Police say that a Brooklyn teen who was fatally hit by a car last night was biking against the light. According to authorities, 16-year-old Aileen Chen allegedly wasn’t wearing a helmet, but was wearing headphones, when she was struck by a 26-year-old BMW driver at 62nd Street and 21st Avenue around 6 p.m. “There was blood all over her face,” witness Gabriella Castalano told the Post.
But Chen’s family, who said she had only been out for a quick ride before dinner, didn’t believe she would disobey the traffic signal: “She was so young, so talented, so smart. We just don’t know how this could have happened,” her cousin Dila Szeto said. Chen, a sophomore at Stuyvesant, loved physics and wanted to become a doctor; she had just gotten her first part-time job at a hospital.
The driver, who remained at the scene, will not face criminal charges. During Bike Month NYC in May, the DOT encouraged cyclists to sign a pledge to follow five major cycling rules, including “stop at red lights and stop signs.” According to the DOT, over 90 percent of bike fatalities were the result of motor vehicle crashes; some studies claim drivers are at fault more often than not in those incidents.
The family saw Chen’s body after the accident: “They couldn’t recognize her face at all. It was totally swollen. Her clothes were all bloody and thrown away. The only thing we have left of her is her iPod and her watch,” said Setzo.