Apparently fed up with another tragic death, angry New York City cylists recently unleashed a fury of frustration on a driver at a vigil for their friend and fellow rider.
Roughly a dozen protestors on bikes blocked streets and intersections during a vigil honoring 20-year-old Robyn Hightman, who was hit and kiled by a truck around 9:30 a.m. Monday on 6th Avenue and 23rd Street. The cyclists reportedly beat on cars, and tried to attack drivers with sticks. No one was injured, but police are investigating the incident.
The outburst from cyclists speaks to the building tension of bike riders on NYC streets, who say they have had enough of what they consider to be hazardous cycling conditions and careless motorists and pedestrians.
“Robyn started working for the courier company today. First day in the job and they get run over by a truck driver. Enough is enough,” said Transportation Alternatives Senior Organizer Erwin Figueroa on Twitter Monday night.
“This year, we have already surpassed the total number of cyclist deaths that occurred in 2018. This is a crisis, plain and simple. And the consequences are severe if we fail to act with urgency. May Robyn Hightman rest in peace,” tweeted NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer.
Hightman is the 11th cyclist to be hit and killed in NYC this year. She was reportedly attempting to cross into the bike lane when she was hit by a truck. Jermaine Torres, a witness, told CBS that, “The helmet did not save her at all. She literally flew a little bit, like two or three feet in the air, then landed really hard.”
Hightman was sent to Bellevue hospital with head injuries and was pronounced dead upon arrival, CBS reported.
The driver, Antonio Garcia, left the scene, later claiming he was unaware he had hit a person. A witness flagged him down, and Garcia returned to the scene as police arrived. He was not arrested, but received equipment violations for issues with his truck.
“We grieve at any loss of life on our streets, and our thoughts are with the victim’s family and friends,” Seth Stein, a spokesman for Mayor Bill de Blasio, told ABC. “While cycling continues to explode in popularity, we will continue our work to make our bike lane network safer for everyone.”
Robyn started working for the courier company today. First day in the job and they get run over by a truck driver. Enough is enough. pic.twitter.com/5K5EGq7nxF
— Erwin Figueroa (@TransitErwin) June 24, 2019
Preliminary statement from us on the cyclist killed by a truck driver this morning near 6th Avenue and 23rd Street in Manhattan: pic.twitter.com/M89P9Q9FYq
— Transportation Alternatives (@TransAlt) June 24, 2019
— queenscyclist (@unchanged2112) June 24, 2019