The Staten Island woman implicated in the tragic death in September of a 23-year-old bicyclist was charged with leaving the scene of the fatal accident last week.
Prosecutors allege that on Sept 11, Krystal Francis swung her car door open into traffic while parked on Atlantic Avenue, near Washington Avenue. The driver’s side door clipped Jasmine Herron, knocking her off her bike into heavy traffic. She was fatally struck by a passing MTA bus.
“It’s a terrible personal loss,” said half-sister Desiree Herron Perry, “and truly a loss to this world that she was taken so young.”
The Kings County District Attorney’s Office levied additional charges against Francis on Jan. 31, alleging the 24-year-old woman attempted to leave the scene of the accident.
She was previously charged with driving on a suspended license.
Defense attorney Michael Baum said Francis wasn’t trying to flee. The Staten Island woman called 911 and spoke with police at the scene.
“She left for just a few moments,” said Baum, trial attorney for Brooklyn Defender Services. “She came back with her mother. She wasn’t trying to avoid prosecution or anything.”
Herron’s death serves as a tragic example of why New York City needs tougher laws punishing drivers who continue to drive on suspended licenses, said Noah Budnick, deputy director of Transportation Alternatives, a bicycle advocacy group.
Last year, 80 people were killed in traffic accidents in Brooklyn alone, Budnick said.
“In New York, drivers on suspended licenses are responsible for 10 percent of traffic fatalities,” Budnick said. “By keeping people with suspended licenses off the road, you’re preventing one in ten fatalities in New York City. That is the equivalent of saving roughly 30 lives a year.”
Herron, who grew up in Parker, Colorado, moved to New York City after graduating art school in Alberta, Canada last May. Perry said her half-sister was a fearless young girl who made friends easily and was quick to help others.
“She was the most amazing person I had ever known,” said Perry. “I am 39 and she was 23 and she lived more in her 23 years than I ever did.”
Francis is scheduled to appear in Kings County Supreme Court on March 31.