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.

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