NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A bicyclist was struck and killed Monday morning in Chelsea.
It happened at around 9:25 a.m. near West 23rd Street and Sixth Avenue. The tractor-trailer truck struck the 20-year-old woman and kept going, police said.
“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,” witness Jermaine Torres told CBS2’s Christina Fan.
A witness stopped the driver, Antonio Garcia, several blocks up the road and told him to turn around.
By the time he returned to the intersection, police were already there.
The victim was rushed to Bellevue Hospital with severe head injuries and was pronounced dead on arrival.
Garcia was taken into custody for questioning.
He told Fan he didn’t see the bicyclist and she must have hit the back of his truck. He says he’s been driving 14 years and this is his first accident.
“I’m driving no more than 20, no down to 15, and I don’t see nothing,” Garcia said.
Police won’t say how fast the truck was going, but Torres said it was speeding.
“It was going at least 45 mph going down. Keep going and did not stop, did not stop at all,” Torres said.
“My driver license very clean. I don’t have points,” Garcia said.
Garcia was not arrested, but he was issued several equipment violations for minor problems with his truck.
The incident has other cyclists concerned.
“It’s always worrying about cars hitting you because cars really don’t care about where you’re riding,” Steven Sanchez, a friend of the victim, said.
Friends said the cyclist was a delivery driver on her way uptown when she was hit.
“She’s an experienced rider. She races track. She rides the streets. She commutes,” Mario Sepulveda, a friend of the victim, said.
The victim’s friends say they deal with dangers on the road every day.
According to police, year to date for 2019 there were 10 bicyclist deaths in New York City, compared to seven for all of 2018.