with a bicycle - to ride
with us.

In early May, Jerry Allen, a long-time member of SIBA,
was killed by a car. The death was preventable, if the
cars on Staten Island respected cyclists: but the
newspapers buried the story quickly.

But his fellow cyclists did not forget so easily. SIBA
is holding a memorial ride in honor of Jerry on May
22. This is a ride, not a race: everyone will ride
together, at a slow pace that suits. We will be
escorted by police the whole way, as we ride to the
spot where Jerry died, and a short commemoration will
be offered.

Several politicians have indicated that they may ride
with us. The Advance, radio and television stations,
will be covering the event. THIS WILL BE THE MOST

We anticipate that cyclists will join us from every
borough. But most of all, we need you, the cyclists of
Staten Island, to ride together on May 22. We need all
of you!

Think of what we can accomplish: the politicians will
know how many people cycle on Staten Island: they can
count votes. We can talk to them - they'll be riding
with us - and tell them about the need for bike lanes
(on Hylan and elsewhere), and bike education
generally. The good we can do with this ride literally
cannot be measured.

But we need every cyclist to ride with us. The ride
will start at Borough Hall, at 9:00 AM. We anticipate
reaching the spot where Jerry was killed by 11:00 AM.
(Further details at""

Anonymous's picture
Carol (not verified)
Rest in Peace, Dancin' Man

Jerry was always the guy I turned to when I wanted to dance at the Christmas Party. He was a terrific partner. I did some rides with him as well, and he was always friendly, helpful and generous. He will be missed.

Anonymous's picture
Christy Guzzetta (not verified)

Rest in peace, Jerry.

Anonymous's picture
Barbara Barrett (not verified)

Rest in peace, Jerry. I have lots of memories of Jerry when I rode with both SIBA and NYCC. I am devastated. You're in my prayers and thoughts, Jerry.

Anonymous's picture
Richard Rosenthal (not verified)
Looking for information about this

I sought to write something about this Death by Driver but, predictably, find the 23 year old driver of the Lexus SUV has an unlisted number.

Will anyone learning anything about the circumstances of this please get in touch with me and tell me what you heard and your source(s).


Anonymous's picture
Karen (not verified)
Additional stories on the accident
Anonymous's picture
BicycleLisa (not verified)
Farewell to Jerry

This is shocking news. Jerry was a kind man and one of the few folks I would see both biking or dancing in NYC. He will be missed.

Anonymous's picture
Fred Steinberg (not verified)
Farewell Jerry

I've known Jerry since joining the NYCC (1992). He was a great guy and will be missed. He loved that green Serrota so much I usually saw him on his 25-year old rust bucket.

Is there more to this story? Does the damage to the SUV agree with the driver's story? How fast was Jerry going to get ahead of the SUV and cause such damage? Was there an autopsy that confirms the police report? Did the police do more than a cursoty job in locating witnesses?Is the driver related to a cop? It's a stretch to ask if Jerry was wearing a helmet and it's been disposed of; that's too easy for the ME to establish.

Based on the current state of NYPD cyclist relations, I believe very little they say when it comes to motorist/cyclist incidents.

Not wearing a helmet has become the 'get out of jail free' card for irresponsible motorists. This is not the first such death where no helmet provides gives the police an excuse to avoid a through investigation.

Jerry's family has suffered greatly. Imagine what this tragedy has done to his mother? I hope there is a sense of decency and conscience in the NYPD and that an old lady whose son has died was told the truth.

Anonymous's picture
Stan Oldak (not verified)
NYCC Donation

It is always a very somber time when the life of someone you know is cut short tragically. Especially when it is someone who is part of our cycling family.

The club would like to give a donation in Jerry's memory. Is anyone close enough to Jerry's famly to know what organization they might want any donations made to? Or info on how we could contact his family to offer our condolences.
Stan O.

Anonymous's picture
Laura Selikson (not verified)
Donation in Jerry's Memory

Knowing Jerry (or Jerome, as he really preferred to be called, though not many used that name)... he so loved cycling that I think the donation would honor his memory and love of cycling if it was given to some advocacy group for safer cycling conditions. I'm not sure which group would be best, but I'm sure we could figure it out.
I don't have the number of his Mom and sister (next of kins), but I am trying to obtain them, and will pass them on
It is a very nice idea that the cycling club is donating some money in his memory. I'll ask his family if they have other preferences, but I think bike safety, or something along those lines, would have suited Jerry just fine.

Anonymous's picture
Richard Rosenthal (not verified)
An important distinction: safe cycling or safe driving?

"Laura very correctly urges any donation go to promote safe(r) cycling conditions. That is not to say, safe cycling. Safe cycling puts the onus, the responsibility onto the cyclist.

I suggest what we want to promote in commemorating Jerome is SAFE DRIVING AROUND CYCLISTS.

This brings to mind (very pleasant) Englewood Cliffs policemen again this weekend distributing ""safe cycling"" handouts written and printed by the Automobile Club. The police agreed with its contents. The handout calls for us to stop at every intersection. Huh?

Does the AAA print handouts for drivers instructing them how to ride carefully around cyclists? Yes ___ No ___. (I vote ""no."")

When asked it they distributed handouts to motorists instructing them how to be more careful (of cyclists), the one (again, very pleasant) policeman answered, ""We ticket them.""


Anonymous's picture
Pat Mullen (not verified)
We will miss you Jerry

Jerry was a roomate of mine for a NYCC West Point weekend several years ago.We became friends very quickly,that's what kind of person he was.
Jerry was kind, considerate,articulate,bright and very sociable.A real gentleman and a pleasure to know him. He will surely be missed.
I was baffled when I read the news that he was not wearing a helmet.That did not sound like the Jerry that I knew.
If his helmet straps were a bit loose, is it possible the helmet could have disloged or shattered during a violent collision or impact? Did the Police spend enough time searching for a helmet? Knowing how responsible he was it is very hard to believe he was not wearing his helmet.

The Last time I saw him was at last summer's LIBC annual picnic. We talked about rooming again for this year's West Point weekend trip.

We will miss you Jerry,I'm glad to have known you.
Pat Mullen

Anonymous's picture
Laura Selikson (not verified)
In Jerry's Memory

I also agree, I have a hard time imagining that Jerry wasn't wearing a helmet. Jerry was a careful and safe
cyclist, and also very focused.
We have been close friends for many years - probably at least 15 years -- I just got home from California a few hours ago, and read this terrible news.
I'd just spoken to Jerry, I guess a day or two before this all happened. (He never forgot my birthday).
He had just bought a condo in Hawaii -- and was planning to move there when he retired.... what a terrible waste of a life of a friend. May you rest in peace, and forever be dancing and cycling.

Anonymous's picture
Laura Selikson (not verified)
In Jerry's Memory

I also agree, I have a hard time imagining that Jerry wasn't wearing a helmet. Jerry was a careful and safe
cyclist, and also very focused.
We have been close friends for many years - probably at least 15 years -- I just got home from California a few hours ago, and read this terrible news.
I'd just spoken to Jerry, I guess a day or two before this all happened. (He never forgot my birthday).
He had just bought a condo in Hawaii -- and was planning to move there when he retired.... what a terrible waste of a life of a friend. May you rest in peace, and forever be dancing and cycling.

Anonymous's picture
Karen (not verified)
Jerome Allen

I am so horribly disgusted and saddened by what happened to Jerry. I met Jerry over 5 years ago in my skiing club and skiied with him many wonderful times. I was new to cross country skiing, and he so inspired me with his determination and especially his enjoyment. I am horribly saddened but even more enraged by what happened. I am not usually an angry person who writes enraged editorials, but this tragedy and the subsequent lack of adequate outrage or coverage by the NYCC or the media horrifies me to the point that I must speak.

I am also enraged that the members of the NYCC are not as enraged as I am. Whether or not he was wearing his helmut (which as others pointed out, he was a very serious and careful athlete - I can't imagine he wasn't), CERTAINLY DOES NOT JUSTIFY HIS BEING MURDERED FOR THIS!!!! I am horrified by some of the postings on the NYCC implying that if he wasn't following the law to wear helmuts, he then deserved to die for it. Again, I suspect he did have one on but he probably got thrown off from the collision.

Secondly the fact that this motorist was NOT ARRESTED AND JAILED IS HORRIFYING TO ME. As any long time biker knows, WE are the ones treated by cars and drivers as if WE ARE IN THE WAY AND AS IF WE HAVE NO RIGHT TO BE THERE? While the drivers (who are indeed real murderers in their SUVs sucking up gas and sending us to war no less)are the ones who get away with murder.

The fact that there is not a huge outcry from the NYCC amazes me. Who among us hasn't if not outright collided with a car, been severely harrassed and driven off the road? Who among us hasn't be squeezed off what little space we have on the road so a driver doesn't lose a second of their time or cause them to god forbid have to take their foot of the pedal for a moment?

This demands immediate action on creating bike lines that are TRUE LANES - not just places for cars to park and for bikers to get doored. I am not one of those people by the way who don't understand what it means to drive - I do have a car (not an SUV god forbid) but I know how EASY it is to give a biker enough room. IT IS NOT DIFFICULT. And yet, they don't - they act as it god forbid we are slowing them down.

If we don't act now, it will only get worse. How many bikers have to do for us to get enraged? I suggest the memorial ride end with a trip to Mr. Trasso's house (the 23 year old Lexus SUV murderer) and have a few laps over his head.

Anonymous's picture
Carol Wood (not verified)
Channeling outrage


Jerry's needless and unpunished death is indeed a moral outrage. I for one share your feelings about this and know a lot of other people do too. It's a despicable loss that can not be compensated, even if there were punishment. And anyone who rides a bike in this town knows that it could be any of us at any time, but for the grace of God.

As for the lack of a response, I'd attribute it to a shortage of organized advocacy. Some of us are no doubt in grief over what's happened, and others stymied as to what to do about it. Perhaps a few of the most jaded accept it as a fact of life in NYC--or something that only happens to other people.

Still, the SIBA has publicized Jerry's death and organized a memorial ride. The NYCC board has offered to make a donation in Jerry's memory. Individual members have expressed their sorrow.

But where is the advocacy? T.A., for instance, knows how to do it--they rallied after the terrible injury sustained by program director Noah Budnik, and the news made made the New York Times, Daily News, and numerous community papers. But T.A. doesn't publish (or as far as I know collect) information about injuries and deaths suffered by other cyclists. (As an aside, I think is a serious oversight that suggests that preserving life and limb is not the highest priority for ""New York's bicycling advocates."")

Jerry's death could spark a grassroots campaign to make NYC streets safer for cyclists. It has to come from us. No one else seems to care.

Here's an idea. The NYCC could have a ""cycling safety"" political subcommittee, four or six people with a little time to spare to bone up on transportation and political authorities. (This is important because most of us don't know who to go to.) The campaign would need to begin small, say with by organizing a letter-writing campaign. At a minimum, the three hundred most active NYCC members would surely be willing to send a targeted letter.

Once we built some organization and momentum, we could coordinate efforts with other bike clubs. Or, on issues on which the club as a whole doesn't want to speak out, the subcommittee could help individual members do so. The information gained by the study group could be posted on the Web site to cultivate more DIY activists.

We have the muscles--here's another way to flex them. It would be a very empowering experience for us as a group. It could even be named after Jerry.

I would like to see several earnest young people step forward to do something of this sort as I am overburdened. However, I could volunteer some time after I finish this semester's work.

BTW, I just returned from two weeks on Vancouver Island. Riding around Victoria one night for two and a half hours, not a single car honked at me and my guide. No one passed us on a curve, or came anything close to intimidating us. When they did pass, they did so carefully and at low speed. It can be done. (By the same token, most cyclists observe all traffic signs and rules--though people do jaywalk, I was told.)

Bless you, Jerry. May the wind be at your back for eternity.

Carol Wood


Anonymous's picture
Richard Rosenthal (not verified)
What to do in the wake of Jerome's killing?

Here's an old idea that in the current climate, even though it's mine and was said by others to be successful, strikes me as rather feckless now.

In 1987 NYCC member Steve Schuetze was cycling in Arizona. He, his wife, and another couple--all four were NYCC members--were celebrating Steve's having just gotten tenure at Columbia. He was a Harvard Ph.D. doing potentially breakthrough research in ALS/Lou Gherig's Disease. A truck passed Steve, cut in too close to him... and decapitated him.

A campaign of ten public service ads print ads was created that urged drivers to be mindful of cyclists and why it was actually in their interest to encourage cyclists on the road. The ads were offered free to bike shops, companies in the bike industry, churches, and civic and social organizations who would, in turn, have them published by churches, civic organizations, local governments, and community newspapers as public service ads. As an incentive to those requesting them, their names were put at the bottom of the ads naming them as the contributors of the ads. If this were done as an NYCC project, the line would read: Contributed by [org. name] and the New York Cycle Club. It could read, and would be more hard hitting, dramatic, and effective if the credit line read: Contributed by [org. name] and the Jerome Allen Memorial Fund of the New York Cycle Club.

The campaign and offer was announced in Bicycle Retailer & Industry News, a trade paper. If judged by the number of organizations requesting the ads, the campaign was successful. Over 100 organizations nationwide requested a set of ads with their name on them. Perhaps it is time to renew this. On the other hand, it does, as I said, seem a bit feckless in this current, hardened climate.

I like the idea of putting a bold type bumper sticker on cars, taxis, buses, garbage trucks, and other trucks:

Cyclist Jerome Allen
Killed by Driver.

(Small type: In memoriam by the New York Cycle Club)

That would provoke attention, thought, and discussion.

As a second point, let me note here a great many letters about Jerome's killing were sent to the editor of the Staten Island Advance who declined to publish any of them until finally caving and publishing one very mild, utterly non-controversial, non-argumentative one.

The editor was also approached about a generic op-ed essay about driver-caused deaths of cyclists. He proclaimed it would be libelous...even though NO mention was made of the name of Anthony Tasso, the 23 year old driver of the Lexus SUV that hit Jerome and not requiring any mention of the specifics of the incident.

There are disturbing questions that arise from disturbing possibilities in this Death by Driver and once I think through them a bit more and accumulate some other information, I may offer them here. Suffice it to say, if you're upset by this now, you will be moreso later.

In the meantime, stay angry. And it wouldn't hurt to presume every driver on the road has nothing better to do today than hit you and ride accordingly.

cycling trips