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Tragic News-messenger killed

Was forwarded this by Kurt Boone.

From the NY Daily News:
Bicyclist, 27, killed joyriding in front of Met Museum.
He grabbed onto rear of truck, police say

20120419-185344.jpg(photo caption: A rider was struck in front of the Metropolitan Museum. Photo by: Aaron Showalter)
By Claire Trapasso and Sarah Armagha

Wednesday, April 18, 2012, 10:43 PM

A 27-year-old Bronx bike messenger was killed in front of a Manhattan museum as he was joyriding while holding onto the back of a commercial truck, police said.

Daniel Martinez was riding south on Fifth Avenue near E. 83rd Street around 6:30 p.m. (4/18/12) when he grabbed onto the rear of a Ford F55, cops said.

When the vehicle came to a stop at a red light, Martinez flew underneath, just steps from the front entrance to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, cops said.

Read more: here.

My condolences to Daniel’s family on this tragic event.

Details on this case based solely on the newspapers description don’t seem to add up. Not exactly sure how someone dies from holding on to a truck that makes a stop at a red light. I also have a problem with the word joyriding. 6:30pm, the time of death, sounds like working hours for a bike courier and not just out for a thrill that the papers description implies. This is not to condone “skitching” however, most riders who engage in this dangerous activity, generally have heightened skills in the operation of their bicycle and are more aware of the dynamics of the vehicles and drivers involved based on years on the streets.

My point is not to avoid blame but rather to question the details especially in light of the recent lack of police investigation when it comes to cyclists deaths. All to often the case is written off as a tragic accident and blame is immediately placed on the cyclist, especially when words like joyriding are used in the papers. How do we know the driver wasn’t texting on his phone, looked up and saw a red light. Then he slammed on his brakes and the rider died. Then the driver tells police he was skitching.

I apologize for bringing politics into the same post as the tragedy of the loss of one of our fellow cyclists. In the life and death struggle of choosing to ride a bicycle in the city, it’s hard to avoid especially when the only information we have about this quoted: “cops said.”

2 comments to Tragic News-messenger killed

  • CTP

    100% agree with your analysis

  • Kamo

    So true! I was injured by a MTA bus while working as a bike messenger in NYC back in 1990 and when I got the accident report from my lawyers I was astonished at what the cop had written. While waiting for the ambulance to arrive he had only asked me 2 or 3 yes-or-no questions and I never had a chance to tell my side of the story.