Driver Who Killed Cyclist on City Island Bridge Pleads Guilty to Homicide

Gabriela Aguilar-Vallinos
Gabriela Aguilar-Vallinos

A motorist who fatally struck a woman riding a bike on the City Island Bridge pled guilty to felony leaving the scene and homicide.

Gabriela Aguilar-Vallinos was on her way home from work at around 11:45 p.m. on September 11, 2015, when Michael Moreno hit her with a Hyundai sedan, then left the scene.

Aguilar-Vallinos sustained head trauma and died at Jacobi Hospital. She was 27.

Former Bronx DA Robert Johnson charged Moreno with second-degree manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, and felony leaving the scene. The case was disposed by Johnson’s successor Darcel Clark.

The top charge against Moreno — manslaughter — is a class C felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison. Last week Moreno pled guilty to leaving the scene and homicide, class D and E felonies, respectively.

A more severe charge than homicide under state law, class D leaving the scene carries penalties ranging from probation to seven years in prison.

Moreno is scheduled to be sentenced later this month.

  • ItsEasyBeingGreen

    A replacement for the City Island Bridge is being constructed right now. From what I can tell it will not have separated bike paths. People cycling will still be vulnerable next to high speed traffic.

    http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/images/pr2015/pr15-125-image2.jpg

    If TA or Streetsblog said anything about this, I missed it, but I don’t blame them: its difficult or impossible to follow individual projects in a city this size. That’s why our advocates need to push for good design as standard practice, rather than street by street.

    Without good design this will happen again.

  • Vooch

    who killed Matt van Ohlen ?

  • AnoNYC

    Ridiculous. The bicycle lane could have easily been the same elevation as the sidewalk.

  • Miles Bader

    I think generally people in the U.S. frown on that, as it can encourage cyclists to use the sidewalk too… but there should be some physical separator, e.g. a narrow raised part (same height as the sidewalk?) between the cycle path and the road, or some other sort of barrier…

  • qrt145

    The bike lane could also be raised to a height between the road and the sidewalk. These are common in some countries and there is at least one in NYC: the four-block-long bike lane on 7th Avenue through Times Square.

  • Miles Bader

    Yeah, I’ve seen some like that in Japan (though bike lanes in general are not common there).

    As Japanese traditionally often ride on the sidewalk, places with heavy bike traffic often have very wide sidewalks, so when making a bike lane, they sometimes simply push down the pavement by 3-4 cm on a section of the sidewalk near the road, and change the surface material.

    From what I’ve seen, it works reasonably well for keeping pedestrians from drifting into the bike lane. For Japan it makes people comfortable because it feels safe and familiar, but I suppose Americans may not like that.

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