LOWER EAST SIDE, Manhattan (PIX11) — The family of a 68-year-old woman who died after being struck by an e-bike said that she was a well-known and well-loved part of her community. In her honor, they said police need to be more forthcoming about the investigation into what happened.
On Monday, family members and supporters of Priscilla Loke held a news conference at the offices of the Chinatown Head Start on Mott Street to call for more information and accountability into the Sept. 5 collision that led to her death.
Loke was the Head Start preschool program’s assistant director and served as a grandmother and mother figure for generations of families.
In the aftermath of her death, her relatives said they could honor her by receiving more from investigators about who was behind what happened.
“If only the cyclist had been more responsible,” said Weng Wai Ho, Loke’s nephew. “This wouldn’t have happened.”
He was referring to the incident that happened around 10:25 a.m.
Surveillance video from a camera at a private building shows a man riding a Citibike e-bike north on Chrystie Street at the intersection of Grand Street. That’s where Loke stood, waiting to cross Grand. According to her family, she and another pedestrian stepped off the curb, and that’s when a cyclist on an e-bike ran into Loke. They said an NYPD detective had told them that an e-bike struck their loved one.
That cyclist is seen in the video interacting with Loke and helping to prop her up against a plastic barrier. He then walks across the street to alert police officers in an NYPD vehicle about Loke.
As seen in the surveillance video, the officers walked over to where Loke was lying, but what happened next raised questions for the victims’ many supporters. They said that police let the cyclist leave and may not have gotten any information from him.
Liz OuYang, a long-time friend of Loke, organized a group called the Committee to Support Priscilla.
“There are things that we need to get access to … including the police report,” OuYang said. “The family wants answers.”
“If it’s a Citibike and they have records,” she continued, “why hasn’t the family been notified?”
Her organization announced that they’re requesting a meeting with senior NYPD officials and video from the NYPD’s surveillance cameras at the location of the crash, as well as the police report.
At the intersection where the crash occurred, the NYPD has set up an electronic sign asking anyone with information to share it.
Priscilla Loke’s family and supporters said that that’s not enough. They said the police let the cyclist ride away from the scene, possibly without even getting his name.
The victim’s family also said the police fell short in other ways.
They said that the crash scene should have been cordoned off immediately. Instead, said OuYang, an “hour later, police came back to gather evidence.”
“Does this person know that he hit somebody,” she asked, “and that person is dead now?”
An NYPD spokesperson said the department’s Highway District Collision Investigation Squad is handling the case.