Jersey councilwoman Amy DeGise allegedly seen in hit-and-run with cyclist – NBC New York
A New Jersey city councilwoman is facing calls to resign after she allegedly hit a cyclist with her SUV but never even slowed down to help, in an incident that was caught on camera.
The incident happened around 8 a.m. on July 19, when Jersey’s first councilwoman Amy DeGise was seen on city CCTV cameras driving north on Martin Luther King Drive. She had a green light and was crossing the intersection, when DeGise’s Nissan Rogue hit the bike, sending the rider flying down the street.
31-year-old runner Andrew Black could be seen falling to the ground and was stunned and shaken as he got up.
“Someone of prestige would fall to the point of ignoring the law,” Black said. in an interview with HudPost.
At first, Black claimed he had the green light, but was wrong. However, it wasn’t who had the right of way in the incident that upset people – it was what DeGise did immediately after people said it was untrue. The driver, the daughter of longtime Hudson County executive Tom DeGise, did not stop or even slow down to check on the cyclist.
“After being elected, he’s a living human being, it was really hard for me to witness that,” Councilman Frank Gilmore said. “It’s a matter of public trust, it’s a matter of respect, it’s a matter of human decency.”
This led to more and more calls for DeGise to stop. Another council member, James Solomon, was among the first to sign a change.org petition calling for the first-term councilor to step down following the incident.
“The word I use is horrified, which is how I felt watching the video,” Solomon said. “She’s an elected official and we need to hold ourselves to a higher standard and that’s why I think she should step down.”
No one answered the door to DeGise’s apartment on Thursday. She was charged with failing to report the accident and leaving the scene.
Safe Streets JC chairman Jimmy Lee said what happened was criminal and inhumane – but it’s not the first time they’ve seen such things happen recently.
“We had two hit-and-runs in November and the people in both cases were still alive but later died because they couldn’t get help in time,” Lee said.
He said Vision Zero’s safety efforts have helped make the streets of Jersey City safer, but the recent incident is a setback.
“How can we have someone who makes the laws and breaks the laws? Lee asked.
Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop reportedly said the incident was a terrible mistake, but did not call on DeGise to resign. He did not respond to multiple interview requests.