NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A delivery worker was killed while on the job in a Manhattan hit-and-run.
As a community raises money to send his remains back to Bangladesh, members say the tragic incident highlights the dangers of the job for so many that are considered essential but often overlooked, CBS2’s Aundrea Cline-Thomas reported Monday.
Borkot Ullah, 24, was working making deliveries for an app when he was struck and killed Thursday at around 11 p.m. while riding his bike across the intersection at East Houston and Attorney streets.
Police said the Subaru SUV involved kept going.
Ullah was part of social justice organization Desis Rising Up and Moving — known as DRUM — which set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for funeral costs.
“He had to work to support the family, but he was also 24. So, he was also trying to enjoy life,” DRUM executive director Fahd Ahmed said.
Ullah immigrated from Bangladesh, fleeing political repression, and completed a dangerous trek to America through Brazil up to the Mexican-American border.
“To cross one dozen countries through some of the most dangerous paths in the world and then to lose your life on a New York City street,” Ahmed said.
Advocates say injuries and deaths of delivery workers on the job are becoming all too common, but as independent contractors, they don’t have any benefits.
“There’s no recourse right now that they have to acquire or apply for workers comp. There’s no protection for them if they get injured at work,” said Hildalyn Colon of Los Deliveristas Unidos.
That’s why Los Deliveristas Unidos is working on a package of City Council bills that provide protections for delivery workers. It includes setting a maximum radius for deliveries to limit the rush and implementing a flat fee for each trip.
Advocates say for now, with each order, delivery drivers are taking a risk, often for less than $5.
Sources told Cline-Thomas the SUV that struck Ullah had temporary tags, although it’s unknown if the plates were legit or fake. That raises concerns for police who have been cracking down on a growing number of cars with temporary tags that have been linked to crimes.