A truck driver fatally struck a teenage cyclist in Long Island City Saturday afternoon, according to authorities.
Police responded to a call regarding a motor vehicle collision just before 2 p.m. on Sept. 21 and, upon arriving at the scene, officers found 14-year-old Astoria resident Mario Valenzuela unconscious with trauma to his body. EMS arrived and pronounced Valenzuela dead at the scene.
An NYPD Collision Investigation Squad investigation revealed that Valenzuela was traveling eastbound on Borden Avenue alongside a truck when the 33-year-old male driver attempted to make a right turn onto 11th Street and struck the teen cyclist. After the collision, the driver remained at the scene and was not arrested.
Valenzuela is the 21st cyclist killed in New York City this year, and second in Long Island City.
In March, 53-year-old cyclist Robert Spencer was fatally struck by a car on an uncompleted bike lane just a block from his Long Island City home.
After Saturday’s fatal collision, Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer blasted the city Department of Transportation for failing to take action after Spencer’s death.
“I am sad but also angry to learn that a 14-year-old cyclist from Astoria was killed by a truck earlier today on Borden Avenue in LIC,” Van Bramer said. “I had contacted NYC DOT before Robert Spencer was killed on Borden Avenue in March and then again afterward to plead for action. Now a very young man is dead. When will NYC DOT start treating this like the emergency it is? This is the 21st cyclist killed this year in NYC and the second in this area of LIC. It demands radical action.”
State Sen. Michael Gianaris, whose district includes Long Island City, also commented on the fatal crash.
“Absolutely awful. Every cyclist death is tragic and preventable,” Gianaris tweeted. “We’ve had far too many this year and it’s clear we must do a lot more to keep cyclists safe.”
The investigation into the collision remains ongoing.