Astoria Musician Arturo Flores Killed by Van Driver

arturo_flores.jpgArturo Flores, a Queens musician who played Andean wind instruments, was struck and killed by a van this Tuesday while biking in Astoria. Reports of his death have appeared in a local message board, neighborhood blogs, and a Peruvian music blog. Conventional news coverage has not surfaced online, but a sparse account appeared in the print edition of the Daily News:

A bicyclist was struck and killed on a Queens street by a van early yesterday morning, police said.

The unidentified 35 year old man was hit on 23rd street in Astoria around 1 a.m. by a Dodge Caravan, said police.  The van’s driver will not face charges.

The crash actually occurred at 23rd Avenue and 27th Street. Streetsblog has a request in to NYPD for more details on the circumstances of the crash.

Flores, 35, was born in Peru and often busked with Andean bands in the subway. One commenter on a local blog remembers his talents:

Arturo Flores, as a longtime member of the band Inca Son, played on
some of the most prestigious stages in this country. He was a brilliant
musician who could play the Andean flutes like nobody else I’ve ever
heard. He did traditional tunes but could also improvise. He could even
replicate complex rock melodies like "Stairway to Heaven" on the quena.

A wake was held for Flores last night. His death is the second stark reminder we’ve seen this month of how much traffic violence goes unreported in the press.

  • God damn it!! Are these incidents not even worth reporting these days?? And when they are reported, is the “driver will not face charges” comment now mandatory??

  • “The van’s driver will not face charges.”

    “Cops said it was unlikely that the driver would face charges.”

    “Police sources said driver Charles Joseph will not face criminal charges.”

    “No charges expected in accident that left Staten Island woman gravely injured.”

    “Police said it is unlikely that the SUV’s driver will face any criminal charges.”

    “the victim, a woman, was hit and killed by an SUV. We could find no media reports of the incident.”

    “Dees and Sullivan died at Beth Israel Medical Center. Neither taxi driver faces criminal charges, police said.”

    “Bailey wasn’t charged with anything and was allowed to drive his truck from the scene an hour later.”

  • I guess the cops and the press really want to emphasize to other drivers out there that they are allowed to kill people and not face charges.

  • James

    This is F’d up… I remember Inca Son from when they played a show at my high school more than 10 years ago. This guy was truly talanted. It’s awful, just awful. Sometimes I think that life is cheaper in this city than it is elsewhere.

  • The value of your life is proportional to the value of your car.

  • G. Lima

    It is very easy to say it was his fault, because he is dead and he cannot defend himself should be a deep investigation in cases like this.the van driver got 2 tickets the horn and one of the signal litgths was not working .

  • “I guess the cops and the press really want to emphasize to other drivers out there that they are allowed to kill people and not face charges.”

    That’s just how it sounds, Aaron.

  • Mavi Caceres

    I was very hurt when i heard the news, i acctually new Arturito since 1998 when he was playing with Agua Clara I worked with them selling the CD’s in the streets of NYC. Arturito was a great musician, he became a Master of the pipe flutes and he participated in numerous events around the country and also in his native country of Peru. He was a wonderful guy, very honest to his feelings and others, responsible,friendly, respectful, a good friend . He was a perfectionist ,had precision, improvised any song you had in mind, his instruments were all well tuned and even after finishing a song he will pick up the tuner and tune his instruments once again. He changed the history of the rest musicians in the subway, they learned from him, not just play to make money but giving the best to the people that heard him play he had passion when he played when he closed his eyes he was playing from his heart.
    The way it was put in the newspaper right in the corner with “an udentified male “was just as the same as ” well another one hit by a car” when they knew his name because my friends were called in at 4am of the same day and the newspaper did not post the news until the 22 of October, they did not even bother putting the name of the victim.
    this past thursday October 23, 2008 was the service his friends played with the instruments Arturito made. he had people comming from everywhere, Maryland,Pennsilvania, other parts and myself from Massachusetts,I drove 4hrs to pay my last respect to a man that deserve to be honored. it will be another service in the near future to celebrate and honor his talent and his life i am not sure when but hopefully soon.
    Arturito has left a legacy in all of us who knew him, an empty heart to all that loved him, and good memories to those who shared a chapter in his life.
    For me the person that once had his kiss and then his frienship but then moved on and yet I never forgot him ,I will always remember the ” muchacho lindo”( handsome guy) playing the Charango in Times Squares back in 1998.
    nunca te olvidare……
    tu amiga la chilena…. Mavi Cáceres.

  • alfredo velasquez

    Why there is not a investigation?
    Is nesesary to resolve this.

    Is not right just say not charges.

    The life is the most value.

  • Larry G. L

    Arturito you will always be with us. We are your friends and we will never forget you. Yor friendship and your sound will always be with us. Arturito you will always be the best. Te queremos hermanito !

  • Alex

    I’ve met Arturo only several times, but even one meeting was enough to see how talented and how kind he was. A true musician and a true gentlemen. When I wanted to tell my friends how great a musician could ever be, I always told them about Arturo… I really wanted to meet him again and wanted to learn from him, but sadly, never had time or opportunity…. Now that I now he’s gone… tears come to my eyes….

  • Alex

    Around the corner I have a friend
    In this great city that has no end,
    Yet the days go by and weeks rush on,
    And before I know it, a year is gone

    And I never see my old friend’s face,
    For life is a swift and terrible race,
    He knows I like him just as well,
    As in the days when I rang his bell,
    And he rang mine..

    We were much younger then,
    And now we are busy, tired men..
    Tired of playing a foolish game,
    Tired of trying to make a name.

    “Tomorrow” I say “I will call on Jim”
    “Just to show that I’m thinking of him.”
    But tomorrow comes and tomorrow goes,
    And distance between us grows and grows..

    Around the corner! .. yet miles away,
    “Here’s a telegram sir-”
    “Jim died today.”
    And that’s what we get and deserve in the end..

    Around the corner, a vanished friend…


After Hit-and-Run Death, Neighbors Press DOT to Tame Traffic in Astoria Park

Park advocates, a local civic association, and Council Member Costa Constantinides are calling on DOT to implement traffic calming around Astoria Park after a hit-and-run driver killed a woman just outside the park last month. The effort could grow much larger than changes to the intersection where the crash occurred: Pressure is mounting for DOT to reimagine the way motorists drive around […]