Randall Postell

New York City, d. 25.Jan.1989
killed on the job by truck

...Randy Postell more closely approximated the image most non-cycling New Yorkers maintain of the typical city cyclist - the hellbent Manhattan bicycle messenger.

Randy belied the stereotype. He was a proud parent and breadwinner who loved his five children and spent time with them every day. He was a black man who managed to survive in a country where homicide is the leading cause of death in young black men. He made it past his 31st birthday ­ only to die in the line of duty during rush hour on Sixth Avenue.

Clad in his trademark sweatshirt and blue jeans, Randy was pedaling up Sixth Avenue when he was struck. Police said a driver with Presidential Trucking Company of South Kearny, NJ, had stopped his rig on West 26th Street to ask for directions, then pulled into Sixth Avenue, rolling over Randy with his right-front wheel. According to police, Randy may have entered the intersection before the light turned green. The driver told detectives he had not seen the cyclist in time and was not charged.

"Sometimes Randy said traffic was pretty busy, but he never really had any problems. He was very good on a bike," said Randy's eldest sister, Geraldine Postell, incredulous that a motorist could run a man down without being arrested or even ticketed.

"Being a messenger was his primary job," Randy's sister said. He'd done that for about four years. He enjoyed it. He said it paid well and he got along with his boss."

Geraldine Postell said Randy used his earnings to help support his four daughters and one son, who live with their mother in Brooklyn's Fort Greene section. "They were really close. They were together just about every day," she said.

Randy looked down on messengers who took their bikes to work on the subway. "He loved to ride and he rode to work every day" from his apartment on Malcolm X Boulevard, Geraldine said, describing her brother as fit and lean at 5 feet, 9 inches." And the bike - that bike was his baby. Oh, he put a lot of work into it."

-Jeff Parker,
Transportation Alternatives