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Truck door kills bike messenger
New York Daily News, November 19, 2004
By Adam Nichols

A bike messenger was killed in Hell's Kitchen yesterday after slamming headfirst into a truck door thrown open in front of him.

Cops said the 42-year-old cyclist was eating breakfast at 10:43 a.m. yesterday as he rode one-handed on Eighth Ave. at 49th St. He was knocked from his bike when a passenger opened the door of a parked delivery truck.

"He was carrying a muffin and coffee and riding with one hand," said a police source. "When the door opened in front of him, he couldn't control the bike. His head hit the street."

Witnesses said the cyclist, whose name was not released, was without a helmet.

Felibe Huerta, 29, who works at a neighborhood cleaner's, said, "I realized something had happened and ran outside. The guy was lying crouched with his head on the ground. His bike was still attached to his feet.

"He didn't have a helmet. There was a lot of blood coming out of his mouth and he was not moving at all.

"The guy who had opened the truck door was out on the street flagging down a cop car."

The truck was making a food delivery to Ciro Trattoria, at Eighth Ave. and 49th St. The truck's driver and passenger declined to comment.

Hodari Depalm, 32, president of the New York Bike Messenger Foundation, said a memorial ride was being organized at the scene tonight.

"It's a dangerous job in this city, and the news of this has spread like wildfire among the messenger community," he said. "I don't think I knew this guy, but he was one of us."


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