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14-Year-Old Bicyclist Struck Dead by Truck in Long Island City: NYPD

Looking east on Borden Avenue, with 11th Street on the right (google)

Sept. 21, 2019 By Christian Murray

A 14-year-old Astoria boy is dead after being hit by a truck while riding his bicycle in Long Island City Saturday.

Mario Valenzuela, of 35th Street in Astoria, was riding eastbound on Borden Avenue at about 1:50 p.m. when he was struck by a truck. The truck was also traveling eastbound on Borden Avenue but hit Valenzuela when the driver made a right turn on 11th Street.

Police received a call at 1:54 p.m. and upon arrival officers found Valenzuela unconscious and unresponsive. EMS also responded and pronounced him dead on the scene.

The driver of the truck, a 33-year-old man, remained on the scene and no arrests have been made. The NYPD Collision Investigation Squad is investigating the crash.

Valenzuela is the 21st bicyclist to die on the roads of New York City this year, and the second in Long Island City. Robert Spencer was killed while cycling at the intersection of Borden Avenue and 2nd Street on March 14.

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43 Comments

C'mon man

Go visit the site. I used to run by here. It is uniquely terrifying, because of the poor design, speed of cars exiting/entering the highway, and mixture of commercial and residential traffic. There are basic, obvious solutions available that would improve safety for bikers and driver. Let us mourn this loss of life, and act.

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Anonymous

I see trucks and cars using the bike lanes to double park on. Cars and Bikes should not mix. I also see people step out on to the bike lane while staring at their cell phone. And Bikers need to slow down at every intersection because thats where the majority of accidents happen.

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Anonymous

Why is a 14 year old kid riding by himself? Was he wearing a helmet? I think cyclist should be licensed and insured like other vehicle operators. And underage cyclist should be supervised or not permitted to ride alone on busy streets. Where is Bill de lazy-o?

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Thanx

Minors *under* the age of 14 are required to wear a helmet. From the article, there is no indication that the victim died from head trauma, so a helmet may very well not have saved his life.

This street and area is far from busy, it’s actually pretty deserted, however the occasional tractor trailer truck is not uncommon.

Forcing cyclists to be licensed and/or insured will not save anyone’s life. This is a tragic accident.

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brooklynmc

When a child is killed, why on earth would you go on this crazy rant blaming the dead child, his parents and the mayor? Dude, the child did not do any damage to anyone and as far as I can see, fault has not yet been determined.

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Anonymous

Oh for Christ’s sake, why is a child riding alone? Are you nuts? I rode a bike all over the place when I was lot younger than 14. You can’t keep kids in bubble wrap.

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Chris Robin

Having ridden through that intersection countless times I would like to point out that there is a bike safety measure that would have avoided this outcome. If you look at the picture you will see very wide sidewalks. A visit to the scene would show there are no working homes or businesses in that stretch so no need for bikers to be on the street. This gives plenty of space to anticipate and avoid a truck turning right. It has been my experience dealing with bikers that it is more important to keep the momentum going than it it is to take reasonable safety precautions. The description of this accident clearly fits that idea.

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Cg

As a driver, how many more road hazards and cautions can we possibly deal with -if it isn’t enough navigating traffic, trucks, busses , road hazards(potholes etc) , and pedestrians , now i need to watch out for bikes, skateboards, rollerblades, unicycles, and dogs…. enough Already !! “I’m drivin here” !!!!

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brooklynmc

Slow down and realize that this city is the street that you live on. The one with little turtles that say “slow down” or “kids playing”. Every street in NYC is someones front yard.

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Cg

First of all city roads are for cars and trucks and busses (they were never made to accept this flood of bicycle traffic. Further bikes should drive in the opposite direction of vehicular traffic so that both bicyclist and driver can see one another coming (also means someone exiting a vehicle doesn’t open their door opposite to an on coming and unseen bicycle…) this seems lime common sense and its the way as a child i was taught to drive a bike along the side of a road…. at least you knew when to jump off and out of the way of N oncoming truck or
Car. As a child we also put
Rear v mirrors on our bikes, I seldom see bicycles with a mirror. Bikes were supposed to be for kids , but its too dangerous for children to ride bikes outside of protected areas and now we have a whole generation of adults out riding around on bicycles as if they belong on the streets. They seldom obey traffic laws , are often reckless and then we wonder at the tragedy of bicyclist deaths. Motorcycles are more dangerous to ride and yet we are never outraged at the number of motorcycle
Related deaths because we know that these licensed roadworthy vehicles are inherently dangerous. If you insist on riding a bicycle on a vehicular roadway in NYC it has to be with the understanding that you are engaging in a high risk, high mortality activity. Bicycles should be aware of the danger they are in and ride accordingly always giving way to vehicles, being aware, and driving defensively .

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VelvetKnight

The NYC grid system was designed in 1811. The first car was made in 1885. If there’s anything the roads weren’t built for it’s the flood of cars.

I’m not even going to bother with the rest of your victim-blaming nonsense.

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brooklynmc

Yes, as an educated adult, I am fully aware of the dangers that I assume when on the streets on New York. Are the drivers aware that they can have a cyclist under there car screaming for help if they are not paying ultra attention? We are ALL in a dangerous situation together. We should ALL slow down and be aware and tolerant of each other. You could kill someone and I could be dead.

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Sara Ross

He was riding along side the truck. Didn’t he think the truck may turn?? It’s tragic but could have been prevented. I’ve always said that cars drive unsafely, go through stop signs or red lights and get ticketed. Bicyclists, think they own the road. This is a driving and walking city. The additions of bike lanes has gotten out of hand!

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Anonymous

God almighty, he was just a kid! What’s wrong with you people? Didn’t you ever do anything foolish when you were growing up? Go join a bike safety committee or run for political office if you really need to get on the high horse and correct people’s behavior.

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Thanx

Nowhere does the article say he was riding “alongside” the truck. You seem to be under the impression the deceased was riding inches away from the truck and/or being reckless. Why don’t you hold off on your anti-bike rant and refrain from jumping to conclusions until you get all the information.

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rikki

You dont ride along side a TRUCK …..they cant see you…..you stay behind in case they signal and you can stop quickly.

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Ali. Abdalkwy.

I love you but not more than myself So 14 years old a boy has been dead I think it’s too early for him … You are going outside to do something not to Challenge anyone We need to love ourselves more

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Gabriel

1. Was the kid in a bike lane?
2. Was he wearing a helmet?
3. Was he fooling around, holding onto the side of the truck?
4. Was he obeying the rules of the road?
5. Were the trucks mirrors adjusted correctly to provide the widest field of vision possible?
6. Were the mirrors adequate to see everything on both sides of the truck?
7. Did the driver exercise appropriate and sufficient caution?

These are the questions which require answers.

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Anonymous

Hey, Sherlock Holmes, if it was your young boy who was struck and killed by a truck, would you be interested in the answers to your list of questions?

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VelvetKnight

Irony is if you ever REALLY want to see a driver lose their mind, make a complete stop at a stop sign in front of them.

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Geoff Cohen

While not Amsterdam or Portland, we have more miles of bike lanes than Portland and a person has a right to travel safely without fear of carnage.

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Michael Boylan

Bicycle riders fail to obey traffic laws and the city has a cheap paint contractor for DOT as seen in photo no double yellow lines sadly.

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Don't Mix Autos & Bikes

And how many bikers have injured pedestrians? When will the politicians and the biker union accept having bikes in the roadway is dangerous and accept mixing bikes with autos, trucks is not working and should not be done?

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Frustrated victim

when will bikers abide the rules of a car!!! if they pass a red light, run stop signs, drive illegal bikes, hit a car at almost 20 miles an hour and the insurance company to say might as well pay him because he is considered a pedestrian!!!!!this is outrageous! Mayor DiBlasio where are you?? speak up for the driver who’s insurance just went up after paying someone who hit me full force after never stopping at a stop sign!!! and he broke his leg I am so sick of bikers giving you dirty looks after they passed a stop sign. Make them pay insurance!!!!

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gil

Having cars and truck on our streets is dangerous. When will be ban them from our cities?! With the exception of deliveries, mass transit and elderly/disabled transport)

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George

How many cyclists have injured pedestrians? Answer: Very very few. Not sure what your question has to do with this situation.

Ponder this: Why do cars and trucks get to rule the road? Ignore traffic laws? The idea and solution is there should be dedicated bike lanes that cars/trucks can’t go into. Also, people driving those death-machines called trucks, need to be extremely vigilante and careful, which they are truly not.

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Max

I absolutely agree. Bicycles and cars should not mix. I think most cyclists agree. We should have completely separate bicycle roads, that cars can’t swerve into with reckless abandon.

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Anonymous

poor soul rest in peace but it does not state that he was holding onto the truck on the right hand side – how would the truck driver know that he was there- I am sure there are plenty of cameras around.

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Really?

Is this your version of thoughts and prayers? If safety measures are proposed for this dangerous stretch will you again oppose them with rallies and a marketing campaign against Vision Zero?

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Anonymous

I get it. Just forget about sympathy and let the heartless comment fly. How ridiculous the Internet can be. He was a young kid riding a bike, just like I and millions of other kids did when growing up in LIC or other parts of the city. Horrible story. I feel terrible for the guy’s family.

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