Tragedy at NYC Century Bike Tour
Drunk driver plows into a group of cyclists, running over a women, leaving her pinned under a van
What was supposed to be a day of cycling celebration for around 6,000 cyclists, turned into every cyclist's worst nightmare on Sunday in Brooklyn on the NYC Century Bike Tou,r which is sponsored by the cycling advocacy group Transportation Alternatives.
A drunk driver plowed into a group of cyclists leaving one women pinned underneath a Dodge Caravan. Police, ambulance and firefighters worked tirelessly to free the injured women, who is now in a critical condition in Maimonides Medical Center, fighting for her life.
One eyewitness said "the driver of the Dodge Caravan, stood there, with bloodshot eyes, in a daze among the horrified and screaming cyclists".
One cyclist saying “He floored it and went through all of us, He ran over us. He ran over my bike. I was under the front left tire.”
Paul Steely White, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives said in a statement “This is devastating news on what is supposed to be a joyful day of cycling in New York City, Every New Yorker who rides a bike deserves to be able to travel safely and free from harm.”
Another eye witness said "There was a ladies leg sticking out from under the van. A bystander threw the driver to the ground, as people called 911. Firefighters used jacks to lift the van off of the gravely injured woman."
Police revealed the driver was 39 year old Antonio Pina who was immediately arrested for driving while intoxicated. Police have quickly charged Pina with DWI and Vehicular Assault Charges. His blood alcohol concentration was recorded at .266, passing a threshold that experts say can lead to "near total loss of motor functions, little response to stimuli, inability to stand or walk, vomiting, and incontinence. He was ordered held on $250,000 bail by Brooklyn Criminal Court Judge Joseph McCormick.
As of this morning, Nancy Pease, the 55 year old bicyclist that was crushed under the car, is still in critical condition. “Our thoughts are with Nancy’s family, and we are praying for her recovery. It is truly outrageous that at 9am on a Sunday morning a drunk and unlicensed driver would mow-down a group of bike riders” Caroline Samporano of Transportation Alternatives said.
Pease is currently in a coma at Maimonides Hospital, where she underwent treatment for liver laceration, abdominal bleeding, traumatic brain injury, and an injury to her spleen requiring its removal.
The Transportation Alternatives advocates for safer streets, Trans Alt's goal is more bike lanes to protect New York cyclists.