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Citi Bikes Ingrained in Gotham, For Better or Worse

Six of the eight victims of the deadliest act of terrorism in New York since 9/11 were riding Citi Bikes. The same day, a bus driver was charged in the death of the bikeshare's first fatality. Two more Citi Bike-related deaths occurred this year.
November 4, 2017, 5am PDT | Irvin Dawid
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Joe Mazzola

Heretofore, bikeshare fatalities were associated with unintentional motor vehicle crashes, of which there were none until July 2016. But that changed drastically on Oct. 31 with the deadliest act of terrorism in New York since Sept. 11, 2001.

Ten Argentines had come to the Big Apple to celebrate their 30th high school reunion. On Tuesday, they rented Citi Bikes and biked down America's most popular bikeway (seen in video), the Hudson River Greenway, to lower Manhattan along the West Side Highway, report Keith Griffith, Jennifer Smith and James Wilkinson for the Daily Mail on Nov. 1.  

Moments later, a terrorist in a rented pickup truck would enter the bikeway at Houston Street in Tribeca and speed down the bikeway toward Chambers Street, killing five of the friends: "Ariel Erlij, Hernán Mendoza, Diego Angelini, Alejandro Pagnucco and Hernán Ferruchi. All were 47, except for Erlij, who was 48." A sixth, Martin Ludovico Marro, remains hospitalized.

Also killed while riding a Citi Bike was Darren Drake of New Milford, New Jersey, who worked nearby, reports Valerie Bauman for Newsday

Drake, 33, worked as a program manager at Moody’s in the World Trade Center. His usual break from work after losing 93 pounds from gastric bypass surgery was to grab a Citi Bike and go for a ride, the family said.

Also struck and killed by the terrorist was Nicholas Cleves, 23 a Manhattan software engineer, described as "an avid bicyclist," and Ann-Laure Decadt, a 31-year-old Belgian mother of two, who was biking with her mother and two sisters, who were unharmed, according to The Washington Post

The 14-block carnage ended at Chambers Street where the truck unintentionally slammed into a school bus carrying special needs children, who were injured but not killed. NYPD Officer Ryan Nash then shot the suspect, who had fled his vehicle.

Citi Bike's first fatality

On Tuesday, Coach USA driver "Dave Lewis, 52, was arraigned on a misdemeanor and a violation in the death of Credit Suisse banker and former Israeli army sergeant Dan Hanegby in Chelsea on June 1," reports the New York Post. The arraignment is also the topic of a Streetsblog NYC article that focuses on the bicycling advocacy group, Transportation Alternativescalling on Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance to pursue more serious charges.

Citi Bike-related homicides

A 56-year-old woman was shot to death in Manhattan by her ex-boyfriend on Wednesday morning while parking her Citi Bike, reports the Daily Mail . The gunman then shot himself. Once again, the iconic blue Citi Bikes can be seen in pictures of a gruesome crime scene.

Finally, a Citi Bike was involved in a Brooklyn homicide this summer. A 15-year-old, on foot, shot and killed a 22-year-old recent college graduate in East Flatbush, reported the Daily News on July 15. "He then ran to an accomplice, who was holding the Citi Bike for him, and pedaled off."

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Published on Thursday, November 2, 2017 in Planetizen
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