Crashes Claim Lives of Two New York Cyclists

In a tragic two-day span last week, two cyclists were struck and killed by cars in separate crashes.

Pedro Fernandez-Pacheco, a 27-year-old Brooklyn resident, was hit by a livery cab as he passed a stop sign at the intersection of Seventh Avenue and 54th Street in Sunset Park Thursday night. The driver was issued a summons for an improper license, but no charges were filed, according to an AP report.

On Friday night, Amelia Geocos, 24, was riding north on First Avenue when she was hit by a minivan traveling west on 49th Street. An NYPD spokesperson said this morning that "criminality is not suspected," and the investigation is ongoing. No further details were available about either crash.

  • John Hunka

    Who was Amelia Geocos? On Google, it looks like she was a promising young artist.

  • Gatton

    I must say that as a resident of bike-friendly Portland, I have been surprised at the apparent indifference to bike safety in New York. I have seen very few helmets and no lights for night cyclists.

  • brian

    i live at 48h and 1st and talked to the driver of the minivan in amelia’s accident. she didn’t have any lights or helmet. according to the driver (who remained on the scene, and was almost in tears for amelia and her family) amelia ran the red light heading north on 1st. she was moving in between the cars near the middle of 1st. she didn’t pause for the red and by the time she realized the van was coming it was too late. the driver said amelia hit her brakes and went over the handlebars putting herself directly into the line of the van. amelia landed onto the windshield head first and then ended up on the ground. the driver said by the time she hit her brakes (the van) it was too late because the van was halfway through the light when amelia passed the crosswalk. she may still be with us had she been wearing a helmet. who knows but she died at the scene (according to the driver).

  • LN

    I would think we could expect better from the streetsblog community. Two cyclists are tragically killed at intersections and the commenters dive right in blaming the victims?

    Rest in Peace Amelia and Pedro.

  • cat in the hat

    and why the focus on amelia? pedro was a promising human being who had a lot to offer his family and friends and could have extended his offerings to others who he could have met in the future. at 27 he still had a long productive life ahead of him.

    now that is all over.

    RIP pedro and amelia.

  • People are always wanting more detail about crashes. And then when it’s presented, whether it’s favorable to the victim or the motorist, someone doesn’t like it. But it advances the discussion, and having information out there better than not having it. Not that I would necessarily believe everything in this driver’s report. Was he running a yellow / “orange” light, and/or going too fast? The emphasis on the cyclist not having a light is interesting—wished he had seen her, before what, gunning the engine to “make” the light? Who knows. Those are the kinds of questions police might ask if this were the kind of thing they investigated, if this were something the public at large supported acting on. But the public at large supports moving on … to the next crash.

  • payton

    i know brian was just trying to provide the insight he received about the crash. we both live at 48th and 1st, and both witnessed the horrible aftermath of amelia’s tragic death. the sole reason he was concentrating on her death is because we were right here, it was in front of us. not to forget the tragedy that also happened to pedro and pedro’s family. both of us are bikers and strongly believe that it is the fault of the state of new york and the borough of manhattan for not having safer bike lanes in the city (and wholly disregarding biker’s rights to the road), whether it was the driver’s fault or not. as for LN; again, brian was simply giving the information he found from the driver and from his own observation, not blaming amelia or calling her a fool for not wearing a helmet. it is a conjecture and a wish that perhaps if she had been wearing a helmet, it would have saved her. i’m sorry for everyone’s loss.

  • I passed 49th and 1st Avenue this evening and saw a white painted bicycle chained to a post on the Northeast corner. It had a bouquet of lovely flowers tied with a large purple bow stuck in below the handlebars.

    At first, I thought it a clever surprise gift for some unsuspecting recipient, until came closer and saw the sign hanging from its side which read:
    “AMELIA GECOS
    -24-
    STRUCK & KILLED BY A CAR
    07/11/08
    REST IN PEACE.”

    I was stunned. I came home and looked up her name on the web. I found this site, and read these thoughtful comments. How tragic and how sad for all concerned. I wanted to add a thought, so I joined this site in order to do so.

    As a biker myself, who lives in the 400 block of East 52nd, and rides throughout Manhattan, I’m always concerned about the dangerous streets I must traverse before getting to a relatively safe bike route/lane/path in this city. Perhaps nothing could have saved Ms. Geocos. But I must add a plea to the many riders I observe every day who feel the lights are only for the four-wheeled traffic and not the two-wheeled. To the bikers who ride either without a helmet or with one that is improperly secured — please take care. Yes, it’s true, the city is culpable in this terrible event, as are many distracted motorists. But it is also our responsibility to do our part as bikers to reduce, hopefully to eliminate such gut-wrenching accidents in the future.

  • My profound apology, the sign on the bicycle read “AMELIA GEOCOS”.

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