New York City’s streets have turned into a veritable race track this summer as speedsters zoom along empty roads due to the COVID-19 pandemic — and the situation has led to a sharp uptick in motorcyclist deaths.
At least 10bikers have died while riding in the city since July 19, police records show. That’s up from four motorcycle deaths reported during the same period last year, when more cars were on the street and activity in the city was booming.
Riders killed in at least six of the crashes were driving recklessly or at high speeds before they died, according to NYPD reports, including one man who was killed after he popped a wheelie.
The uptick in motorcycles deaths does not include the three people who died after crashing on Revel mopeds this summer before the scooters were banned from city streets last month over safety concerns.
City Department of Transportation officials have for months said a reduction in traffic caused by the pandemic has led to more serial speeders on city streets. But the reckless behavior — by both motorcyclists and car drivers alike — has made riding a two-wheeler in New York City an even more frightening prospect.
The latest biker death recorded in the city was Saturday night, when a 27-year-old man on a dirt bike collided with a Jeep near 192nd St. and Francis Lewis Blvd. in Queens around 11 p.m., according to police. The biker died later in the night at New York-Presbyterian Queens Hospital, cops said.
The man was riding with more than a dozen bikers when he was killed, said police and witnesses at the scene.
“One of my GrubHub drivers told me that they saw a motorcycle gang because there were many motorcycle people with him,” said a cook at a restaurant next to the crash. “I heard from one of my customers and she said the car was turning … and the motorcycle couldn’t stop.”
Carlos Flores-Garcia, 24, died after he rammed his dirt bike into a dump truck on Aug. 9, cops said. His family said he had been riding motorbikes since he was a child in the Dominican Republic.
Flores-Garcia’s mother said her son was not wearing a helmet when he died — she had urged him to buy one two weeks before the fatal crash.
But like many people who ride, Flores-Garcia enjoyed living on the edge.
“He said, ‘People die because you die in the book of life,‘” said his sister Gabriela Flores-Garcia, 17.
Flores-Garcia leaves behind a wife in the Dominican Republic, separated by the coronavirus travel ban, and their 15-month-old son who was living with him in New York.
One of this summer’s motorcyclist deaths sparked a protest outside of a Brooklyn police precinct on Thursday evening.
Delroy Morris, 37, was killed on July 25 after he was struck on his bike by an NYPD SUV that blew past a red light while responding to a report of a shooting that turned out to be unfounded.
Video shows Morris zooming south on Driggs Ave. past Metropolitan Ave. when he was T-boned by the cop car.
“I hope he’s sorry for what he did,” Morris’ sister Sandra Bracy, 38, said of the officer who drove the SUV following Thursday’s demonstration. “A life is important. It’s not just another crime scene, it’s not just a police report.”
Source: NY Daily News