Cyclist fatally struck by dump truck that fled scene in East Harlem: police

EAST HARLEM, Manhattan — Police are investigating after a cyclist was struck and killed by a dump truck that apparently fled the scene early Saturday in upper Manhattan, authorities said.

According to police, Matthew Travis Palacios, 25, was riding his bike near East 125th Street and First Avenue in East Harlem around 3 a.m. when he and the truck collided.

Police say a dump truck was traveling south on First Avenue when the driver made an illegal left turn toward the Willis Avenue Bridge between Manhattan and the Bronx.

They say the truck hit Palacios, who was traveling on a bike path coming off the bridge.

He was taken to Harlem Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Authorities said the dump truck drove away from the scene and toward the Bronx, but it is not clear whether or not he was aware he had hit someone.

No arrests have been made and police said the investigation is ongoing.

Palacios' grieving family lit candles where he was hit on 125th Street and 1st Avenue, as they hope for the public's help in finding his killer.

"He was my first born," said a heart broken Yolanda Nieves.

"What we have on our streets is a public health emergency," said Danny Harris, executive director of transportation alternatives.

Harris says there are plans in place to make the roads safer for bikers and pedestrians, but says the city is moving way too slow.

"We need to build safer streets for people not cars," said Harris.

"This is a very hard time for my family" said Nieves. "My son was my life."

There have now been at least 27 cyclists killed by motor vehicles in the city so far in 2019.

Last week, 87-year-old Yevgeny Meskin became the 26th cyclist killed after he succumbed to injuries sustained when he was struck by a vehicle on Oct. 30 in Brooklyn.

Prior to Meskin's death, there were 25 reported cyclist fatalities, according to the New York Times. This comes as the City Council approved a $1.7 billion “Safer Streets Master Plan.” The bill requires the Department of Transportation to come up with a five-year master plan by the end of 2021.

The plan must include:

  • 150 miles of protected bus lanes
  • 250 miles of protected bike lanes
  • 500 bus stop upgrades
  • 2,000 intersection redesigns
  • An overhaul policies relating to pedestrian signals, commercial loading and deliveries, along with parking policies

Corey Crockett contributed.

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