Hit-and-Run Driver Kills Gabriela Aguilar-Vallinos, 27, on City Island Bridge

Three people lost their lives in New York City traffic last weekend, including a woman bicycling home from her job in the Bronx. She was killed by a hit-and-run driver who remains on the loose.

Gabriela Aguilar-Vallinos. Photo via WCBS
Gabriela Aguilar-Vallinos. Photo via WCBS

Gabriela Aguilar-Vallinos, 27, was heading home to Soundview after leaving her job at Sammy’s Shrimp Box on City Island. As she was bicycling west over the City Island Bridge just after 11:45 p.m. Friday, the driver of a white 2015 Hyundai Genesis going the same direction struck her before fleeing the scene.

Aguilar-Vallinos suffered severe head trauma and was taken to Jacobi Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead. The driver remains on the loose. Police have released video of the vehicle leaving a parking lot before its driver killed Aguilar-Vallinos.

“We are devastated,” Lenin Ramirez, a cousin of Aguilar-Vallinos, said through tears to WABC. “This guy, he just ran away.”

“Gabriela, she was really, really energetic person. She was always positive in life. She had so many plans,” Ramirez told WCBS. Aguilar-Vallinos moved to New York from Mexico at the age of 16, he said.

The City Island Bridge is currently under construction. When finished, the new bridge will have two six-foot bicycle lanes on either side. At the moment, there is no shoulder on the bridge, though there is a third center lane, not used by through traffic, across the length of the span.

The crash occurred in the 45th Precinct. To voice your concerns about traffic safety to Captain Danielle E. Raia, the precinct’s commanding officer, you can attend the precinct’s next community council meeting. It is scheduled for October 1 at 7:30 p.m. at the Leonard Hawkins American Legion Post, 550 City Island Avenue.

Aguilar-Vallinos was not the only person killed on New York City’s streets that night.

Just after 1 a.m. Saturday, a 29-year-old man died after he crashed his motorcycle while riding between a van and parked cars on Parkside Avenue near Park Circle in Brooklyn.

Later that same hour, a 30-year-old man crashed his motorcycle into a fence on Commerce Avenue near Newbold Avenue in Westchester Square in the Bronx, killing his passenger, an unidentified 27-year-old woman. The driver, who was in stable condition, according to the Post, “went into a curve going well over the 25 mph limit.”

Then, just after 4:45 a.m. Saturday, a driver critically injured an unidentified 36-year-old woman crossing 27th Avenue in East Elmhurst. Police say the woman was approximately 40 feet away from the crosswalk at Astoria Boulevard when the driver struck her. The driver, 52 year-old Oscar Ceballos, was charged with drunk driving.

The crash occurred in the 115th Precinct, which has issued 348 summonses for failure to yield to a pedestrian this year through the end of August [PDF].

To voice your concerns about traffic safety to Deputy Inspector Brian C. Hennessy, the precinct’s commanding officer, you can attend the precinct’s next community council meeting. It is scheduled for tomorrow at 7 p.m. at the 115th Precinct, 92-15 Northern Boulevard.

  • Mathew Smithburger

    AGAIN! I’m sure the NYPD will do their very utmost to not find the driver, not issue an arrest, not do anything. Of course if we have red light and speeding cameras the summons process is automatic, accurate and thorough and NO OVERTIME is needed to produce results. The lives of NYC residents are not a union issue. If you want to enjoy union bennies, union life and privileges in a world where no one has such privileges, great, but do your fucking job. Bicycles are not the problem, you are the problem. Think about that, because unions are easily broken in today’s real world. Voters are all to happy to do it when they are told of tax implications of not doing so.

  • red_greenlight1

    The comments on WABC and WCBS are disgusting!

  • Would it matter if they caught him? You think they’d charge him with anything?

  • Eric McClure

    Horrible.

  • No kidding. For fun I insinuated one of the commenters was the driver. Alas, that’s the most fun I’ll get out of that read.

  • Larry Littlefield

    The media has to ask itself if its past coverage of people traveling by bicycle has encouraged its customers to believe its OK to kill off a woman who is riding a bicycle at night because she is working and poor, if she gets in your way and slows you down in her car.

  • Alexander Vucelic

    Bratton and Trottenberg are also responsible for killing this innocent woman. Make no mistake, their irresponsible negligence results in needless traffic carnage

  • crazytrainmatt

    This bridge has a narrow but low-traffic sidewalk on each side; I never felt safe crossing in the vehicle lanes and always took the sidewalk. I wonder if they have been closed because of construction? I remember last time I was there (maybe a year ago), they were closing all but one traffic lane for construction 9-5. The NYPD flagger graciously held traffic for me to cross — I couldn’t believe it.

    This bridge connects to the entire trail network in Pelham Bay Park, and from there trails across the whole Bronx: Mosholu/Pelham, Hutchinson and Bronx River Greenways. It’s a pity it’s so dangerous at this spot.

  • SSkate

    The sidewalk on the west side (the side going toward C.I.) was completely closed (fenced off IIRC) when I skated over during Labor Day weekend. There’s a crosswalk on the north end where you have to push a button to get traffic to stop and let you cross. Sidewalk at the south end on the opposite side was not in good shape either.

  • HamTech87

    Of course the ad before the video on PIX 11 showed a Hyundai in a sliding spin. I know it is random, but so horrible.

  • laura

    Seems the driver was apprehended or turned himself in.

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