2005-09-30 / Front Page

Boy On Bike Killed By SUV On Shore Front Pkwy

Addabbo, Pheffer Demand Traffic Lights

Fourteen-year-old victim Andre Anderson’s bike was shattered in the accident.
Fourteen-year-old victim Andre Anderson’s bike was shattered in the accident. They tried to avoid each other, but a 23-year-old Rockaway Beach man driving an SUV fatally injured a 14-year-old Far Rockaway boy who was riding a bicycle on Shore Front Parkway last weekend, police said.

Jose Vincens, 23, was behind the wheel of a 2003 Lincoln Navigator last Saturday just after 7 p.m. when he struck Andre Anderson, 14, who was pedaling a bike down the middle of the eastbound lanes near Beach 77 Street, according to police sources.

Vincens tried to pass to the right, but the boy swerved into the right hand lane. Vincens countered to the left – but not in time. Anderson suffered massive head trauma and bleeding. His small bicycle was crushed.

EMS took Anderson, of 409 Beach 47 Street, to Peninsula Hospital Center where he later died, according to a hospital spokesperson who released that information with the family’s consent.

Vincens, of 171 Beach 113 Street, remained at the scene until police arrived. He was not issued any violations and is not charged with any crime in connection with the accident. An official police statement said there was “no criminality in this incident” and that an investigation was ongoing.

Anderson’s devastated family, however, is not satisfied with the police account of what happened. “The statement I got from the police and the police report is completely false,” Anderson’s father, Clive, told The Wave in a brief telephone interview this week. The boy’s father said the family’s attorney, Scott Housenbold, would be available for further comment. Housenbold contacted The Wave this week and said his office is conducting an “complete investigation” into exactly what happened. He declined to comment further.

Vincens could not be reached for comment.

The incident, meanwhile, has strengthened the case of those, including local elected representatives, who say traffic lights are needed along a 20-block stretch of Shore Front Parkway, which has no traffic control devices. The city’s Department of Transportation surveyed the area last year at the request of City Councilman Joseph Addabbo’s office but concluded traffic signals were unwarranted according to Federal guidelines.

Residents argued in favor of traffic lights at Community Board 14 and 100 Precinct Community Council meetings. Then in July, a 22-year-old Rockaway man was killed in a drag racing incident at Beach 78 Street and Shore Front Parkway, and DOT said it would reopen its investigation. The findings are expected within weeks, but Addabbo and Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer now say they are only interested in one decision: traffic lights.

“It is time to end the studies and install traffic signals at the two said locations before there is another death or injury,” Addabbo wrote this week in a letter to DOT. “Please also keep in mind that Shore Front Parkway is a beach access street, with many recreational facilities and visitors to the boardwalk. During the spring, summer and early fall months this is a very crowded area with pedestrians and cars.”

Pheffer’s office is circulating a petition addressed to Mayor Michael Bloomberg that asks, “Do you think Shore Front Pkwy is too dangerous?” The petition calls for lights between Beach 72 and Beach 92 Streets because of numerous accidents. “We demand that action be taken immediately!” it says.

Brian Magoolaghan

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