Police: Driver Who Allegedly Struck, Killed Cyclist Was Not Licensed For Livery Cab
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Heartbreak has been compounded by anger for the family of a bicyclist who was killed earlier this week in East Harlem.
The 25-year-old cyclist and the driver were both traveling south on Park Avenue around 5 a.m. this past Monday morning, when police said the livery cab cut off the rider to make a left turn onto East 108th Street.
The cab struck the cyclist, dragging the rider about 50 feet before finally stopping, D’Auria reported.
The bicyclist, identified as Jerrison Garcia, was taken to Mount Sinai Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, police said.
As CBS 2’s Jessica Schneider reported, the moments after the deadly accident were caught on cellphone video by a distraught friend. Adderly Bello was riding in front of Garcia at the time.
“All I heard was a big bang,” Bello said.
Garcia’s friends said he was dragged several feet after the livery cab hit him.
“My little brother — the one who always cheers me up when I was down,” said the victim’s brother, Nelson Garcia. “And I will miss him, I’ll miss him a lot.”
The driver of the livery cab, 65-year-old Nojeem Odunfa, stayed at the scene and was arrested on several charges including driving without a license and failure to exercise due care, 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria reported Monday.
CBS 2 went to Odunfa’s house in the Bronx, but he was not there.
Odunfa’s license was revoked in 1976 for driving while uninsured, and police said he was not licensed as a livery cab driver when the accident happened.
Police said Odunfa was working for Glory Car and Limo, based in the Bronx. But when CBS 2 spoke to the manager by phone, he said the car Odunfa was driving was not registered to Glory.
“This kind of person shouldn’t be out on the streets, you know, at all,” Adderly said.
Garcia’s friends insisted a passenger was in the livery cab at the time, who could provide more details.
“There was a woman in that car and she looked at me like she was, like, in shock,” said Garcia’s friend Marcell Feliz. “She didn’t know what to do and she probably left because she was traumatized.”
The incident occurred just feet from a street memorial marking the spot where another bicyclist was struck and killed about a year ago.
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