Erica was originally from upstate New York and resided in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn where she lived with her dog, Banjo. A talented professional modern dancer, she was also known for her eye for fashion and incredible cooking. She passionately studied Buddhism at the Asian Classics Institute and the Sarva Yoga Academy and was actively involved in her community. Those who knew her regarded her for her loving spirit and referred to her as their "shining light."
Erica was on her way to a meeting of the 108 Lives Project, a charitable organization with which she was actively involved, when she was tragically killed. Project members consider her efforts "an inspiration to us all." Her community at the Sarva Yoga Academy established a scholarship in her name.
As a friend stated on Witkem House blog: "Erica balanced quirkiness with effortless elegance and confidence...She took risks in the kitchen that I was in awe of...Her presence will remain with me as it will with everyone who has ever crossed paths with her because she is impossible to forget. She truly was, and still is in so many ways, a gift to us all...If there are more people with her outlook on life, this world is on its way to being a better place."
Erica's friend wrote this poem for her:
Sky Dancer. Diamond Being. Light Angel. Bodhisattva. I see you turn and twirl, in your show of fantastic colors and fabrics. The movements you make are unmistakeable. Art. Magic. Majestic.
The smile you gifted me each time I glanced back at you feeling awkward or out of place, “No babe, you are loved!” your smile reassured, “nothing to fear here, just love”.
Erica, you are not alone. But you are not in your body. Remember that you ARE the light, you don’t need a body. Erica, you are not alone.
Black and white stripes, ears adorn and decorated, amazing painted mouth (RED!), electric blue eyes.
You, Erica Abbott, are under the highest of suspicions. We love you, we know you, we are filled with love and gratitude in knowing you.
Climb to the top of the human pyramid. Dance to the top of the sun. Dance. Every time I see Kyle’s dance I will know you see it too.. Admirer. Loving Angel admirer.
Sky Dancer, Diamond Being, Light Angel. Bodhisattva. You are not alone.
Erica Abbott was pedaling her bike, just blocks away from her home southbound on Bushwick Ave. and rode through a construction site near Powers St. about 7 p.m., police and witnesses said.
Abbott suddenly lost her balance on a a pile of loose wood on the street after a car horn honked and she turned her head, witnesses said.
The cyclist, who was wearing a helmet, fell toward traffic and was run over. She couldn't be saved at the hospital. According to the Daily News.
Her friends installed a ghost bike in her memory soon afterward.
A memorial service was held last night for Erica Abbott, the dancer who was killed biking by a stalled construction site in Williamsburg early Tuesday evening. Brynne Billingsley, a
Brooklyn-based dancer/choreographer who worked with Abbott in the Murray Spalding Mandalas dance company, tells us Abbott was a Buddhist and devout Yogi. Last night's ceremony was a traditional, "high Buddhist" ceremony held at the Three Jewels Tibetan Buddhist yoga center. There was also a memorial yoga class for Pier 5 in Williamsburg led by Michael Hewett.
Another friend of Abbott describes her as "the nicest person I've ever met," adding that she was "always smiling, open and friendly." Blame for her death is falling partly on the construction company in charge of the site where she died; witnesses say she swerved to avoid a wooden barricade that tipped over during Irene, and then fell into the path of a passing Mercedes sedan.
"She had nowhere to go," her grieving aunt, Patty Affronti, tells the Daily News. "This was totally preventable. She would be here today if that construction site had secured their fencing. It fell over during the hurricane and no one picked it up."
The construction company listed at the site on Bushwick Avenue near Powers Street is YBG Construction. A local resident tells us she hasn't seen any work done at the site for months, and adds, "That stretch of Bushwick has horrible paving and potholes that make it pretty bad to bike over generally, construction nonwithstanding." YBG Construction has not returned repeated calls for comment.