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Alleged Drunk, Unlicensed Hit-and-Run Driver Kills Delivery Worker as NYPD Targets Cyclists

12:57 PM EDT on April 3, 2017

The intersection of 43rd Avenue and 39th Street in Sunnyside, where a drunk driver struck and killed Gelacio Reyes as he biked home from work in April. Image: Google Maps

An unlicensed and allegedly drunk hit-and-run driver with a history of license revocations struck and killed a delivery cyclist riding home from work in Queens this weekend.

The crash happened in the midst of an NYPD "Vision Zero" crackdown on cyclists, which focused in part on delivery workers.


Gelacio Reyes, 32, was riding east on 43rd Avenue in Sunnyside at around 3 a.m. Saturday when he was struck by the driver of a Ford SUV, who was traveling south on 39th Street, police told Gothamist.

Reyes, the father of three young children, worked in Manhattan and lived in Corona. He was pronounced dead at Elmhurst Hospital.

Police arrested 25-year-old Cristian Guiracocha hours after the crash at a Woodside auto repair shop, where he was “texting inside the car with the keys in the ignition and the engine running,” the Daily News reported. Police found vomit on Guiracocha's clothes, the News said.

Photos of the SUV show extensive damage to the windshield, front fender, and front bumper on the passenger side.

Guiracocha was charged with felony drunk driving, felony aggravated unlicensed operation, and circumventing an ignition interlock device, a misdemeanor, according to court records. Anonymous sources who spoke with the News and other press outlets expected the charges against Guiracocha to be upgraded, possibly to manslaughter.

Because of state laws that serve to incentivize fleeing the scene, had police not found Guiracocha soon after the crash, it's likely he would have avoided charges for taking Reyes's life.

The News reported that Guiracocha’s license has been revoked at least two times, most recently in 2014.

A 2015 report from State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli found that just 5 percent of New York City drivers who are legally required to install an ignition interlock device actually use them.

Gelacio Reyes was killed in the 108th Precinct, and in the City Council district represented by Jimmy Van Bramer.

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