Big Apple Circus worker killed after colliding with car door on Union Tnpk.

Big Apple Circus worker killed after colliding with car door on Union Tnpk.
Photo by Joe Anuta
By Joe Anuta

A circus company is mourning the loss of a worker who died in a Fresh Meadows bicycle accident Saturday evening, according to police.

Just after 8 p.m. in front of 178-02 Union Tnpk., a 39-year-old man was riding eastbound past a row of parked cars when the driver of one of the vehicles opened the car door.

The cyclist, whose name has not been released, collided with the door and was found with severe trauma to the head and neck, according to the NYPD.

The man was an electrician for Big Apple Circus, which had set up shop in Cunningham Park May 22, according to Tom Larson, general manager of the circus. The show was set to move on the day after the man was killed.

“He was a respected and valued member of our circus community,” Larson said. “We are less strong without him.”

The man had been with the circus for eight years, according to a spokesman, and the last show in Flushing was dedicated to him.

“He was a very liked, respected and valued employee,” said Joel Dein. “It’s very much a shock to everybody.”

The man was transported to Elmhurst General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said.

Employees of the Sly Fox Inn across the street said the man was bleeding profusely as he lay in the street, and the man might have cut his neck from an impact with his own handlebars or the car door, although cops could not confirm.

The driver who opened the door stayed on the scene and no criminality was suspected, according to police.

Emergency workers who arrived on the scene found a substantial pool of blood next to the man’s bike, about 10 feet in front of where the car door was opened.

Nearby workers in a cell-phone store were shocked to hear of the accident, but said that the four-lane road is often a dangerous venue because of speeding cars.

Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at januta@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4566.