What to Know
- Friends of a bicyclist killed by a truck Monday morning gathered in Flatiron District, while one group took protests to the street
- A group of angry riders rode the streets of Manhattan blocking traffic — and attacked a man and his passenger, the driver claims
- The vigil was held for 20-year-old Robyn Avril, who was killed around 9:30 a.m. when she was hit by a truck near West 23rd Street
While friends of a bicyclist struck and killed by a truck Monday morning gathered in the Flatiron District, a group of angry riders rode the streets of Manhattan blocking traffic — and attacked a man and a passenger in a car, one driver claims.
Friends and fellow cyclists gathered at the spot on Sixth Avenue between West 23rd and 24th Streets where 20-year-old Robyn Avril was killed around 9:30 a.m. when she was hit by a truck, according to police.
Avril was riding in the street — not in the bike lane — when she was struck by the box truck, cops said. She was later pronounced dead at the hospital.
The 54-year-old driver, Antonio Garcia, told NBC 4 that he didn't realize he had hit someone when he initially left the scene. Cops said Garcia looped around and came back to the scene after witnesses signaled him to stop.
Friends of the victim said she was an experienced rider and presumed that she must have been trying to cross over to the bike lane when she was hit.
At the vigil Monday evening, some mourners began protesting after no arrests had been made in the crash. The driver was issued multiple summonses at the scene, but those were in connection to issues with the vehicle, not related to the crash.
Multiple riders said they are tired of seeing their friends be killed by motorists. Avril is the tenth bicyclist killed so far in 2019 — more than the nine killed in all 2018.
A group of disorderly cyclists then rode up Sixth Avenue, chanting Avril's name before damaging property and blocking intersections, police said.
One exchange got violent quickly. A driver trying to pass the horde at West 53rd Street got into an altercation with the group that left him and his passenger bloodied and bruised. The pair claims they were beaten as a young child looked on.
"A bunch of bikers was blocking up the road and beating on people's cars, and they surrounded my car. I got out and they started beating on me," the driver told News 4.
Police said they are looking into the incident, and evaluating if there will be any arrests.
Meanwhile, the message from bicylists was clear: More needs to be done to protect riders, and prosecute those drivers who hit them.
"If you have a problem with somebody — don't shoot them, don't stab them," said one fed-up bicyclist. "Run them over, you will get away with it."