Three bicyclists were struck by a van during the NYC Century Bike Tour on Sunday morning, critically injuring one of them, police said.
The alleged driver of the van, 39-year-old Abel Pina of Brooklyn, was arrested on charges of vehicular assault, driving without a license and driving while impaired.
Police say Pina was intoxicated when he struck the bicyclists as they waited for a red light at 12th Avenue and 39th Street in Borough Park. Neighbors left flowers in a cyclist water bottle at the spot later in the day.
The victims were riding in a 100-mile bike race that goes through four boroughs when they were struck by the Dodge minivan, the FDNY said.
Paul Steely White, executive director of Transportation Alternatives, the organization that put on the event, said the cyclists were "mowed down."
"One of the victims is fighting for her life right now," White said.
That victim, a 55-year-old Queens woman, was in critical condition. A 31-year-old man was in stable condition, authorities said. They were both brought to Maimonides Medical Center. A third person suffered minor injuries and refused medical attention.
The 55-year-old woman, who is a former English teacher and mother, had to be freed from underneath the van by firefighters. "When I saw the lady, it was very bad," said one witness.
White fought tears as he talked about the crash.
"This occassion of joy should not have turned into this," he said.