After their son Mathieu was killed in a hit and run bike accident, the Lefevres journeyed from Canada to Brooklyn to identify his body and collect his personal effects. It sounded like a sad, but simple enough task. What they experienced, however, was anything but simple.
They went to the morgue to identify his body. The detective at the morgue told them to go to the 90th precinct to get an accident report as well to recover Mathieu’s personal items. The detective also told them that they would need a lawyer and gave them a card. The Lefevres threw it away, not understanding why they might need an attorney.
When they arrived at the 90th precinct, they were told that there was no accident report, that Mathieu’s clothes and other belongings were not there, and that there was no detective available to talk with them. They waited for four hours, but spoke only with a detective who told them that he could not help them. Five days later, they heard from a detective. A week later, they received their son’s belongings, which had been at the precinct house all along.
The Lefevres have received conflicting and ambiguous information about the accident that killed their son. Some reports suggested that Mathieu had run a red light or had passed the truck that killed him on the right as the truck was making a right turn. However, the detective they spoke with told the Lefevres that there was no evidence to support that claim. The accident report identified the driver, who would neither confirm nor deny that he was behind the wheel. Some say that the driver had no knowledge of hitting Mathieu. However an attorney for the family, whom they hired to help them gain information, said that a diagram in the accident report showed that Mathieu was struck from behind.
Mathieu moved to New York from Montreal in 2010 and joined the 3rd Ward artist collective in East Williamsburg.
Source:New York Times, “After a Son Is Killed, Facing a Police Runaround“, by Jim Dwyer, Dec. 6, 2011.