UPDATED: Cyclist Killed on Sixth Avenue by Hit-And-Run Trucker

Driver is, in fact, let go with a consoling pat on the shoulder from the NYPD.

A cyclist was killed on Sixth Avenue on Monday morning. Photo: Julianne Cuba
A cyclist was killed on Sixth Avenue on Monday morning. Photo: Julianne Cuba

Police say a truck driver ran over and killed a 20-year-old bicyclist on Sixth Avenue this morning — and then kept on driving before eventually returning to the scene.

The cyclist, identified by friends as professional rider Robyn Hightman whose preferred pronouns were they/them, was run over near 24th Street at around 9:30 a.m. by a truck driver who did not initially remain at the scene, cops said. Hightman was taken to Bellevue Hospital, where they died.

The victim was preliminarily identified as Robyn Hightman.
The victim was preliminarily identified as Robyn Hightman.

The driver of the truck, Antonio Garcia, returned later, after a passenger in another car told him he had hit someone, he told Streetsblog. Police interviewed 54-year-old Garcia and later said they slapped him with five summonses at the scene, although they could not immediately elaborate on what they were for.

Cops say both Hightman and Garcia were traveling northbound on Sixth Avenue when “they collided.” Garcia said this crash was his first “accident” in 14 years as a driver for the company. He claimed he did not feel the impact of the crash. The passenger in the truck also used the term “accident” to describe the crash.

“We didn’t know we hit someone,” he said, employing the magic words that have often helped killer drivers avoid charges. “We went back after people started yelling at us.”

A Streetsblog video shows a police officer patting Garcia on the shoulder before leaving the crash scene. (Warning: the video is difficult to watch knowing that a police officer is consoling a driver who just killed a cyclist.)

The truck in question had been hit with 83 total summonses since 2015, including two speeding tickets, according to the essential database Howsmydrivingnyc. Most of the tickets were for parking violations.

Hightman is the 12th bike rider killed so far this year, according to NYPD stats. Last year, 10 cyclists died on the streets of New York.

Transportation Alternatives said the crash shows that “Vision Zero remains in crisis.”

“The latest preventable tragedy is further evidence that Mayor Bill de Blasio is failing to protect the people of New York City from even the most basic dangers,” the group said in a statement.

Hightman’s friends were organizing a vigil for the fallen cyclist for 7 p.m. on Monday night at the crash scene.

Cyclists at the scene of Robyn Hightman's death.
Cyclists (above) at the scene of Robyn Hightman’s death (below).
It does not appear that the cyclist was in the protected bike lane on Sixth Avenue, but there is frequently congestion along that stretch. Photo: Julianne Cuba
It does not appear that the cyclist was in the protected bike lane on Sixth Avenue, but there is frequently congestion along that stretch. Photo: Julianne Cuba

 

  • cynic728

    And? Just because we played it in the streets doesn’t mean we should have been. We assumed a degree of risk. As a matter of fact, we played hide & seek too running across the street & in between cars. A neighbor was hit by a car dodging out between 2 cars when it was dark, certainly wasn’t the driver’s fault. She wasn’t speeding & couldn’t stop in time.

  • boomcrew41

    It’s “sad” she died and all, but Robyn was a girl. No amount of teeth-gnashing or foot stomping will change that. Science is undeniable and science has rightfully concluded that there are only two sexes. Man and woman. Your gender is not fluid, you cannot choose to be a man if you are XX and you cannot choose to be a woman if you are XY.

    I know, the response to this will be littered with self-righteous indignation about “how its 2019 and people can identify as 74 year old magikarps if they want” but get with the program and stop living in fantasy land. Certainly stop correcting people for their diction. It’s not for you to be the grand poo-bah of what people can and cannot say… thanks

  • Daphna

    I did not know Robyn but I send condolences. My heart is breaking over this. The carnage is so wrong and is preventable. Better street design, enforcement of speed limits, and big consequences for drivers who injure or kill would hugely reduce the number of these avoidable tragedies.

  • boomcrew41

    Certainly saw you coming from a mile off with how shiny your white knight armor has been polished to. It seems like what you’re implying is:
    1. It is ALWAYS the fault of the driver, biker is 100% absolved of any responsibility (even though this is a far-fetched line of thought)
    2. NYPD ALWAYS gets their investigations wrong, as if they held some personal vendetta against bikers; this is laughable
    3. Anyone who holds a different opinion about bikers is a , what did you call it, identikit anti biker piece of garbage.

    You are unhinged, unbalanced and clearly in dire need of some Lithium or Zoloft.

    If SHE (there is only man and woman) was weaving in and out of traffic and out of the BIKE LANE as many people have purportedly attested to, then SHE is at fault, you fucking goober.

  • boomcrew41

    At UVA last year, I almost killed some dumb cunt who decided that the bright red hand on the walk/stop indicator must have been reversed to indicate “go ahead and shoot out into traffic on your bike”. I was rear ended by the car behind me and sideswiped by the car next to me having to swerve/slam on breaks to avoid the dumb bitch. Yet, according to all you psycho goobers, if I had hit her, it would have been MY fault. Tunnel visioned, all of you. No logical, coherent thought patterns, just the cave man mentality of “hng, driver wrong. biker dead. gronk sad.”

    Wait until all the evidence has been released

  • William Lawson

    There is no evidence that she “bounced off the side” of anything, or that she made contact with the back of the truck.

  • William Lawson

    1) No, it’s not always the fault of the driver, but the majority of deaths on the roads of this city are caused by drivers, and also note how neither the authorities or ignorant shit kickers like you even *speculate* on what the driver did wrong. The NYPD blames the cyclist after deaths like this, in almost every single case (including this one). But I note that shit kickers like you NEVER call them out on that, ever. No, the only problem YOU have in this regard is when cyclists automatically absolve cyclists of guilt, never when the cops and the media automatically absolve drivers of guilt.

    2) Yes, the NYPD virtually always fucks up traffic death investigations. There is documented evidence of this going back years. In some cases, victims have even had to search out their own camera footage of collisions after the NYPD point blank refused to obtain it. They’ve also been caught outright lying on many occasions, and have even persisted in untrue versions of events AFTER camera footage (not obtained by them) has shown them to be bullshitting. Anyone who blindly trusts the NYPD to do a thorough and accurate road death investigation in this city is an idiot.

    3) No, not just a “different opinion.” Wilful ignorance and lies. Irrational and unfounded arguments. Shopworn slogans instead of valid points. This is the shit that cyclists have to put up with from idiots like you after EVERY cyclist death.

    Ah, I note with interest that you’re nothing more than worthless bigoted scum (“there is only man and woman”), and on that note I’ll simply assume that you’re a shitwitted piece of MAGA trash, probably from the suburbs, and satisfy myself that you and the rest of your ilk are hopelessly bound for the trashcan of history.

  • Vooch

    of course it was the operators fault when she hit that innocent kid

    would you argue that someone firing off a pistol who hits some kid who ‚dashed into the line of fire‘ is innocent ?

  • cynic728

    And this is why our world is in the state it is today. Total lack of personal responsibility…Sheez!!!

  • Yeah, that’s fine but you’d be speaking ignorantly. Car culture is so deeply ingrained that we just casually throw around phrases like “car got into an accident” and don’t even realize the bias.

  • People (like me) are totally going to abuse the automated car’s sensors and its, you know, lack of emotion IMO.

  • kevd

    I assume that automated vehicles won’t try to intentionally hit a cyclist, and pull and illegal u-turn, swerve in and out of the bike land, then run a red light and flatten hit 4 pedestrians in order to try to hit a cyclist – as I witnessed last night.
    It has convinced me to mount a go pro full time.

  • Mortal Wombat

    What is your problem, dude? Why are you so committed to this bad take?

    There is evidence she didn’t get run over — the witness in the CBS video said she flew in the air after contact.

    And no, there’s no evidence either way on what part of the truck hit her — are you now saying that you’re somehow certain it was the cab.

    You’re the one who claimed there was no way that the driver couldn’t have known he hit her. I’ve pointed out that if he bounced her off the box, it’s quite likely he wouldn’t have heard or felt anything.

    Take the L and move on, bro.

  • You disrespect a dead friend of my community by calling their gender into question for absolutely no reason, other than your own prejudices, and you further do so by putting “sad” in quotations, as if to patronize us.

    You are a tactless, trash excuse for a person. Plain and simple.

  • An automated vehicle also will not speed.

    Your policy of recording everything is probably wise. We are surrounded by sociopaths.

  • Please don’t do that. That will only make things worse, bye encouraging cities to restrict pedestrian movement.

  • maddog

    The amount of cars in bike lanes on a regular basis is astounding. Sometimes there isn’t a SINGLE block of safe bike lane for me to use because there’s cars parked there. Add the fact that 63% of Americans admit to texting while driving and you got some serious problems– I don’t blame the victim. Takes a lot of cruel mental gymnastics to blame the victim..

  • Jackie Waters

    It’s called being respectful of Them because that is what They would prefer and it doesn’t cost you a thing. You didn’t need the tryaid to explain you are an asshole, we all know.

  • Raymond Merrill

    I live on that corner. The bike lane is all the way over to the left of the photo on the other side of where the police are standing and there is a lane for parked vehicles between them and the protected bike lane. It is obvious from the photo that she had not been riding in the “protected” bike lane. That doesn’t mean it was her fault but it certainly could have contributed to the collision.

  • yung tiramisu

    Good thing we know her pronouns now ?

  • CallMeIshmael

    Obvious from the photo? It’s obvious from that photo that the truck was going twice the speed limit and slammed into them and threw the bike clear across the road.
    I’m not a crash expert, and guess what Raymond Merrill, neither are you. But your words give license for the police to pat the driver on the shoulder and then stand on that corner and ticket cyclists.
    Hey, I’ve got an idea, let’s wait for the ton of video to come out to show us exactly what’s obvious, instead of every fucking person speculating about what happened, copy beneath a photo speculating what happened, and Raymond Merrill saying things are obvious AND speculating about what happened.

  • Eli Christman

    I want to avoid speaking ignorantly. How can this text be translated in a neutral way? As long as we’re avoiding bias.

    (Copy/Pasted from the article)

    “We didn’t know we hit someone,” he said, employing the magic words that have often helped killer drivers avoid charges. “We went back after people started yelling at us.”

    A Streetsblog video shows a police officer patting Garcia on the shoulder before leaving the crash scene. (Warning: the video is difficult to watch knowing that a police officer is consoling a driver who just killed a cyclist.)

  • kevd

    trying to get my old gopro to work….
    having mixed luck.

  • boomcrew41

    Yes, I’m an “asshole” because I live in reality. Good lord.

  • boomcrew41

    I voted for Gary J every time I could, bud. Just shows how assuming and presumptuous you morally superior beings really are

  • genebbb

    >> Cyclists who do not follow the rules of the road are their own worst enemy & the enemy of pedestrians.

    AND of other cyclists and skateboarders. I can’t count the number of times I’ve had to veer out into the road–into traffic coming from behind me, that I can’t see–because of some ignorant, irresponsible fool going the wrong way down a one-way street.

  • cynic728

    Was shaking my head today thinking of all those posting on here who were outraged by my comments as I crossed with the “Walk” sign southward across 67th at Broadway where the traffic on 67th goes Westward. A cyclist came flying from my right & turned in front of me going East and just missed hitting me. I continued across after calling him an idiot when 3 secs later another idiot cyclist who was going North with the traffic on Broadway turned in front of me just before I reached the curb again going Eastward while traffic is supposed to go Westward on 67th at Bwy. I am tired of everyone excusing cyclists. They bear the responsibility to follow the rules just like car drivers do. If any pedestrian stops while crossing or alters their pace, and the cyclist expects them to continue, a collision will result & the pedestrian’s head will likely hit the asphalt with a serious result.

  • Camila

    Citi bike riders ride against traffic taking selfie videos while riding. What are you talking about

  • Faun Laurel Rosenberg

    Intentionally dishonest & inflammatory headline, it wasn’t “hit & run” and you know it.

  • PDiddy

    What does that have to do with anything? Try to keep on topic if you’re going to respond to my comment.

  • Lj

    It seems that these days most people just follow the voice of the crowd. Lets be rational people. Accidents are not just the fault of drivers, cyclists do a lot of stupid stuff out there. Many put their lives on the hands of other people. Some don’t account for blind spots of large vehicles, swerve or don’t follow traffic control devices. I’m not saying this happened in this case, but lets have a little perspective.

  • Andrew

    Bike riders share in the responsibility; many do not follow the rules of the road.

    Do you believe that this particular bike rider was violating the rules of the road?

    Do you believe that the motorist might have been violating the rules of the road?

    On April 25th

    Over two months ago. How many motorists have killed pedestrians and cyclists since that date, and why do you choose to ignore them?

    Driver likely would not be aware

    It’s the driver’s fundamental job to be aware.

  • Andrew

    Seriously? Last time I checked streets were for vehicles.

    News flash: Most of the people on Manhattan streets are not inside motor vehicles.

  • Andrew

    One doesn’t omit facts out of sympathy to an accident victim, particularly if you’re a news organization.

    I agree.

    The photo shows where Hightman landed after having been struck by a truck. Does the Post conclude from that photo that Hightman had not been in the bike lane even prior to having been struck? Does the Post mention whether or not the bike lane was obstructed or otherwise unsafe to use? Does the Post mention where Hightman was coming from? Enough focus on Hightman, who is dead – Does the Post mention how fast the truck driver was operating, or whether the truck driver might have run a red light, or whether the truck driver was distracted by an electronic device, or whether the truck driver was exercising due care?

    Seems like the Post picks and chooses which facts to include and which facts to omit.

  • Andrew

    How fast do you drive? Why was your follower so close that he couldn’t stop in time to avoid hitting you? Why did you swerve into a lane that was occupied by another car?

  • Andrew

    I just brought up the most recent case which was a mere 2 mos ago.

    At least two cyclists and one pedestrian were killed by motorists within the past week.

  • Shay

    That’s a good point. I’ve seen bikers bike with a death wish in the middle of traffic. However in this case, 6th ave has very poor bike lane protection. I walk by it every day to work (the same exact blocks where the unfortunate accident took place) and I would’ve never biked on it. We could do a lot better as a city to create safe infrastructure for bikers.

  • Lori Levin

    Correct.

  • bex0r

    I dislike the caption “cyclist was not in a protected bike lane…”. why does it matter where they were when they were brutally murdered? an innocent life is still extinguished and literal murderers go free with a pat on the back.

  • bex0r

    you can’t single out advanced riders from casual amateurs for scolding because they do just as many (if not more) stupid, dangerous things on bicycles. Camilla’s post was 100% on topic.

  • Josh Shlenker

    The whole article is trash. “(Warning: the video is difficult to watch knowing that a police officer is consoling a driver who just killed a cyclist.)” GTFO with your PSA and just show the clip, it should bother people.

  • satrain18

    She was also riding a brakeless track bike.

  • satrain18

    Streetsblog never even mentioned that she was riding a brakeless track bike.

  • satrain18

    At 302.6 square mi, New York is way to bo too Copenhagenize and Amsterdamize.

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