George Gibbons Jr. Was In Livery Cab Struck In Hit-And-Run Crash

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A street in Maspeth, Queens was renamed Saturday for George Gibbons Jr., a local bar owner who was killed by a wrong-way driver on the Long Island Expressway two years ago.

Gibbons, 37 — owner of the Gibbons Home bar – was in a livery cab on the expressway service drive on Oct. 15, 2011, when the cab was struck by wrong-way driver Peter Rodriguez. Gibbons was pronounced dead following the crash.

Rodriguez fled the scene, but was later arrested in Connecticut after a month-long search. Last year, he was sentenced to 3 1/2 to 7 years in prison.

In July, Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed legislation co-naming 60th Drive near Mt. Olivet Crescent in Maspeth as George Gibbons Jr. Way. Gibbons was a lifelong resident of the neighborhood, according to City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-30th.)

At the renaming ceremony Saturday, Gibbons’ father, George Gibbons Sr., said his son took pride in the community where he lived.

“It’s a terrific honor for the family to have the block co-named George Gibbons Jr. Way,” Gibbons Sr. said. “George lived on the block here. He was a great person for the block. He used to run all the block parties, and everything that was going on, he was involved in it.”

Gibbons Jr. was well-regarded throughout the Maspeth community, his father said.

“He was a DJ. He used to DJ all around the neighborhood and all around Queens, and he was well-known and loved by all, and he was just a great person,” Gibbons Sr. said.

Since the fatal crash, the Gibbons family has worked with Crowley to increase state penalties for leaving the scene of a crime. State lawmakers have introduced a bill that would make a fatal hit-and-run a Class C felony that would carry a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison, according to a published report.

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