Cyclist Killed After Holding Onto Back Of Truck
Gothamist, April 19,2012
A cyclist from the Bronx was killed outside the Metropolitan Museum of Art last evening after the pickup truck he was holding onto stopped for a red light, sending him flying underneath. The NYPD press office says Daniel Martinez, 27, was riding south on Fifth Avenue while holding onto the back of a black Ford F-550 truck. According to the Daily News, he "flew off his bike" when the truck stopped, and "when the light turned green, the truck moved forward, uncovering" Martinez's body.
DNAinfo reports that Martinez was hit "about 6:30 p.m." and the NYPD press office says police responded to the scene at 6:40 p.m. Six minutes later, a Columbia student who witnessed the accident Tweeted, "Bicyclist hit by SUV on 5th ave and 82nd. 20 minutes no ambulance. #WTF" Included with his Tweet, the student posted a graphic photo of the scene, which you can see here—but we warn you, it is graphic.
An FDNY spokesman tells us they received the call at 6:38 p.m., but they don't have information about when EMS actually arrived at the scene. According to the FDNY's record of the accident, Martinez was in serious condition when he was transported to Lenox Hill Hospital. The NYPD says he was pronounced DOA. The driver remained at the scene and "there is no criminality suspected."
Martinez, whom the News describes as a bike messenger, leaves behind a 10-year-old daughter. His cousintells the News, "He was a hard worker, he was a family man. He loved his daughter. It’s sad that he's gone."
Update 10:11 a.m.: We just spoke with a witness who saw the aftermath of the accident. He tells us he didn't see the moment of impact, but arrived "less than a minute" after Martinez was struck. The man, who asked not to be identified, says he was there before police arrived, and that by checking text messages sent immediately following the crash, he can confirm that Martinez was hit around 6:28 or 6:29 p.m. According to the best of his recollection, police arrived over five minutes later, but the EMS was not on the scene for at least 20 minutes.
"I was not under the impression the guy had expired until the ambulance was putting him on the stretcher," the witness tells us. "This is hard to report on for me because it's all visceral. I thought he was alive, I thought I saw him moving or responding. I don't know if he died on impact, I can't say for sure. People were trying to resuscitate him before police arrived, and their son was a witness, but the cops could not get anyone else to talk to them about the actual crash.
"But the police didn't start interviewing potential
witnesses until 20 minutes after they showed up. So this was well
over 20 minutes after any people who saw it—and were possibly
grossed out—might have left. It was grisly. I was in shock, too.
That said, the driver was there and stayed at the scene. And I
don't want to insult the cyclist posthumously, but he wasn't
wearing a helmet, and somebody else told me he had earphones in."
We asked the witness if the Daily News' description of the accident—that the cyclist "flew" under the truck when it stopped at a red light—seemed plausible to him. "No," he told us. "The body was about five feet from the west side sidewalk. Judging by where the body was in the intersection, I don't see how that is possible."