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Young on crutches after Flushing bicycle accident

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State Assemblywoman Ellen Young (D-Flushing) was still recovering after being badly injured when she was hit by a car while riding her bicycle in Flushing early last week.

Young was riding her bike near the corner of Booth Memorial Avenue and 138th Street shortly after 8 p.m. July 8 when she was clipped by a taxi cab as it swerved to avoid her. Young was tossed into the windshield of the cab before being thrown up and over the vehicle and into a nearby wall.

She was briefly knocked unconscious and sustained severe cuts and bruises all over her body — including a gash to her head that required three staples to close — and a dislocated toe.

"I thought I was gone," Young said from a wheelchair in her office last Thursday afternoon.

"The windshield of the car was totally smashed and Ellen tried to break a wall with her head," said City Councilman John Liu (D-Flushing). "It was very scary Tuesday night to see her lying there in the emergency room."

Young was confined to a wheelchair for several days, but spokesman Scott Sieber said she is now walking with the help of crutches and has not been able to come into the office.

"She's really been working the whole time, just from home," Sieber said. "The woman is a workhorse."

Sieber said Young's office is still operating at full capacity in her absence, but added that it may be a few weeks before she can return on a regular basis.

When asked if her injuries would affect her re-election campaign — she currently faces a Democratic challenger in Grace Meng — Young laughed and said she had not thought about it because she has not formally started campaigning.

The incident was ruled an accident and the driver of the taxi was not arrested. Young, an avid bicyclist, was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident.

She said that although she does plan to continue riding her bike in Flushing, she hopes to push for stronger safety measures to protect bikers and pedestrians in a busy urban environment.

"Nothing will change my mind. I really love biking, but we need to create a safe environment," Young said.

Young said she has not come up with any formal safety measures for bike safety she plans on proposing.

"A [speed] bump at that intersection maybe?"

Reach reporter Stephen Stirling by e-mail at Sstirling@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 138.

Posted 6:39 pm, October 10, 2011
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