NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A man has died after being struck by a dump truck while riding his bicycle in East Harlem.
Family members say 25-year-old Matt Travis was an aspiring professional wrestler, who was training for an upcoming match.
“This is very unfortunate you know, he was a good kid, he didn’t deserve this,” Shaina Alvarez, the victim’s cousin said.
You could feel an overwhelming sense of sorrow at the foot of the Willis Avenue Bridge Saturday. Friends say Travis was working out, training for an upcoming wrestling match, when he was killed during a bike ride around 2:30 a.m. Saturday morning.
“His whole thing was wrestling, like that was his main focus, and his goal was to get his mom and family out of the Bronx,” Alvarez added.
Police say Travis was in the bike lane when a dump truck going southbound on First Avenue made an illegal turn, trying to get on the bridge near East 125th Street. The two collided, leaving Travis with severe trauma he could not survive.
“This is not going to go quietly, I want to bring a lot of awareness so that this doesn’t happen to anybody else,” Yolanda Nieves, the victim’s mother said.
Police were already out ticketing drivers within hours of the crash. There is a sign there that clearly states right turns only. CBS2 cameras watched as officers pulled over several drivers, including a woman who police even warned beforehand not to turn left.
“It says no left turn, so for these people to do it no matter what time it was and they left him there like that, it doesn’t make any sense,” Alvarez told CBS2’s Christina Fan.
Travis’ family says just as important as spreading awareness is catching the driver who left the scene.
“I hope that you, when you close your eyes and go to sleep at night, you see my son’s lifeless body that you left on the street. I hope that haunts you for the rest of your life,” Nieves said.
Family members say Travis’ match was scheduled for Saturday night. They are hoping traffic cameras in the area will help catch the driver. Police are still searching for the driver of the dump truck who never stopped.
There have been nearly 30 cyclist deaths on city streets so far this year, compared to 10 in all of 2018.
- Jan. 1 – Hugo Alexander Sinto Garcia, 26, was killed on Third Avenue near East 28th Street in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.
- Jan. 4 – Hector Ayala, 41, was killed on Linden Boulevard near Crescent Street in East New York, Brooklyn.
- Jan. 26 – Susan Moses, 63, was killed at Kings Highway and Van Sicklen Street in Gravesend, Brooklyn.
- Feb. 4 – Joseph Chiam, 72, was killed by a tractor-trailer truck at 8th Avenue and 45th Street in Midtown, Manhattan. The driver took off.
- Feb. 28 – Aurilla Lawrence, 25, was killed at Broadway and Rodney Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
- March 14 – Robert Spencer, 53, was killed at Borden Avenue and Second Street in Long Island City, Queens.
- April 17 – Pedro Tepozteco, 26, was killed on 47th Street near 17th Avenue in Borough Park, Brooklyn.
- April 27 – Victor Ang, 74, was killed on 11th Avenue near West 30th Street in Chelsea, Manhattan.
- May 11 – Kenichi Nakagawa, 22, was killed at Dean Street and Brooklyn Avenue in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.
- May 12 – Robert Sommer, 29, was killed by a car on Avenue U between Burnett and East 33rd streets in Marine Park, Brooklyn.
- May 15 – Yisroel Schwartz, 16, was killed at 17th Avenue and 53rd Street in Borough Park, Brooklyn.
- June 9 – Mohammed Abdullah, 29, was killed by a car at Avenue D and 105th Street in Canarsie, Brooklyn. The driver was charged with driving while intoxicated with her 4-year-old daughter in the backseat.
- June 24 – Robyn Hightman, 20, was killed by a tractor-trailer truck at West 23rd Street and Sixth Avenue. The driver was cited for equipment violations.
- June 27 – Ernest Askew, 57, was killed by a car at Chester Street and Sutter Avenue in Brownsville, Brooklyn.
- July 1 – Devra Freelander, 28, was killed by a cement truck at Boerum Street and Bushwick Avenue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
- July 23 – Alex Cordero, 17, was killed by tow truck at Castleton Avenue and Clove Road in the West Brighton section of Staten Island.
- July 23 – Liam Nhan, 58, was killed by a box truck at McGuiness Boulevard and Norman Avenue in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
- July 29 – Em Samolewicz, 30, was killed by a tractor-trailer at 35th Street and Third Avenue in Greenwood Heights, Brooklyn.
- Aug. 11 – Jose Alzorriz, 52, was killed when a car ran a red light and slammed into an SUV at Coney Island Avenue and Avenue L in Coney Island, Brooklyn.
- Aug. 26 – Charles Cheeseboro, 43, was killed at East Drive near Terrace Drive in Central Park, Manhattan.
- Sept. 2 – Donald Roberts, 47, was killed at Broadway and Ellery Street on the border of Bedford-Stuyvesant and Bushwick, Brooklyn. The driver, Korey Johnson, was charged with murder and reckless endangerment.
- Sept. 8 – Abdul Bashar, 62, was killed at Third Avenue and 12th Street in Gowanus, Brooklyn.
- Sept. 21 – Mario Valenzuela, 14, was killed by a dump truck at Borden Avenue and 11th Street in Long Island City, Queens.
- Sept. 27 – Ada Martinez, 66, was killed at Rockaway Freeway and Beach 94th Street in Rockaway Beach, Queens.
- Oct. 5 – Dalerjon Shahobiddinov, 10, was killed by an SUV at Seton Place and Foster Avenue in Kensington, Brooklyn. The driver, Victor Meji, was charged with driving without a license.
- Oct. 13 – Bogdan Darmetko, 65, was killed by an SUV at Cross Bay Boulevard in Broad Channel in Broad Channel, Queens.
- Nov. 2 – Yevgeny Meskin, 87, was killed by a minivan at Avenue P. and Ocean Parkway in Midwood, Brooklyn.
- Nov. 9 – Matt Travis, 25, was killed by a dump truck at First Avenue and East 125th Street in East Harlem.